Minneapolis Wedding Photographer // This is gonna be one long post. Feel free to read my rambles; feel free to skip to the photos.
Here we are again. A year in review. *Hello, nice to see you again*
Last year, big things happened. This year, all that kind of went to shit, and to be honest, I'm totally okay with all of it. Shit happened. I recovered from it. I learned from it. I grew from it. I'm still here.
My boyfriend, of nearly 4 years, and I broke up. He moved out after only a year of living together, which makes it sound like I'm/we're a huge failure. Moving in together is a big deal: the next step in a relationship. I naively thought we'd end up together, but looking back, it was never going to work. Am I a failure? Fuck no. Did I make mistakes? Yes. Did he? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No.
I joked that I got the apartment in the "divorce," but to be honest, I was bat shit scared of being alone. I think I was more concerned about that than being devastated over the breakup. Being a wedding photographer, I see couples on the happiest days of their lives, and although it's the love on the happiest day of their life, it's the love that's endured through the not so glamorous things. I pride myself as a tough & independent lady, but I still want to love and be loved in the way that I see my couples love each other. Somewhere in the mix, we lost that.
I was afraid of being alone, because I am an introvert. Contrary to popular belief, I struggle with social anxiety. I struggle with getting myself out of the house, and have to congratulate myself when doing so. I am perfectly fine with being alone, and find solace with it. Thankfully, my social anxiety is not something that cripples me, however, I relied on him too much to be my crutch. And I never want to be that girl that relies on a boy. I'm better than that. We're all better than that.
There was this nagging urge to go out and be on my own and discover. I knew what I wanted, I just needed a little nudge.
Then, finally it happened. The catalyst for that was Andria Lindquist's Oh Sh!t Workshop. I was fortunate enough to learn from the very woman who has inspired my brand, my business, and my craft since the beginning. She is something I have looked up to since I was probably 17 years old. She's fierce. She's smart. She's fucking talented. Most of all, her brand is wholeheartedly herself and she is wholeheartedly herself. No one else.
Seven other creative ladies and I resided in the most poppin' house in Vail, ate an insane amount of delicious vegan food, and probably drank too much wine. We learned from the Kween herself and gained valuable insights into bettering ourselves and our business, but my favorite part was the lack of photography speak. We talked about life. About love. About hardships. About successes. I was the youngest in the group, per usual, and I soon realized, "Shit. I need to get out there." Let's stop making excuses for the things I want to do and just go fucking do them.
And so, I traveled to the PNW for a week, and put myself out there. I produced and shot two styled elopements with various creatives in the city, photographed a totally random couple, and got tattooed. I even went to a cat cafe and I almost cried in elation. Hey, we even got those two elopements published! Stuff like this seems so simple because all you normally see is the results, but truth, it was took a lot of me to do this, and I'm really proud of myself.
My struggles and ability to pick my self back up allowed me to shoot with a different perspective. That sounds lame. I'm pretty sure I said the same exact thing last year, but even so. If you look at my work from last year and compare it to this year, it's a lot different. Better? I'd like to think so, but it's different. It's grittier. Moodier. More intimate. I've pushed myself to shoot less, but shoot with more thought and purpose. I only took on the clients I was superbly jazzed about-the people who understood my perspective and wanted something a little less wedding-y or senior-y and a lot more depth. Dealing with the loss of a long term companion also changed my perspective on how I shoot and interact with couples and my need for independence changed the way I work with my seniors. Instead of filling them up with fluff, I hope to encourage them to be the best they can be and see the beautiful in not only themselves, but everything else around them.
A lot of things happened this year. Not only did I face a loss of a love, but also dealt with death for the first time with my oldest friend and my childhood dog. I experienced a lot of "failure" and felt a strong sense of worthlessness for quite some time. But it wasn't all that bad. I met a lot of new people, was featured in a lot more in our beautiful local community, traveled more than I ever have, and most of all, found a sense of comfort and independence with myself. Hey, I even got a kitty out of everything, and I honestly couldn't be happier with where I'm at. I've put my heart into what I do, and I hope what I do evokes something inside of you.
These images are a result of this year.
I am so happy right now - so damn happy.