I loathe January.
I dread its imminent arrival. Business is slow. The Christmas decorations have come down along with the balance in my checking account. All around me the vibrant Colorado colors have left and been replaced with varying shades of brown and the occasional Evergreen. The mornings feel exceptionally earlier than usual and the darkness feels just as equally premature.
Its this time of year more than any other time that I find myself relating to the trees and nature.....they have lost their color and vibrancy, albeit temporarily, and they are sleeping. and waiting. waiting for the cold to pass.
So before you start sprinkling Zoloft in my water supply or call for a welfare check....hear me out. Obviously this isn't my first rodeo, I've just completed my 34th January and have developed some coping mechanisms over the years.
Along with the mundaneness and loneliness that is January (no, "mundaneness" is not a word but you know what I mean), it brings with it a feeling of newness. An opportunity to have a fresh start. A starting point for new goals and potential accomplishments. A time to reflect on the year before and learn from our mistakes and appreciate our achievements.
Every year since I began photography, I come up with a list of goals.... Things about my work that I want to do better at, be better at....and every year I take on the belief that there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Because there is. I have never once looked at one of my images and thought "This. This is the best..." And every year as I work on my list of goals, I learn more and more about myself along with it.
So....if your still with me. I will share with you my photography goals for 2019. They are a bit different and off topic than previous years...and perhaps more personal. At the end of 2018, I was able to appreciate the absolute success of the year. I feel confident that I have established some roots in the wedding photography industry, and developed a decent referral pool. And although none of my images are perfect in my eyes, I have had several that I am proud of. Images that I can share in the best photography groups that I quietly lurked in years before. Each year I become more and more in touch with the artist I know has always been there, but was never fed.
It's all in the details.
I'm not talking about outfits or scenery, although those are also very important....I'm talking about "people" details.
The soft curls in a toddlers hair,
The way wife habitually rolls their wedding ring around their finger with their thumb.
The way your hair moves with the wind or the quick turn of your head.
The movement in your dress and the way you hold it up as you walk and play with your children.
The way he tucks your hair behind your ear right before he leans in for a kiss.
The sparkle in your eyes as you tell me about your grandparents.
The freckles that appear on the tip of their nose during the summer.
The Hanky in your grandmothers hand as she dabs her tears at your wedding.
The moments the rest of the world is going on with out you and your existence only is found in each other. The moments you think no one else is looking.
Those are the details I'm talking about. The details we remember in our mind but rarely are lucky enough to have a picture of.
Its not easy being a photographer in 2019. Or in Colorado for that matter. We live among a generation that has the ability to take a picture at any time, of anything, and anywhere. Something you could once only access from an album on a bookshelf is now available in the palms of our hands. Our youngest generation will not know life any other way. If we want to see what our out of state relatives look like, we can with the swipe of our phones. We live in a time where pictures are taken for granted and the ones we do have are stored on multiple hard drives with only the best making it onto our walls. I live in a state that over the last 10 years, has been flooded with talent from all over the world. Established and amazing photographers who move here just to be able to grow their business and take pictures among the Rocky Mountains. Its been double the work, double the commitment, double the time, double the education than if I would have started this out 15 or 20 years ago.
So yes, what I'm about to say is cliche. But it couldn't be more true.
Everyone can take a picture, but not everyone can capture a moment....not everyone can capture emotion....not everyone can preserve an experience. This is where I have to work my ass off to stand out among the rest. How am I going to do it? I haven't really figured that out yet. But with everything else I've done with my work, I set a goal.... and then I figure out how to get there.