It’s not always easy to evaluate a year. We so often judge a year by the big things that happen, both good and bad. We get married, have a child, buy a house, graduate, or go on a big European vacation. Or maybe a loved one passes away, a relationship ends, or a job is lost. These are all big moments, and they are the ones that stick out to you when you think back on the course of a year. You judge the year based on if there were more good big moments as opposed to bad ones. What is so often lost in looking back on a year is all the little things. You were mostly healthy this year, you had a great dinner one night with friends, you went on a beautiful hike in the fall. All these little things make up the majority of a year. The big moments are great and stick out, but between each big moment is hundreds of little ones that are so often looked over.
As primarily a wedding photographer, my business is the big moments. Please don’t think I say this out of contempt for what I do or towards weddings and big moments. I get great joy knowing that I’ve captured memories for what will be one of the biggest days in most peoples lives. However, it would be easy for me to write up this post and post only my favorite wedding images from the year and call it a day (and I will post wedding images here, don’t you worry). My year, in terms of my photography, was more than just weddings.
As time goes on I find I get to take less pictures of just random stuff. I wish that was different, but that’s just the nature of the beast. In looking back on my year in photography, between each wedding there were events, portrait sessions, vacations, and times where I was just playing around. Between each big moment were a bunch of small ones. I’m determined to look back and judge the year 2013 not on just the few big moments, but the whole picture.
So without further ado, in no particular order, here are the big and not so big moments in my photography life of 2013!
You may be thinking, “So he leads off with a picture of shoes by the Danube river in Budapest to show the not-so-big moments of 2013?” Or maybe you had no idea that’s where this picture was taken until I just told you. Either way this picture was meant to be both the big and the small. I took a ten day trip with two other friends to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague, and that was a big trip that I will remember for years to come. What often gets lost in touring foreign cities and countries is the fact that this is the home of other people going through their lives. I have no idea why all these shoes and candles were down by the river, but I imagine the people who live there do, and it means something to them.
This was one of the best moments I had the pleasure of capturing this year! I have been friends with Brett since high school, and to be asked to capture his surprise engagement to Michelle was awesome! More times than not, you get to see the pictures and hear the story of how the question was popped after the fact. It’s not often you get to be a part of it! Congrats you two, and I can’t wait for the wedding!
For the second year in a row I volunteered my time to take pictures at the Leukemia and Lymphomas Light the Night walk here in Northern Virginia. Leukemia ultimately took my father’s life a few years ago, so any time I can raise awareness to this great organization I do. These are terrible diseases that effect many people in this country, so let’s fight back!
This was, simply put, a fun wedding! Being the first wedding of 2013 for me, Hannah and Scott kicked the year off on a good note! The reception was lively, the couple filled with joy and smiles, and the day was absolutely perfect! I even photoshopped myself into one of their pictures! The most important thing about a wedding, in my mind, is for the couple to enjoy their day. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Hannah and Scott enjoyed theirs!
I love the fall season. It’s my favorite time of the year. I look forward to autumn every year, and every year I feel like I don’t appreciate it as much as I should. This year gave us beautiful color’s and blue skies. I hope I take it all in a little more next year than I did this year.
Speaking of fall, Stephen and Elise were married in the middle of September on a gorgeous early fall/late summer day! I’m not sure how they managed to achieve this, but they threw a southern, backyard wedding in the middle of the Northern Virginia! The small details, natural colors, and oh yes the BBQ really set the atmosphere for this wonderful wedding! Oh and did I mention these two clearly love each other? I mean look at that image! It says it all!
There are days where I feel the need to get out of my house and walk around taking pictures. It doesn’t much matter when or where, it just feels good to get out and behind a camera with no other motive other than to snap a picture. Often times, when such a mood arises, I head out to Great Falls. It’s a beautiful place with many different places to walk around, but after a while any place starts to feel stale. So instead of going to Great Falls, I found another park in the area to check out. Following the trail I came across this awesome place where there was a small water fall and you could walk right out next to it! After spending a good amount of time sitting here and taking pictures, I continued on down the path to find out that it connected to Great Falls National Park! Who knew!
Big wedding, small wedding, the benefit of each is all in the eye of the beholder. Jenyfer and Ryan opted for a small wedding, totaling 8 people (including me and the officiant)! I don’t think they have any regrets! This small wedding took me out to a community in Reston I had no idea existed on a beautiful lake completely with turtles!
I’ve mentioned before the work I do for BEST Kids, a great mentoring organization serving youth in D.C.’s child welfare system. Well let me mention it again! If you have not checked them out or have any interest in becoming a mentor, head on over to their website!
This particular event was a 5k BEST Kids put on as a fundraiser down at Hains Point in D.C. I had never been to Hains Point before, and it amazes me how many places I don’t know about in this city! What also amazes me is that people will actually pay to run. It’s all for a good cause though, so I applaud these men and women for their contributions!
Things I got to do because of Nick and Tabitha’s wedding: See Indiana University, see the state of Indiana period, go to Skyline Chili, ride 12 hours in a car, have some fantastic BBQ, ride 12 hours in a car the other way, oh and photograph two good friends getting married! It’s always an honor to photograph a couples wedding, but it’s something slightly more special when it’s two of your friends! I got to meet the families and friends of these two, see their hometown and where they met, and give them a gift that they will hopefully cherish for a lifetime! Congrats you two!
My last wedding of the year 2013! There’s little to complain about in a wedding that involves good food, a warm and caring group of family and friends, a great atmosphere and setting, and of course a very happy couple! My time with Cedric and Olivia was very quick, but it was all I needed to know that these two were meant for each other! Thanks for helping me to end my year on a good note you two!
Look, you either love the rain, or you hate it. If you live in the Northern Virginia area, there will be a good number of days throughout the year that are filled with it. I personally like rainy days so I’m going to highlight them! Plus this picture I took with my Lensbaby one rainy night is just too cool not to post again!
While I was taking pictures of Cathryn before the ceremony, I asked her the question, “Did you ever think back in high school that one day I’d be photographing you on your wedding day?” I met Cathryn my senior year of high school through SCA (Student Council Association). We had lost touch through the college and post college years, and I probably had not said a word to her for a good 3-4 years. Well, that is until I happened to run into a mutual friend who happened to know that Cathryn was looking for a photographer and who happened to mention to her that I could take her pictures! It’s funny how life works out sometimes isn’t it?
As for the wedding, it was so much fun! It was great to touch base with Cathryn again, and to share in this joyous day with her! Most people catch up over coffee. We caught up over her wedding!
I won’t go as far as to say this was the year of the chicken (because technically it was the year of the snake), but I’ll just say there were a lot of chickens in my life in 2013. Yes it’s probably best not to ask.
Kevin and Kim’s wedding was many things. It was filled with laughter and excitement. It had tons of energy and ton’s of dancing. It had a champagne waterfall! Despite all of these things, what I will remember their wedding for was their incredible hospitality! This wedding was odd in the timing of everything (they had the ceremony in the morning followed by a luncheon, then a 5 hour break before the reception). The couple asked if I could take pictures during the luncheon following the ceremony, but I really think they just wanted me to come over so they could feed me! They welcomed both my assistant and I into their house with their respective families, fed us, and then sent us both home with bags of food. It was really something to behold, and an incredible gesture from the couple.
Don’t I look so noble? Dashing even? As to what’s behind me, it is the Petrin Lookout Tower. While it looks like the Eiffel tower, it is much shorter. However, it’s on a hill that results in the top of the lookout tower actually being taller than the actual Eiffel Tower! You can read about it here, or just marvel at the picture of it behind that good looking gentleman in the picture…
My first wedding from Reddit! Ahmed and Megan were a delightful couple, and I could not have been more blessed to take pictures of these two on their big day! The only thing that would of been better than photographing their wedding would be sitting and listening to them recount what I’m sure are a bunch of crazy stories from their travels all around the world! Seriously, I went to Budapest, Vienna, and Prague this year, and after listening to how they met and where they were going after the wedding my life felt boring! Two great people that I’m so happy I crossed paths with!
Ok so I don’t think anyone actually says this, but they should probably be saying the photographer shouldn’t dance! This little incident of me dancing at a wedding I was photographing has actually happened a couple of times, but this time was actually caught on camera. I probably should of burned the evidence instead of posting it online for all to see. Oh well!
In my personal and photography life, I believe things are going to be changing for me in 2014, and changing for the better! Obviously I have no idea what lies in store, but I look forward to seeing where life takes me this year.
I’ve never been one to make new years resolutions. If I were to make on this year though, it would be to try to remember the little things. So much is forgotten and wasted and tossed aside through the course of a year. Our time on this earth is limited, and I for one don’t want to waste it!
I want to wish every single one of you a great and wonderful 2014! To everyone I crossed paths with this past year, thank you for leaving a mark on my life! To everyone I will cross paths with this year, I can’t wait to meet you! Here’s to the new year!
A freelance photographer serving the Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland area, I specialize in weddings, portraits, and event firstname.lastname@example.org