In my mind, 2009 will always be remembered as the year I fell in love with photography. Sure, I've always enjoyed taking photos but this year I found more joy in it than I knew was possible. More to come on that later.
But in honor of this, my year of the photo, I thought it fitting to share with you my 10 favorite photos that I've taken this year. Some talented photographers I follow do this, so I figured I'd jump on that bandwagon.
Here they are in no particular order because honestly picking 10 was hard enough. There's no way I can put them in order.
I love everything about this photo. The colors, the clarity, the subject, the light. It was one of those photos that I did little to no post-processing on. Normally I feel the need to tweak photos after I take them. With this one, it was pretty darn perfect straight out of the camera. And it's this pursuit of the near perfect straight-out-of-the-camera photo that I will try to perfect in 2010.
This is my moon photo. I honestly don't think it looks all that spectacular, but the fact that I was able to set my camera and do this is still a great source of pride for me. The trip that Mike and I took to California was great for my camera and I. For a week straight, I took pictures, all in manual settings and I learned more about my camera in one week than I ever thought possible.
There were so many good photos from my session with the Bacon family. I still look at those photos and can't believe how many of them turned out as well as they did. I loved that session. The photo above in particular is my favorite and one that I believes sums up my photography in a most beautiful way. I love people, I love landscapes and there is nothing better when the two of them come together. And that's why this photo is front and center on my Web site.
This photo was also taken in Chicago. There is a great botanical garden in the city right by the free Lincoln Park zoo. I had a free weekend and decided to take a day and wander around taking photos in the conservatory and zoo. I captured a ton a beautiful flowers that day, but this little guy is my favorite because I spotted him amongst many a showy flower.
This photo was taken during my first shoot. Before I really even knew what I was doing. I remember going home after that shoot and spending the rest of that day editing photos. I think it was when I saw this one that I really thought, "Hey that's pretty darn amazing. And I took that. And I want to take more photos like that." I just love the look on Carly's face, the way she's delicately holding her stomach and how her hair is gently sweeping across her face. It's serene and beautiful and I thought really representative of the relationship she was building with her child.
During this shoot, I was contending with some serious sun rays. It was sunny day, which normally is a good thing, but for budding photographers, such as myself, it makes shooting a lot more challenging. I tried variations of this photo at the start of this shoot and I just wasn't happy with them. At the end as I was surveying my shots to see if I had enough, I looked over to this grassy patch and knew I had to give it another try. I did and I love this shot. I love it because I don't think anyone would guess it's in Chicago. And that's one of the many reasons why I love shooting in this city. There is just so much to choose from.
Speaking of the city, this is the type of shot you can only get in Chicago. I just love it. The mood, the lighting, and the fact that it was taken in a moving car proved to me how worth it it was to pay extra for the vibration reduction in my zoom lens.
It's a moment. And a beautiful one at that.
If I can be honest, I was a little nervous to shoot this family. I've known them all for the majority of my life, so I felt I really had to get a photo that was them. I didn't want my photos to look like ones any average Joe could have taken. This is that photo. I'll also always remember this shoot as the one the made me realize I need to trust my gut. I got nervous and switched to auto settings on my camera for a bit and in the end didn't loving any of those photos. The ones I loved were those where I told my camera what to do.
This photo was taken at the tail end of an all-day music festival Mike and I attended. The sun had set and this is usually the time I put away my camera thinking it was too dark to get a shot. Had I set this on auto, I don't think I could have gotten this shot. But using my brain and my manual settings I was able to get this photo of the waning light of the sunny summer day.
I honestly have learned so much about my camera, my style, photoshop and photography in general this year that I don't think I could sum it up in one blog post. But I can say, the 10 photos above are far superior than anything I could have posted a year ago. I can't wait to see what I'll capture next year.