What a Year
For the first time in ages, my favorite photos do not feature events or gatherings, which feels so surreal to see in the collection. This year was nothing like we expected. And, yet, I found opportunities in the challenges. I took creative photos around our home. I met with lovely people during lulls in lockdowns for portrait sessions. I created brand photos for local small businesses. Anika and I made storytelling sessions to inspire ourselves.
One upside of a different photography year is that I practiced techniques in Photoshop. I learned how to make levitation photos. I learned more techniques for composite images. Composite means to combine two or more photos to create one image. If you think of it like drawing on transparencies, so you can layer one upon another and "erase" parts that don't add to the image. I first learned it to swap expressions in big families groups if one person was blinking. But I had an understanding that was targeted to that particular need. This year, I expanded my understanding to build even more interesting images.
A great example is the photo of Anika with bubbles above. All those bubbles happened in the same session, but not necesassuty at the same time. By learning how to create composites, I could build the image with many bubbles. More that just Photoshop skills go into creating composite images. I practiced how to set up compositions beforehand to make successful layered photos. I rarely use a tripod, so lining up images was part of my learning curve. Now I can bring an awareness to every shoot about creative enhancements that can bring the best of multiple shots into one image.
Any new idea has a learning curve. One of my core principles is "always learning." I am always learning. Everything is slow in the beginning, but then things become faster and easier. I look forward to adding even more of these types of artistic photos to my collection in 2021.
My word of the year for 2020 was value. What amazes me was that I chose it with the intention to value my time and energy. To help people document their families and market their brands with valued photographs. To create lasting value in the world.
And, oof, by the end of the year, the meaning of value had completely different priorities. Value the time we are given. Value the opportunities that may feel ordinary one day, then intensely out of reach the next day. Value our friends and family and community. Value every single day. When the world changes, value changes too.
I value that I took these images to remember a historic year, and that I could go on outdoor adventures, and create photographs for families. I value all of you. Thank you for inspiring me!