2016: a review.

2016.  A time of massive changes, both personally and globally.  Sometimes it feels like everything we love is disappearing, but I still believe in small victories.  This year, I've had less time to pursue personal projects, because I.., 

1. Bought a house and moved in. 
2. Proposed
3. Eloped
4. Helped my new wife move and set up a pottery studio.
5. Changed camera systems entirely from Canon to Nikon in July.
6. Increased commercial photo work. 
7. Changed editing software platforms in December. 
8. A few more things, I'm currently working on :-).  

In the middle of all of this, I have been made increasingly aware of the small undeserved blessings I've been given.  A safe place to sleep, a supportive partner, and people who want to see me succeed and use their reference to help spread the word.  To everyone who shows their support, I am eternally grateful.  

I've compiled a few photos that represented those small victories this year.  There are a lot of portraits, a few architecture photos, and a magazine cover.  In their own way, each photo felt like I was breaking a small amount of new ground.  After the initial rush in a career, the large victories are harder to find, but the small differences are encouragement.  I hope to continue to make the small refinements in 2017 that will make each photo session I offer a more inspiring and productive experience. 

A common thread throughout my creative career is the tension between confrontation and contemplation.  I will always be drawn to a thoughtful artistic statement that doesn't scrub out the shadows.  In my musical career, I've split between aggressive and ambient.  In my photo career I zero in on alone moments, even in a crowd.  I find that I can recognize that moment in myself.   A photographers job is often that of a outsider.  In some ways the camera is a shield.  I can put it down and engage, but raise it again and I become the observer.  A camera in that way can become a peephole through which you view the world.  Even in the middle of the room, the door may be opened or bolted.  

Joy, anger, fear, sadness - these are feeling that shout though the door. In some ways, 2016 was a year of this type of feeling. If you weren't shouting you weren't heard.  If I stopped there as a photographer and only captured the primary shouts of feeling, I could certainly do worse, but there are so many other whispers, so many combinations, so many quiet stories.  For 2017, I want to unbolt the door.  A peephole is a protective device, but it also distorts.  Removed, I may hear clearly that which doesn't shout.  I can tell the quiet stories.