It was as much a year of becoming more crafted in my passion and comfortable in my personal life as it was becoming unsettled and challenged by the opportunities that were given to me. When you're able to look back and say to yourself that the good you've experienced outweighs any of the negative by a LONG shot, it is a blessing. Any challenges that came my way in 2015 were really taken on as opportunities and after looking back on a year that was completely chock full of the sweetest memories, I must say that I am more grateful now than I believe I have ever been both professionally and personally.
They say pictures are worth much more than words, so let's just jump in to a few (eh hem... okay, a LOT of) highlights from the year - bloopers, lessons, successes, the whole shebang:
1. I began incorporating medium format film into my work and my eyes were completely opened to the weight and depth that a single moment can carry. Film has completely revolutionized my work and outlook on photographing weddings and I'm so thankful to bring an entirely new perspective to my craft through shooting with film.
2. A bulldog in a bowtie. This definitely counts as a highlight.
3. I was able to photograph some pretty intimate and beautiful moments in so many of my precious friends' lives, including these two as they awaited the arrival of their sweet Madison. This was one of my first lifestyle sessions where I shot with a lot of film and loved, loved, loved the outcome.
4. Those I had the chance to work with this year taught me so much. I have seen so many different relationships and different dynamics, and I've learned that no two are the same - and that's beautiful. These two taught me about "crossing rivers" and trust. In the midst of something so literal (yes, they were literally crossing a river...) I was given the gift of watching them as they leaned on one another and never let go of each other's hands. He led her through the shallow, but rapid-like waters, stopping every so often to ensure that each of her steps were made easier by his guidance and support. That is such a lesson to learn for any couple going into a marriage. I loved being a fly on the wall for this one.
5. Time spent with family this year was not at a minimum. We've watched as my nephew has grown into a spunky little goose, we've also said goodbye to an incredible and loving soul. We were left feeling thankful for all of the time we have had since I was a little one getting to know her, and when we learned of her passing, God reminded us that life moves quickly, much more quickly than we sometimes care for, and there can be grace and calm to be found in enjoying the moment.
6. I was asked by a sweet friend of mine to use film during her ceremony to realize an image she has dreamed of since she was a little girl. And, we did it. Having the gift to give this to my clients is what will always propel me forward in my passion.
7. ALLISON PEDIGO was published!!! I mean really, HUGE highlight. Working with some of who I consider the best in the industry was a ginormous thumbs up. This was a collaborative that I am extremely proud of!
Check out thge online publish from our shoot featured in The Celebration Society - and pick up the Fall/Winter issue! - and definitely check out all of those who were involved! I 100% advise my brides and grooms to use these professionals for their day!
Venue: Hay House
Coordination and styling: Bryn Harrison Weddings & Events
Floral design and creative consultant: Amanda Jewel Floral + Design
Cakes and desserts: Bold American Events
Linens: BBJ Linen
Flatware and rented pieces: Event Rentals Unlimited
Bridal gowns: Wedding Angels Bridal Boutique
Groom's tux and details: The Modern Gent
Watercolor place cards: Charlotte Lane
8. We traveled. We saw things we hadn't seen, took things in in places we'd never been and created new experiences. From Santa Rosa, FL to Sonoma, CA, from spanish moss to the Redwood Forest. We drank (probably in excess) the BEST wine we've ever tasted, and crossed driving down the coast of California off of our bucket lists.
And I only yearn for more! I'm making a leap for 2016 and destination travels. I've opened up more for travel with ALLISON PEDIGO and will follow my clients wherever their love leads them.
8. I was able to experience new life through my long time friend's eyes and voice a small chapter of her family's story. That was a big highlight for this year.
9. My sweet friends from college had me photograph their engagement and I'm STILL in love with these captures. What a gift! I love where this path leads me.
10. I was invited by my childhood friend to see her day through and document every moment. It also happened to be my first coastal destination wedding and Savannah opened up all of the stops. Coastal air, the purest light, a cathedral like something straight from Europe, Spanish moss and, moreover, being present for each moment of her day. <3
10. My first ALL film session! This one, guys. This one taught me what I WANT my work to be. A reflection of my personal style: romantic, organic, intentional . Taking time and really focusing on what and who's in front of me. Creating something just for myself, sometimes, because that's what being a creative is all about. Learning, improving, and telling a story of those I am so fortunate to cross paths with.
11. One of my professional goals was reached this year - photographing henna!! Go ahead, you can laugh. But for real, so beautiful!!
11. We FINALLY got a house!! And boy were we grateful. We still are, I don't think there is a day that goes by that we don't say how thankful we are to have a home. It's a mess, there's a never ending amount of dog hair and we have zero dining room table (our friends are well aware of that), but it's ours, and we are so happy.
12. Rock got a dog. I say Rock, because I had no say in the matter. That dog is a Daddy's pup and there's no doubt about that... and as much as I contested this decision, I can't help but melt a little when I look at this face... ears, mouth, droopy eyes. Ugh!
Our little family ;o)
OKAY! One of the best parts of my job is that I get to laugh. I'm almost always laughing - life is so funny and when you find yourself in stressful situations and on deadlines, time crunches, and every other thing that life throws at you unexpectedly, the best thing for your soul is to just laugh. My mama taught me that and as I've grown older with more responsibility and more stressors, I've held onto her words and it's helped us to get through a lot of life's obstacles.
So, I've saved a few of my favorite bloopers from the year...
Like trying to photograph my nephew for some fall portraits... but he's 1 1/2 years old, and he keeps eating it. This pretty much explains most of our time shooting.
Rock and I were excited to get our feet in the Pacific ocean.
The Pacific Ocean was excited to engulf Rock.
Because, let's be honest. This is what family sessions really look like.
Soo, are you coming or no?
My precious Zoolander-loving couple. These two know "blue steel" unlike any other. NAILED IT.
It's all about balance. No, literally. You try balancing while being told to make a "soft smile" or turn this way all while sitting in your fiance's lap. Actually, I'm sure I just said something stupid... but aren't these two the cutest?!?
When your wedding photographer is your good friend, they would be doing you a disservice not to capture moments like these...
When your sweet Dad sees your runaway cathedral veil while giving you away and does everything in his power to fix it but instead gets tangled up.
Because everyone knows that the flower girl is the real star of the show.
...and that ringbearers are really just in it for the wedding cake.
"...maybe if I just look real cute they won't notice me drinking their... ecchhh!!"
Little known fact: dogs do not like limes. Or greyhounds (ironically).
So, to my sweet clients, friends, and supporters - thank you for the laughs!! I have so enjoyed you and your senses of humor, your open hearts and for inviting me into your lives to celebrate with you. You give me so many things to look forward to and being able to walk with you during your different seasons of life is the sweetest gift you can give me! I look so, so forward to the stories I will be able to narrate this upcoming year and everything that 2016 has to offer.