Reflections on my “Word of the Year” for 2019.

Excited

That was the word I choose for 2019— a word to guide my decisions and provide focus towards the goals I would lay out for the new year. I filled my planner with inspirational quotes related to excitement. I reflected on new opportunities through the lens of excitement. Now, at the end of it all, I really believe it helped to put me in the right mindset as I navigated the past year. If I wasn’t excited about it, I didn’t do it! If I was excited about something, I focused on that feeling to keep me motivated as I completed the task.

So now, as is the trendy thing to do this time of year, I’d like to look back at the four things that “word of the year” brought me in 2019.

Styled Shoots: When I look at my 2019 calendar, I’m overwhelmed by the number of amazing shoots I was able to plan and/or participate in. I love doing styled weddings and sessions because they allow so much freedom to learn, meet new people, and play with your creativity. This year, we got to work with Chateau Selah, the International Storytelling Center, Carnegie Hotel, and Allandale Mansion. These shoots gave me so much inspiration and allowed me to explore so many new shooting and editing styles.

Education: The second thing that “excitement” led me to this year was two workshops by amazing photographers: Lindsey Adler and Vanessa Joy. When I saw that I could have the chance to attend these classes, I didn’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity! Normally, I would talk myself out of things like this, but I’m so glad I didn’t this year! When coupled with the styled work we did throughout the year, I’ve gained so much knowledge that I’ve been able to incorporate into my regular shooting schedule.

Social Involvement: This is not something I would normally be excited about since I’m more of an introverted extrovert… but I did love the idea of being involved in the community at large. So this year, I decided to say yes to two opportunities that would push me into the community more. First is the organization 100+ Tri-Cities Women Who Care. I’m so glad I joined this amazing group! I’ve met some wonderful women and played a small part of over $40,000 in charity donations to local programs. Secondly, I became a local leader for the Rising Tide Society. This is a group of creative small businesses that come together to support and learn from each other in the spirit of community over competition. (You can check out our local chapter HERE or on FB.) As much as it’s outside of my normal comfort zone, I’ve loved every moment of getting to organize and host meetings, feeding off the energy of the national leadership team, and meeting new people in our local area that are starting their business journey. I’m immensely glad I said yes to these opportunities!

Motivation: If I had to name the one thing I’ve struggled with the most in recent years, it would be motivation. I’ve always had big ideas and goals that just slowly die because I don’t have the energy to pursue them. This year, I’ve worked really hard to change that. I still have a long way to go, but I wanted to actively pursue being excited about the future rather than just moving from day to day without purpose. Among other things, I began taking purposeful steps towards staying focused and mindful of what I want to achieve. And, though nothing is ready to be public knowledge yet, I’m hoping that 2020 will hold at least two exciting announcements for The Modern Heart.

So now that we’ve gone through all that, please join me in reminiscing on some of my favorite images from 2019! As always, thanks so much for the support, love, and encouragement that you each give me. We pour my heart and soul into our work and it means the world to me that it is enjoyed and meaningful to those I get to work with! Thanks for being around! See you in 20/20! (Punny right?…)

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