Is 2012 really over? I have no idea where it went, and yet… it seems so long ago that I first launched this site and wrote my first blog. 2012 has brought so many personal and professional blessings that I am so grateful for.
And as I started to go back through my images from the 80+ sessions that I did over the last year, I was smiling thinking about all of the memories from each session, and all of the new friendships that I’ve built through this journey. And I decided to take a fun look back at just a few of the memories/photos/lessons learned over the last year. Thanks for taking the journey down 2012’s memory lane with me… and more importantly, THANK YOU for your support in allowing the journey to continue into 2013.
Most referenced image
I can’t tell you how many parents tell me how much they love “the bubble picture.” What’s great about this image, of course, is the sweetness of the moment between Dad and daughter… but what the picture DOESN’T show (and what me, Mom and Dad know the truth about!) is that we spent the next hour trying to pry that bubble jar out of her hands. There was a lot of editing wet bubble spots off shirts, and cropping bubble containers out of hands – but it didn’t matter, this little one delivered an adorable session!
Most inspiring parents
To say that these two parents are the most fun mom-dad duo ever would be the understatement of the century. During their daughter’s one-year session, they were crawling on the floor with her, climbing into toy houses, singing and dancing with no reservations, and letting their little one smear cake on both her face AND theirs… (did I mention we were in a public place?!) They even asked me to not edit out the little scratch she had on her face because they said it added character! 🙂 And, probably most memorable was Dad’s statement that his only hope for his daughter in her lifetime is that she knows how to love and be loved. Absolutely LOVE their spirit!
Best Deliverers of the Perfect Imperfect Image
These three never want to all look at the camera at the same time. One does. One is mad about it. And the other one is picking his nose. What’s great about that? Mom loves those images because a day in the life of these three brothers all under the age of five. (Love you guys!)
Most un-cooperative baby
Mine. During her 6-month photo shoot.
Favorite not-so-Photography-by-Brea-styled photo
As most of you know – this type of set-up is not my typical thing. So many photographers do an amazing job of creating themed shoots, but my creativity just seems to thrive a little more in other areas. BUT – Mom told me that Dad loved to read Dr. Suess to this little one, and wanted to incorporate it into her shoot to give it to him as a gift and I was so excited we pulled this off. The cool thing? This was simply shot against a wall in my daughter’s nursery using the light coming through the window.
Favorite sports-themed newborn photo
I was so excited to show this little guy’s golf-loving Dad this final image. His response? “Why didn’t you pick a better golf ball?” Hilarious! (He’s a family BFF. It’s ok!)
We warned this little guy that there were a few bugs outside that day. He apparently loves bugs.
Favorite Picture by Lake Erie
I told Mom that the minute I saw this shot hit my camera that it was going to be my favorite water-side picture I’d ever taken. It still stands. (How much do you LOVE her dress!)
Photo that people most randomly brought up
I always go through this thing where I wonder if anyone ever even pays attention to the pictures I post on Facebook. Then, I randomly run into people who not only say that they see my pictures, but that they also remember specific ones. This particular image was probably the picture that people brought up the most.
Picture that I can’t explain why I love it so much but I do
I adore this image. And I have from the minute I took it. Something so simple and sweet about it that just makes me smile every time I see it.
Favorite location not picked by me
This family invited me out to their family farm on the East Side to help make this shoot even more personal. The result was this awesome, intimate feeling to the whole session where the kids just led the way and showed me around this awesome property – which ultimately resulted in some really fun, laid back shots like this one on the dirt road outside the farm. I hope this happens more often next year … I love when we can make a session even more unique.
Favorite personal pic
I will forever adore this picture of my husband and our baby girl. It was Father’s Day, and he was DYING to be the one to take her for her first swim. He was leaving for two weeks for work the next day, and knew that I would probably want to take her to the pool while he was away. So, despite the raindrops, he made it happen. And I love the way this image captures that memory.
Session that solidified my want to continue to pursue high school senior photography
I walked away from this shoot back in September with a really exciting bounce in my step. I remember calling my husband immediately after the shoot was over and raving about how much I loved working with young adults. This particular senior was so well spoken, so humble and carried great conversation. Inspiring from what we typically think from the younger generation. I loved trying to bring out all of the different parts of her personality in images – and realized that I want to try to do more of that for others just like her in 2013.
Biggest out-of-the-box challenge
I went out on a limb this past September and agreed to help photograph a former coworker’s small, intimate wedding ceremony in Bay Village. I was scared to death to photograph a wedding solo for the first time – but in the end, it was an amazing experience and I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to work with.
Favorite Black and White Image
This one was shot at Squire’s Castle earlier this year. Love the simplicity.
Kid who made newborn shoot down-time the most fun
During newborn shoots, I spend a lot of time just hanging out and waiting while Mom and Dad tend to a crying, hungry or needs-to-be-changed baby. Most of the time, I’ll sit on the floor and go back through my images I had already taken or prep the next couple of set-ups… but this older brother would have nothing of it. We played board games and he showed me all of his cool toys. Loved his spunk!
Sweetest Newborn Smile (TIE!)
Even though I usually don’t want to know what it is that is making these newborns smile (I’d like to believe it’s because they absolutely LOVE having their photo taken!) Regardless… there’s nothing sweeter when those little grins show.
Most asked-about attire
When this handsome little guy showed up on my Facebook post, I immediately had 4-5 moms ask me to ask this guy’s mom where she landed this amazing jacket! How could you not wonder when a 2-year-old can look this dapper! For those of you wondering… it’s Target! 🙂
Rookies of the Year
When this Mom reached out to me she let me know that she had never had professional photos done of the family… but was excited about giving it a try. Could have fooled me – they were naturals in front of the camera. I hope to discover more families like them and introduce them to the experience of documenting their family’s fleeting moments.
Favorite Newborn Accessory
This red rose headband being ROCKED by this sweet angel was made by my hometown friend of AngelFace BowsnClips was a fan favorite, and mine as well. She makes these for older kids too – so if you are a lover of headbands, this one is a MUST for your collection.
Most Peaceful Newborn Photo
Love how this captures the sweet innocence of a sleeping baby 🙂
Best victory over mother nature
This was one of the most anticipated sessions in history 🙂 Not only had we had the session scheduled three months in advance, but we had to reschedule multiple times thanks to Mother Nature’s bad sense of humor. But, once the session happened – the reality was that there was no other day that could have been more perfect, no location more special, and no family more awesome for their patience.
One of my favorite parts of newborn photography: Capturing a new Mom’s beauty
No Mom “feels” beautiful in the first days after having a baby, but I love to show them how beautiful they ARE.
Why I love what I do
Years with our kids are fleeting. One minute they are trying to crawl and the next they are enrolling in summer soccer. I love that I have the opportunity to freeze moments for a family so that they can frame them, display them in their home, and hopefully walk by them for years to come and be able to relive the moments that seemed to pass so quickly.
Favorite shot of me and my daughter
Oh, this photo. I will cherish this photo for-EVER. My sister knows how much I hate that sometimes I miss being in photos with this sweet girl because I’m usually the one behind the lens. So, when she was visiting in October she suggested heading outside and taking a couple of shots of me and the babe. There’s a running joke that when she takes my camera she typically misses the focus… but she didn’t miss a THING here. In fact, she capturing every emotion and pure joy that I feel being a Mom. And I will always remember this pic as the last day that my babe DIDN’T know how to walk… because she took her first real steps the next day.
Commitment for 2013: To only be Brea
In this business… it is very easy to compare yourself to others. There are so many local and national photographers that I admire and who inspire me – and they show up on my Facebook news feed every day. But, the beauty of this industry is the fact that there is a style of photography out there for everyone. And for me, the only style that I know is my own… both in the way that I approach my sessions and the way I produce an image…. and today, I am making the commitment to stay true to that – and not second guess that – into 2013.
Thank you to all of you who welcomed me into your lives in 2012 to help me capture YOUR memories! I appreciate your support more than you know… and I look forward to seeing you all in 2013. Wishing all of you happiness, good health and unending memories in the new year.