A few years ago I was given a journal that has “The Master Plan” written on the front. For the past several New Years, I’ve used it to write my goals for the upcoming year. A few weeks ago I opened it and saw my personal goals for 2020, and guys I have to tell you, I laughed. I laughed at the absolute craziness of how the simplest things didn’t get to happen. Trips I couldn’t take, money I couldn’t save, and goals I couldn’t accomplish. But when I turned the page to my business goals, I was genuinely surprised that I was able to check most of them off. It reminded me that while a lot of things didn’t happen this year, some did. While we were surrounded by so much negative, which we could talk about for days, there was still light in the dark. So as I recap this year, I’m sharing with you some of my personal and professional triumphs.
While I have often found myself down this year because of things I didn’t get to do, as I reflect I am proud of a lot of things I did. I read thirty-five books and incorporated more nonfiction and classic novels. I cut soda out entirely (haven’t had a single soft drink since March!). I moved to a new apartment closer to Uptown Charlotte, I got to photograph my youngest brother graduating from high school, and I tried new coffees that I’ve had my eye on for awhile. I kept in contact with my out-of-state friends by sending birthday cards and having LOTS of FaceTime dates and I made an intentional effort to check on other’s mental health while in quarantine. I’ve celebrated friend’s pregnancy announcements and births of their first kids and I’ve watched friends say I-Do. Reflecting on all of these things has been a reminder that this year has been spent recognizing the importance of small moments, and reprioritizing what is most important.
Professionally, this was the most challenging year yet. There were moments in March, April, and May where I sincerely didn’t know what was ahead for weddings and events, and to be honest I’m still not sure what the future holds. But amongst the wedding planning chaos, I’ve been able to capture so much joy. I’ve bought my first film camera, and gotten to experiment with this incredible art form. I’ve met so many new people and gained friendships that have brought such light to my life. I had a virtual mentorship with Jenny Quicksall in California who offered such great insight to claiming your brand and connecting with other wedding industry professionals. I spent time FaceTiming and chatting on the phone with local Charlotte vendors during quarantine and met so many talented people, some of which I’ve now gotten to work with. I’ve made strides in diversifying my portfolio and got to photograph my first Indian wedding. I’ve gotten to capture new traditions, new venues, and I’ve had the opportunity to celebrate so much love. So in celebration of this, I’m including some of my favorite images from the year below that celebrate joy. Joy in their loved ones, joy in celebration, and joy in our collective realization of what is important. 2021, I’m not sure what you’ve got in store for us, but I pray for a new year filled with renewed hope, celebrations of love, and comfort among gatherings. Well wishes and a Happy New Year to all!