Happy 2017!

I did a heartfelt thing.

On New Year’s Eve, I wore black, to mourn the end of 2016. And by mourn I mean celebrate. I was so ready and pleased to watch 2016 die. I invited some friends over for a small get-together, where we spent the evening eating pizza and counting down the hours to the ball drop.

Also, in true Deo fashion, I busted out the Instax Mini I got for Christmas, some silver sharpies, and some good intentions.

2016 sucked. Like, I see posts on social media that are like “It wasn’t just 2016! Life has always been hard like this!” And like yeah, sure, I’ll give you the second half of that statement, but nah. 2016 was especially difficult. There was a lot of negativity in this past year– so I wanted to start off 2017 with a bit of positivity. I took pictures with and of my friends and asked them to write onto their photos what they wanted and hoped for in the coming new year.

So, here is to 2017, a year that can and will be better than the last. There will be a lot of difficulties– things are especially going to be difficult in the wake of the new government here in the United States, and in my personal life I will be graduating from graduate school and entering the work force. There is so, so much to be anxious about, and even just two weeks into the new year I have moments where I want to curl in on myself and scream. But, I wanted to 2017 to “Be hopeful & sassy!!” I’m being hopeful.

And you bet your ass I’ll be sassy, too.

Happy New Year!

It’s the first day of 2015 and I’m already pumped for the opportunities this year will bring. 2014 was so, so good to me, and I have a feeling 2015 will be even better.

Here are some highlights from 2014:

  • I improved my knowledge of Photoshop through my fun series, Fictionisms.
  • I took my first lighting course, and loved it so much it was hard to get me out of the lighting studio.
  • Home Sweet Home, the best thing I’ve done so far, was created.
  • I studied in London and traveled to Ireland, Northern Ireland, and France.
  • On above mentioned travels I orchestrated constructed images, which involved months of pre-planning. It also involved packing model ships.
  • For the first time I shot on a medium format and large format camera.
  • I learned how to cyanoype, develop black and white film, shoot with a view camera, and how to make gum bichromate prints.
  • I submitted to ArtPrize for the first time, and had my work displayed in the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
  • Out of approximately 1200 applicants to the Grand Rapids Art Museum, I was one of 19 artists chosen. I was also the youngest artist and the only student.
  • I was interviewed on live radio about my work and was on the front page of a newspaper.
  • After three years of anticipation, I started my graduate school applications.
  • I traveled by myself to the east coast, to visit schools in NYC.
  • I became a member of SPE.
  • I was the proud and honored recipient of a scholarship to go to SPE’s National Conference in New Orleans, LA.
  • My photographs have made people happy and excited.
  • My work has grown exponentially and my voice as a photographer is becoming more refined.
  • In so many ways, the path I’ve chosen as a photographer has been validated.

That’s quite the list, and honestly I’m a bit emotional over how incredible 2014 was. It was definitely filled with struggles and heartbreak, but looking for the joy of last year makes me feel thankful and confident for the year ahead. I had a fantastic 2014, and I can’t wait to conquer 2015.

2015 is going to be my best year in photography yet. Bring it on.

Happy Shooting!