Every year, I do a year end summary of my year. I think 2020 turned out differently than expected for everybody. When I look at my goals for 2020 that I made in December of 2019, I laugh a little.
Those goals were:
Grow the Podcast
Be more present
Make Better Art
The podcast is a travel podcast, so I have a great excuse for not following through there. The year started out okay with a trip to Bristol, VA/TN in early January. I am sure I was the only tourist in town that weekend. But it was still nice. Visit the podcast to hear about it or read about it here. I did not go anywhere again until September and that was a family trip to the lake. And in October, I was chomping at the bit and had to go somewhere, so I went to Charlotte, NC. You can listen to that here. I will admit that I was not ready to travel yet. Lesson learned.
As for the be more present, I am doing well at that. Especially with my family. I’ve had little choice in learning patience.
Since traveling was not on the table much, I took photos of items that I had around the house. See some of those here and here.
A lot of dreams died this year. Mine were just put to sleep and went into hibernation. Some sad things happened this year, we lost one our cats (a cat very special to me). But I feel we have been very lucky. We’ve both kept our jobs and most of our sanity.
So, my goals for 2021 are a little bit different. They are more personal.
I think most people take time the end of year looking back and considering what the years end signifies for them. What did they do? What did they want to do but did not? Last year, I did a year end blog. As I read through it now, I realized I didn’t even put my goals for 2019 on it! But that’s okay. I don’t remember them now. But I will tell you what I did do and what I hope to do in 2020.
Early 2019 brought quite a bit of travel for me. I had several pieces in a juried show in NYC, so my husband and I took the train up for the opening reception. We stayed several days in a very cold and rainy New York. The train trip up was amazing and definitely something I would love to do again.
We also spent a couple of days in Pensacola Beach for a memorial service for a family member. We visited downtown Pensacola and spent some time walking on the beach.
I visited friends in Boston and Providence, learning a great deal about my country’s history, good and bad.
Around mid-summer, I came up with a new idea, a travel podcast. So, not being one to research or plan, I started one! It’s called Tourist in your Town. It started out to be just about what to see and do when you visit a place. But it quickly evolved into a combination of travel and history. Check it out!
I did talk about starting a commercial photography studio in that late 2018 blog. I sort of did that. I have the gear and the space. I even did some freelance work over the year. But I discovered that I had two options. One was to leave my full-time paying job and hope that I could get enough work to pay my bills. Or two, stop taking freelance work, keep that full-time gig, and pursue my true passions, travel and art photography in my spare time. I chose the second option. Probably because I’m not the kind of person to take big chances. I would, of course, take the right kind of freelance work if it landed in my lap. But I’m not pursuing it and I am saying no to things that just aren’t worth it. I value my time too much for that.
My aha! moment
I did spend most of 2019 angry and sad about losing that dream that I didn’t know I had (lost job in 2018). But towards the end of the year, someone posted a meme on FB that said something like what would yourself from 10 years ago think of yourself now. And my brain popped. Myself from 10 years ago had no clue of any of the things I’m doing now. That person’s goals looked very different from my current goals and wins. Now, I all I can think is how excited I am for the next 10 years!
Goals for 2020
So, what are my goals for 2020?
Grow the podcast
Be more present
Make better art
Feel free to share your own goals in the comments or just post a link to your own blog!
At the end of 2017, I wrote a blog about my first and last images of the year. I thought I would do the same this year. It’s a great way to see where I’ve been and if I have gotten better or worse or about the same.
The first image I uploaded in 2018. I love fantasy books and art. I have been attempting to create some of my own. Silver keys hang from an overgrown vine, just waiting to be plucked. It has the feel of a dream.
The last image uploaded in 2018. This started out as an image created for a stripes image challenge. But it turned out to be more about the hands. I see a series of hands coming soon.
Be sure to share your own 2018 retrospectives in the comments! Feedback is also welcome.
All images are available as prints. If you click on the image, it will take you directly to my shop.
Every January, I set goals for myself. Sometimes those goals are small. Sometimes they can be far fetched and high reaching. In January of 2018, I set 3 goals for myself. I did not do any of them. However, I don’t feel like I failed myself. Because life changes, it’s important to be fluid and willing to change direction. So instead of completing my original goals, I found myself meeting goals I did not even know I had.
My first goal was to create a training video. I have developed a strong desire to share my knowledge with others. But I guess I’m having a hard time convincing myself that people want or need that knowledge. I know that I should do it anyway, it’ll make me better at what I do. On a side note, I did create a video of my work flow for my new job. But cannot share it on here.
Speaking of jobs, I lost my job in July of 2018. This changed things drastically for me. I had to find a new job and so will not have actual vacation time until next year. That means, there was no beach trip for me. However, when I was unemployed, I was able to help a friend and go to New York City for a couple of days. This helped create a huge opportunity for me. I took some great photos and even got a couple of them into a juried show.
The loss of my job did give me a little kick in the butt and I have started my own commercial product photography business. So, that studio that I was going to set up? When I was out of work, I started really working on that. I bought new strobes and have done several freelance jobs. However, now that I am back at a nine to five job, it’s hard to get myself motivated to finish it. It’s also difficult to pick up work, since I can only work after hours or weekends.
So, I find myself at the end of 2018, goals unfinished. As I said before, it’s important to be willing to change direction when life tells you to. So, 2019 will have new goals. I may not meet those either. But I have no doubt that I will still do some awesome things!
I did a year end review of my favorite and least favorite still life images. As promises here are my favorite and least favorite night images.
Favorite Night Photography
Night photography is my current obsession. As I mentioned in my America After Dark gallery. This image is from the Dragon Lights Festival. There is a color version of this and it’s nice. But I love the way the black and white makes it about the light and dark and highlights the shapes of the flowers and people.
A favorite of not just my night photography, but also my photos from Knoxville. The Tennessee Theatre marquee is lit up and people are walking through town. In the lower right corner is a young girl with a pink jacket, she makes this photo for me. I love subtle touches in photos.
The Chrysler Building takes center stage in this New York skyline photo. I took this from the observation deck on the Empire State Building. I had to squeeze myself in between people taking selfies and some lovers making out. But totally worth it!
The Daylight Building in downtown Knoxville, TN. I took this while wondering around downtown. I couldn’t find anything that caught my eye. So, I was headed back to the car. And there it was. The single person, the lone bicycle, and the shops all lit up for the night.
Least Favorite Night Photography
It’s not that I don’t like these images but I feel like they could be better.
I don’t like the stop sign or the car in this image. As we were leaving, I noticed a better angle and it’s been bugging me ever since. I think I will have to go back and get a better pic. Also, eat pizza!
I think I might like this better if shot a little closer to sunset, so the 1907 and the outline of the clock could be more pronounced. Yes, I could lighten it but that would produce an unnatural grainy look.
Thank you for visiting my most and least favorite list of night photography from this year. Feel free to share your own end of year blogs in the comments below!
Prints are available of all images in my Pixels store. Click here. You can also click on the image and it will take you directly to the store.
At the end of the year, I like to revisit my images. I like to see where I started and where I ended. I usually choose my favorites from the year. But this year, I am going to share a few of my favorites and a few of my least favorites. I will do several of these. Each with a theme, so they don’t get too long. As always, comments are welcome!
The first one will be still life photography. The next will be night photography. Then we will look at travel photography. After that, it’ll be 2019 and time to start again!
Still Life Photography
This was one of the first images I shared in January. In the winter months, I have a hard time going outside (cold, ugh). So, I often do some experimenting with still life images. The camera is an Olympus film camera. The case is an old make up case that I found at a garage sale in Winchester, KY. I have this in color and black and white. I prefer the black and white version because it echoes that sense of antiquity and gives it a vintage feel. Definitely, one of my favorite still life images!
This image was taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. The theme was jewelry not being worn. I love the dirty, grungy background with the smooth silver and beads. The selective color gives it that pop. I want to do more of these next year!
Another image taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. I love anything pertaining to time – watches, clocks, hourglasses. I finished this with a sepia tone and a vignette to give it an old, timeless feel.
When I say least favorite, I just mean they don’t speak to me the same way the others do. I don’t hate them, or I wouldn’t be sharing them.
The exact same image as above without the vintage finish. The watches feel too new and it just does not speak to me in the same way.
This is my least favorite still life created this year. It’s boring and just does not speak to me. This was taken on a super bright spring day. I did very little planning and spent almost no time on it. Maybe I should try again. Maybe not.
I hesitated on this one. I like it. I love the black and white finish with the white vignette. The shallow depth of field. And the phone itself is a work of art. But I think I could have done something better with this and will keep trying.
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to watch for the next installment of my year end review! Do you have a year end blog? Feel free to share in the comments!
As always, the images are available as prints and other products in my shop!