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Looking back at 2022



On the first day of 2022, I woke up to a loud crash. It was 1:00 pm. Having stayed up to photograph a New Year's Eve wedding the previous night, every hour in bed felt desperately needed. At first, I thought it was an earthquake. Then, I realized that I didn't care what it was and tried to close my eyes again.


I heard the sound of neighbors scuttling about. Some of them were yelling, others were laughing. Eventually, I threw on a robe and made coffee. I heard a loud knock on the door, and my neighbor Toi yelled "why aren't you out here?". I didn't bother changing out of the bathrobe and shuffled outside to find out about the commotion. There was snow on the ground, and bystanders gathered to stare at my building.


"Oh, the roof collapsed," I dimly observed.

"Yep," confirmed Toi.


"This place will be the death of me," my partner said a little later, as we watched firefighters begin the evacuation process.


"We need to move," I said.


--


There's a Russian saying that goes: как встретить новый год так его и проведешь

The rough translation: the way you greet the new year is how you'll spend it.


Freezing in the snow-rain, I couldn't help but wonder what this would mean for the year to come.


--


But today, on NYE, I'm happy to report that the year was not cursed.


I wanted to share a few successes from this year, in addition to some of my favorite images. 2022 was the year of trusting my work, recovering the life that slipped away during the pandemic, and, in a way, coming back to who I used to be.


Here's the happy scoop:

  • We moved shortly after the collapse, even though others continued to occupy the building and it was deemed habitable. Our new spot is downtown (a first for me!) and a much larger space.

  • In February, a client flew me to Miami to photograph their wedding, and I extended the trip by five days to see the sights and soak in the sun. It was a spectacular day, and I got to work alongside one of the photography "greats" by complete accident.

  • I gifted myself a solo train ride to Montana and spent nearly a week exploring Glacier National Park.

  • An Australian company called Riparide moved to the Seattle market. They offered me a storyteller position -- which became a catalyst for many local trips and outings.

  • I continued exploring a new career path with Machtley Group, a consulting/marketing firm I've been with since 2021. This year, our client base increased, our team doubled in size, we founded two side companies, and snuck some moments of silliness together in Vegas.

  • Though intentionally taking on fewer clients, I still got to photograph 17 weddings.

  • A friend reached out about a book project with a well-known publisher. We've been long-time collaborators for years, though she recently went on to explore a different creative path. Given the scope of our project, we were able to put together our dream shoot in early December. Please pardon my vagueness about this one! It's still hush-hush for now.

  • My biggest client shoot to date also happened toward the end of the year. I was hired to photograph 200 headshots for an elite structural engineering firm, and later learned that they're the people behind a majority of the buildings I marvel at in Seattle.

  • My partner and I put our names down on a waitlist for a puppy. Cannot wait to bop her on the nose for the first time.

  • We're spending the holidays in/around Savannah and Charleston (eating our way around this corner of the US).

These are the highlights, along with hundreds of client shoots and a handful of collaborations.


Happy near-2023, to everyone still reading. And thank you for supporting my little one-person business, and cheers to a bright new year.

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