I didn't consider doing a "best of" list until Jeff Lautenberger and Chris Dunn were talking about them yesterday on Twitter. I had seen a few others, such as Andrew Dickinson do them — and thought they were great. It is a bit late for a "best of 2011" page, as we're a month into 2012. But I think the power of reflection is strong and it's good to look back at the work I've done and see what I've learned in the past year. Also, these aren't necessarily my "best" pictures, but ones I feel like I learned something from or felt an immense growth from after shooting it.
For me, 2011 was a very exceptional year, in that it was much different than others. I took risks, leaving my friends and family behind to go abroad for six months, meeting amazing people and learning a great deal about myself and my craft along the way.
After being home for a week, I traveled to New York for an internship, totaling my time away to nine months. But I wasn't alone!
I did stories that were personal to me.
I shot a photo story, sharing no common language with my subject. And I still kind of like the pictures I took.
I embraced shooting portraits, something I hated for so long.
I am no longer afraid to go into a studio with little-to-no preparation.
I traveled. And paid a lot of extra baggage fees, thanks to RyanAir. But I learned to love it, even though I'm still awful at packing light.
I explored other cultures and came away with my preconceived notions destroyed.
I embraced the shitty light. And I spent time with wonderful people.
I loved every minute of this last year — well, that's a lie. It was really difficult. And I will not pretend to like European bathrooms. But it was all worth it. Here's to an even more enriching, culture and experimental year full of learning and love.