Merry Christmas Eve-Eve!!

What an amazing year 2015 has been! This year has been filled to overflowing with blessings. It's been so great to take some time these last few days to reflect on the past year. As a result, today I am going to share 5 of my favorite "happenings" from 2015.

#1 -- Relationships

Thank goodness for a great smart phone camera and Instagram! Otherwise I seriously would be hurting for photos of my personal life. I rarely have my pro camera with me except when I'm home or working. But, like my friend Jared Platt says, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

The above photos are a testament to how blessed I am. I've always known I am blessed with incredible people in my life, but I feel like 2015 was a year of taking that truth to the next level. The relationships I've grown with the above precious people, and many more who I just didn't happen to have photos handy for (but you know who you are!) is one of my favorite things about this year.

#2 -- Shooting film
2015 was my first full year shooting medium format film. It's been about a year and a half now that I've been incorporating film into my work, and I feel reborn as an artist. The two things I love most about film are the color it produces and the way it handles light. The color in film images is sublime. SO beautiful. And film handles harsh light so much better than digital cameras do. It's nearly impossible to blow out a sky (causing it to lose color and turn white) when you're shooting film -- something that is often unavoidable with digital photography. The reason I made this switch is purely for the look of what I can produce as an artist with this medium and because it has caused me to feel inspired. I love it and can't wait to shoot more of it!! To see more of the film work I've done this year, click here.

#3 -- Raising $10,000 for Autism
As many of you know, I have two nephews with autism. So the fact that there is no known cause or cure for this epidemic that affects 1 in 68 children (an increase of 600% over the past two decades) is heart-wrenching to me. This year, my team walked for the 9th year in a row to raise money and awareness for autism. Our team was huge -- 91 strong -- and we raised $10,420!!! Amazing! Click here to see more photos from this year's walk! And thanks again to all of you who donated and walked! Over $100,000 was raised and will go directly to fund multiple research studies for children and adults with autism. I can't wait to see what our efforts will accomplish!

#4 -- Growing in Trust
God has shown me again and again this year that He is my provider. For both the big things and the little things. So why do I worry so much and try so hard to figure out everything on my own? Good question, self -- haha! Seriously, I'm a work in progress on this one, but I know God has called me this year to grow in my trust in Him. He keeps showing me again and again, that he is faithful. I was blessed to be able to go on a spiritual retreat to the gorgeous mountains of Colorado this summer for the 3rd year in a row, attend an amazing church, and participate in a small group of women who study God's Word. All three experiences impacted me greatly.

#5 -- Business Growth
This year was a year of growth and rebuilding for both of my businesses. Between my five associate photographers and I, our studio shot a total of 42 weddings in 2015 (up from 39 in 2014). I had the honor of being featured on MSNBC. I was blessed to shoot a 2nd campaign for Coca-Cola in partnership with AVE Styles. My album design company, Align, designed nearly 1000 albums for photographers around the globe. We worked behind the scenes to implement some exciting updates in automation and marketing. And I was blessed to get to travel to Nantucket, Las Vegas, Denver, Florida, and New York. I feel thankful and overwhelmed all at the same time as I look back on 2015. It was A LOT of work. But man, was it ever rewarding.

Thank you all for reading and sharing in my journey! I can't wait to see what 2016 holds in store for all of us!
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