2012, Thank You.

Thankful.

2012 was my first official year as a full-time business. To be honest, it’s been very challenging. Sometimes discouraging, but over-all, humbling and amazing.

I found out that my blog got close to 11,000 views this year…cool!  And my most popular post, in case you missed it, was THEO’S DAY, which makes my heart happy because I believe it is the most important shoot I have done to date.

If  you measure success by money or numbers, it might have looked like a sad year for Love Roots Photography…but for me, the ‘success’ comes in a different form.  It’s the growth I’ve made in this last year, it’s the dreaming that I’ve done and is the connections I’ve made with others through this process. What has been most amazing for me personally, are the connections with old friends, other photographers and creatives (thank you Karen, Shun-Luoi, Jewels, Liz, Mary, and Mary), and many amazing clients-now-friends.  It’s been a walk in faith and trust- in God’s provision and guidance, and in the bigger dream of somehow using this gift to change the world.  I’ve written a little about that  here 🙂

I’ve had many opportunities to grow my skills, to grow as a business person, and as a woman desiring to do something BIG.  I’m still trying to figure out what that looks like, but one thing I keep hearing and keep coming back to is the importance of being ME.  As a small business owner in the creative field, it’s so tempting to compare myself, to get down about my work, and to think often about giving up.  I’m so thankful for the people in my life who’ve encouraged me through this process – to those I know very well (my beautiful husband and best friend, Dan), to those I’ve met only once and been inspired by (Bob Goff, Jesh, Amy), and to those I’ve never met, but who have unknowingly inspired me to keep on keepin’ on…so many to name.  THANK YOU. To each person who reads this blog or looks at the pictures, THANK YOU.

I recently heard a great talk given by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) on the creative process that actually brought me to tears (ok sometimes I’m a little sensitive)….

Elizabeth Gilbert: On Genius

I love this reminder that the creative process is more than the responsibility of the individual.  I believe it is a gift. I believe each person in the world has the ability to be creative in some form or another because of the one who created us – the most Beautiful Artist of all.  I want to live in this truth that there’s more…and that God can use each of us in creative ways to change the world.

I have no idea what God has in store this coming year. I have hopes that it will be good and challenging, and most importantly, will draw me closer to Him and closer to who I’m supposed to be. My friend Mary wrote about this very thing today…I’d encourage you to check it out at  wanderingwithmary.com  In her post she quotes; “The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self, the one I designed you to be. Because you are one of a kind, the path you are traveling with Me diverges increasingly from that of other people. However, in mysterious wisdom and ways, I enable you to follow this solitary path while staying in close contact with other. In fact, the more completely you devote yourself to Me, the more freely you can love people.”

The more freely you can love people. 

Isn’t that what this life is about?

LOVING PEOPLE?

I hope and pray that this coming year, 2013, will be the best yet for each one of you. I hope that for me, too.

May we each find ways to more freely love people this year. 

And with that, here are some of my favorite images/moments from 2012.

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Some highlights:

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BELOVED.

Being introduced to the Beloved Collective this year has given me a fresh excitement about photography- it’s a unique and meaningful way to photograph people- drawing out the authentic, the genuine, the adventurous in an individual, couple, or family.  I also was blessed to be able to attend the Beloved Collective Festival where I got to meet some incredible people; photographers and other artists such as Jesh De Rox, Amy Seeley, Bob Goff, Jonas Peterson, Kristin Kalp, Maryann Taylor, Liz Arcus, and so many more wonderful souls.

The experience at the Collective Festival and my time practicing in this way has changed the way I see and experience life and photography.

I was also able to bless some friends, a couple who has blessed us immensely…

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Amy said this about their Beloved Session:

“…Through playful games, meaningful questions, and the wisdom of the God’s Spirit in and through her, Abby soon had us laughing as a family, tearfully gazing into each other’s eyes, and experiencing a connection and intimacy that Ben and I now count as one of the top five moments of our marriage.  As Ben and I spoke and listened to one another, sharing memories, affirmations, and dreams, we were literally unaware of Abby’s presence.  Now we have the most incredible pictures of our family to date, primarily because they capture who we are as a family, our smiles and joys, our tears of gratitude, and our hopes of Goodness to come.  I wish for everyone I know and love to experience a “Beloved” session.  It is a beautiful way to gift a marriage for an anniversary, a family for birthday/holiday gifts, or for an individual – marking and celebrating the Life and Grace we have each been given.  Thank you Abby!  Thank you God!”

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WEDDINGS.

In my first year of full-time photography, I met my goal of 7 weddings!  It was truly so wonderful to get to spend such intimate, special moments with couples on their wedding day. It really is an honor and I love doing it.  Yes, it can be stressful, but the beauty and genuine love overpowers that for me.  My goal for this coming year is to shoot 10 weddings. I can’t wait!

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TRAVEL.

2012 has been a year of incredible travel opportunities for me. I can hardly believe the places I’ve been able to go in just one year and I’m so, so grateful.  First of all, grateful to my husband for supporting me in these adventures…although he’s only been able to join me on a few.  I have a very adventurous heart and love to travel at any chance I get, so it’s been a huge gift to be able to travel for work. In the past year I went to Michigan, Chicago, Ohio, Palm Springs CA, New Mexico, Portland, Seattle, Bainbridge Island, and Uganda Africa! WOW….I can’t wait to see where this year will bring me (and hopefully Dan, too!) So far on the books: Hawaii, Phoenix AZ, Ohio, and potentially BC Canada, and hopefully Uganda to meet our children!

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UGANDA.

I still have so much to share about my trip.  I wrote a little here and here – please check out what I wrote about Anne and the work we got to participate in while we were there.  Life. Changing.  Dan and I are currently in the process of adopting two kids from Uganda hopefully before 2013 ends! 🙂

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THEO.

Back to THE POST of the year.  Sean and Emily are two of our dearest friends who happen to be family, too. Check out their story if you haven’t already. Such amazing, lovely, grace-filled people.  I’m changed by them, by Theo, by God’s work in it all.

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This may hold the record for the LONGEST post!  If you made it this far…I’m impressed! And thanks for reading all of it!

May God bless you in the coming year.

Cheers to a New Year of Goodness and Love!

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