Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 ~ A Creative Year in Review


I've come to love reviewing my year and coming up with a new word theme for the new year. Never in 56 years have I been so excited to take a look back and see what has worked and what hasn't in my life. I have been looking through my albums of photos for 2015 and I am amazed at the number of images I have taken of friends and family this year. I opened up a photography page on FB in late 2014, a place where I share favorite photos along with an open invitation to anyone who wants family photographs taken, all for fun and for free (that's a post I'll write soon).  So many good things have happened as a result of suiting up and showing up for free shoots. I was invited to photograph a friend's wedding which I swore I would never do again after the last one. It is nerve-racking to be the documenter of such an important day. What if you miss the great kiss? But I said yes. It was so much fun!

They were happy with my work and from that I was asked to take their annual Christmas photos (pictured here). Nothing makes me happier than having a reason to charge my battery and head out the door on any given Saturday.

I've met new friends through my photo page who trust me to take their family photos. They can't really know how much it means to me to be able to focus on bettering my skills. It isn't about the camera. It's about people. Learning to be comfortable from behind the lens.
Last year when I chose the word create, I didn't think of it as a word in terms of art only. I wanted to create time and space to do the things that really turn me on as a human being ... every day. I feel like I accomplished that, and more. Here are a few highlights of what I can remember of this year: 
  • I photographed families and friends May through December.
  • Read 22 books (a bit short of my goal of 52 but I'm not beating myself up about it!)
  • Took Remi to an agility class (BIG FUN!)
  • Traveled to Spokane with life-long friends and visited my new favorite Manito Gardens
  • Got creative in the kitchen -- made homemade tomato sauce from scratch for the first time ever and tried a summer squash alfredo recipe with a friend
  •  Started emailing my son and step daughter on a regular basis to keep in touch
What didn't work well in 2015? I can think of nothing. Weird. Okay, if I have to think of just one thing it would be indoor shoots. I hate harsh flash lighting, especially when there are children to photograph. I will be studying and finding ways to improve this over the next year. There. I said it.

So here is the part where I choose my theme word for 2016. I've learned to listen to that voice in my head that comes from a good place. The voice that wants me to do well and be happy. It's been telling me to improve.  Improve on what I already know. Improve in areas that need attention. I know what those areas are. Writing, reading, better eating habits, better housekeeping, better communication, better relationships, better time management, better dog training.

In the past, my theme words have been minimize, develop, focus, create. I think improve is a great word to add to these life-changing ideas.

Here goes!

Do you have a theme word? What is it? Tell me!

love, susan


  1. I've been sifting through theme word ideas for several weeks and finally chose "Feel." I stifle my feelings too often. I am giving myself permission to feel pain, sorrow, grief, happiness, joy, passion... I made goals that will help me feel capable, strong, healthy, connected... Right now I feel optimistic!

    1. That is a great theme word! I can't wait to see how that unfolds for you.


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