a look back at 2010 in photos


so, if you had to pick a favorite photo of yours from 2010, could you? in past years, i would have had a really hard time choosing just one favorite. but this year, it was easy. my absolute favorite photo of 2010 is the one above. it's a shot i took of my friend claire last september. {if you have been reading here, you know all about me getting to meet this blogger from south africa who i befriended almost immediately after i began blogging.}

i did not set out to make this my favorite photograph of 2010. it just sort of happened. i had a vision of how i wanted this photo to turn out when i was taking it. i thought i would have to do ten or twelve tries before i got the shot i wanted. but i actually got it on the second try! and when i looked in the lcd screen of my camera, not only did i know right then and there that it would be my favorite photo of 2010... i knew it would be my favorite photo i've taken EVER! {at least up until this point}

it just stands out as a "better than what i feel i am capable of" type of photo. but i have to say... i got lucky. i mean, look at my subject! she is like a goddess. the expression on her face was completely her doing. i in no way directed her to look so expressive and perfectly frozen in time. so peaceful. so beautiful. so, i know i am just lucky. still... i pushed the shutter button at the precise moment to capture this image, so i have to give myself at least a little credit. and thus, i can not help but make this my favorite photo.

i have received a lot of nice feedback on it, so i feel like others see in it what i do, too. but even if not, it will remain my favorite shot for now. if i could ever top this, i would be one happy photographer!

well, there are a few others photos from 2010 that have really stood out for me... shots which have made me love photography, made me give myself some credit in artistry and creativity, and just plain make me smile when i see them. i will include them here:

rain delay
i could describe this one much like i described the shot of claire... it was just one of those right place at the right time photos. my best friend, jessi, showed up at my house in just the right ensemble on just the right kind of rainy day to make just the right kind of photo in just the right kind of place {the woodstock historic downtown square}. i feel it is one of the most unique shots i have ever taken. like the above photo, i can rank this in my top photos ever, and not just in 2010.

i took this last spring when the magnolia trees were all in bloom. i added a texture overlay of some bokeh to get this ethereal effect, and i was so pleased with the result.

cardinal in flight
okay... once again, right time, right place. saw this little guy perched on a branch outside the window where i sit and blog. i ran to the door to get his picture, but just as i clicked, he flew away. i can guarantee... this is far better a shot than if i had snapped while he was just sitting still. i was ecstatic with the result... blurry or not!

b. playing guitar
this was my favorite artsy-fartsy picture. i did a lot of planning on this shot. b. was playing guitar one morning, and the light was coming through his man cave just right. i took my time while he sat and played and just let the mood of the moment move me to creativity. i get a lot of compliments on this shot {some of you may remember the black and white version from my christmas card this year}, and that makes me glad, as it is my favorite shot of b.

just me
this was probably my favorite attempt at a self-portrait in 2010 {something i wanted to get better at and more creative with, but never did get around to doing}. if not the above self-portrait, then this selfie is my favorite.

a way that beckons
last, but not least, this is my favorite path picture that i have ever taken. if you know me well, you know i LOVE pictures of paths! they have so much symbolic meaning to me. and i'm just so drawn to any kind of image of a path... as if the photo itself beckons me to jump in and wander down the path to see what lies ahead. i know it's not the best photo in the world {well, none of these are}, but it is one of the shots i was most drawn to this year.

last year, i made a set on flickr for my favorite photos of 2009. i added 365 photos... one for each day, but not all necessarily taken each day of the year. that seems like a lot of photos, but compared to how many i took that year, it was not.

this year {for reasons you can know by reading much of what i have recently written on my blog... if you have not already}, i have not taken nearly as many photos as i have in past years. and that is sad to me, because this was supposed to be a year for me to really pursue learning more about photography, my cameras and what direction i want to go with photography. i wanted to grow a lot in my abilities, but i feel i did not very much.

yet, this was an exciting year for me. i did my first wedding shoot {for my best friend... so, sort of informal, but a real shoot none the less. a link to these photos appears toward the bottom of this post.}. i shot my first family shoot {for which i was paid!}. i did my first engagement shoot {for the dear friend i am spending new years eve with. i have never uploaded her photos to flickr, but i hope to do so very soon.}. i was going to do a maternity shoot {for my brother- and sister-in-law}, but the plan was undone when the mother's baby came two months early. maybe next time! i did a shoot at a charity event, or rather, a benefit for a man with cancer {still not uploaded}. i did an impromptu/informal senior portrait shoot. and then i did some other informal photography... like shooting and documenting an interview between my brother and a friend.

2010 was also the first year i had my work featured by an amazing professional photographer and friend... along with her interview of me. it was also the first year that i was a week-long guest blogger for {and also interviewed by} two other very talented photographer/bloggers. and, in 2010, i had a few photos featured on shutter sisters, and i had a photo found by an online chicago tour guide rep who asked to use it in their guide {photos and review section} for the morton arboretum page. i said yes! lastly, this is the year i finally decided to create a calendar using my photos for the coming year.

so, though i did not pursue photography the way i had hoped to this year, there were a lot of unexpected opportunities along the way. still... i had hoped to take a class, maybe go on some photo walks with friends or fellow-photographers i've met online, maybe purchase some new equipment and bells and whistles to aid in my photography, and at the very least, take pictures consistently. instead, i set my camera down for months at a time and even came close to losing interest at one point.

but one thing i do know... i came to a point {after talking to a dear old friend who was visiting from texas and hearing her story} where i decided to really surrender my talents and desires in regards to photography to God. she is a very talented singer and song writer. she had shared with me how she decided one day to surrender her talents and hopes and dreams about music to God. {we have the same spiritual faith, so i immediately understood what she meant.} she was not sure where God wanted to take her professionally {or even unprofessionally} with her music. so she decided, rather than try to figure it out on her own and try to make everything happen herself, she would just give it to God, knowing that he would honor that attitude of surrender and yielding. i thought to myself how this only makes sense... giving back to God what was {i believe} never ours to begin with... those talents and gifts he blessed us with. it's not giving it back in a way of letting go without hopes of ever enjoying it again... never being able to do something with it. rather, it's giving it back with a humble attitude that says "you gave this to me in the first place... the talents. the desires. now i surrender it to you and ask that i not take control, but that you lead and show me what it is you want me to do with it. i ask that you be the center of my life and the center of this passion i have. point me in the direction you want me to go with it, or show me if it is something you don't want for me right now." if you ask me, there is no better place to be with anything in life... in a place of surrender to the one who created us, formed us and has a plan for us.

well, inspired by my friend to do the same, i decided to take a walk one day last summer and pray the very same thing. i walked for as long as it took me to pray all i had to say on the matter to him. it was not just about photography. it was about, "God, what do you want me to do with my life? what do you have for me? what is it you want me to do here on this big ball we call earth?" we badly needed income as we were down to one and struggling to pay bills, and i was coming to that point of acceptance {that i recently talked about here} that i would never have children. i left it ALL in his hands. and to be honest, i really did not do much with my camera since that point {except some of the big events i mentioned above}. i waited. and waited. and waited some more. {i even felt led to stop blogging for the time being.}

actually, it was right about the time claire visited that i became excited about taking pictures again. i had not done it for leisure in a while, but being the gifted photographer she is, i felt i could not let her visit without us going somewhere with our cameras to take some pictures. it re-ignited my desire to take pictures... just for fun.

well, as you all know {if you have recently read my updates here}, something so very unexpected happened. right in the midst of that specific point of time, i conceived a child and managed to hold on to a viable pregnancy! um... WOW. so not the result of my prayers that i expected. not to say that God said to me, "no, i do not want you to pursue photography. i want you to have children." but more like he said to me, "georgia, i have a plan for you. thank you for surrendering your gifts and desires to me. photography may still be a part of your life yet. but right now, a child is your first and foremost priority, as it is my gift for you at the moment."

um... OKAY, God! i can do that! after all, there is nothing i have ever wanted more than a child. and if you knew how much i want a new camera and how much i want to go to school to learn photography and how much i want to be a photographer professionally in some way, then you would know just how much i want to have a child... because all other things i have ever wanted pale in comparison to my desire to be a mom.

well, once again, i've gone and written a novel instead of a post. but 2010 is a very significant year when it comes to photography and all the other things in my life.

my one regret with not keeping up with this photo blog over the past year is that i have missed out on so many wonderful things to share and write about... so many things God has done in my life. i had hoped to get on here and share many of the photos from my best friend's wedding and write all about what that wedding meant to me and all that it did for me in my life... all that i learned through it. and that is just one example of the kind of thing i feel like i have missed out on sharing.

but i really felt like God was saying to me... "take a REAL break from blogging for a while. there are some things i want you to work on. there are some things i need you to do, to fix, to become." and even when i was not deliberately obeying that prompt from God, i was often not able to blog because of sadness over being childless {earlier in the year} and because of being quite nauseous once the pregnancy did happen for us {more recently}.

well, i can only say, now with a new year right on top of us all and with a baby on the way, i really want to pursue photography on a whole new level. i want to be able to take some memorable photos of my baby and all the events surrounding his or her arrival. but i also want to improve in all other photography-related areas, too. i have been approached by a few people to do more gigs... weddings, engagement shoots, mom and child portraits, more senior shots of the same girl i had previously done them for, and maybe even some maternity sessions. all great practice for me!!

i'm excited to be enrolled in and ready to start an online workshop... the one that irene nam of shutter sisters teaches every few months. it's her simple soulful photography/writing workshop. i really look forward to all that i will learn there... it is my first online photography workshop of any kind! i will definitely try to post about what i am learning in the class from time to time on this blog. it is only four weeks long, but that will be plenty of time to learn a great deal from a respected photographer teacher and many gifted photographer/blogger peers.

well, i guess i better wrap up this post before 2011 gets here. then i can be free to shower and get ready for visiting my friend and her fiancé with my husband... for dinner and games and general all-around holiday cheer! don't you worry... i'll be drinking sparkling grape juice only... wrapping up the year with friends and a toast to the miraculous year it has been and to all that we have to look forward to in the new year!

before i go, i just want to list {and link to} a few more favorites of 2010...

this was my favorite post of 2010.
{prompted by the post i had written the day before.}
if i had not chose the first, i would have chosen this one.

this was the most fun i had taking pictures in 2010.

this was my favorite official photo shoot of 2010.
{i still have not put the entire shoot out there yet...
but there are still several good ones from the day in the set.}

this was my biggest news of 2010.

this is my favorite person of 2010.

and here is a link to the flickr set of my 2010 faves.
i couldn't put them all in this post,
but if you are interested in seeing what i picked out, go here.
{unfortunately, so many of the photos i took over the past year
never even made it off of my camera cards and onto my computer,
much less being uploaded to flickr or my blogs.
but of those i have uploaded, this set is my favorites.}

if you've read this entire post, you are a real trooper! and a real honest-to-goodness friend.
thank you for your interest... not just in this post. but in this past year of my life... both in photography and life in general. 

have a safe, happy and celebratory last day of 2010!! may you look back with peace and gratitude, and may you look forward with hope and great anticipation.


{OH, MY GOODNESS!!... QUICK UPDATE before i hit the "publish" button. i was just getting ready to publish this post after having proofread it, when i checked my e-mail account and found an e-mail from tracey clark of shutter sisters... telling me i won a membership to a different online photography workshop. it's called picture winter and it is also four weeks and also starts tomorrow! i won it because of a comment i left on this "a present to yourself" post on shutter sisters. {{mine was the third comment down, if you want to read what i said. and the link to the photo, which i had forgotten to include initially, was a few comments down from that. it's the same photo i used for my current banner.}} i can't believe it! i'm so happy to have won this. now i will be in two different shutter sisters' workshops at once. i have lots of learning to do in 2011!! thank you, tracey!}


S. Etole said...

It's so good to have you here again ... may blessings continue to unfold in the new year.

Melissa said...

Happy New Year to you and yours sweet Georgia!

Sharon said...

i'm a real trooper. :)

WhatKarenSees said...

You are such an outstanding photographer. I love your work and inspiration and wish you many more beautiful photos for 2011 to share with us all. I'm so glad I found your blog!

Stacey said...

Hi Georgia,

First, THANK you for the super sweet comment you left on my blog. You made me tear up a little bit with how incredibly sweet you were (see? I really am a sensitive nut!). Highlight of my day.

Second, I am so glad you found me. I remember reading your comment on shutter sisters but not having the time to click over to your blog (and congrats and winning, btw!) and I loved it. And NOW I just read your post on finding out about your pregnancy. I teared up (again) and am in awe at how amazing God is. The whole believe necklace with the safety pin?? Seriously?? I'm honestly getting butterflies just thinking about it. I am so excited for you and this journey He is taking you on. Oh....so much more I could write! (Yes, I am wordy!!)

Third, I agree....what little I've read of your blog I feel like I'm relating to a close friend or even a sister. AND I love vintage things! I love flea markets and antique shops. And your photography? Wow. I am so inspired. You said you hoped to be as gifted of a photographer as ME? Honey, you ARE a gifted photographer. And I feel like I have so much to learn!

There is so much more I would love to write, but I am at work and have to go deliver some babies (I'm a labor and delivery nurse part time, funny, 'huh?). I can't wait to spend more time reading your posts and looking at your photos.

SO happy to meet you, thank you again. I'm an official follower and plan on popping in to see YOU frequently too.

Happy New Year! Stacey

georgia b. said...

thanks, susan and melissa!

thanks for being a trooper, mama.

thank you, karen!!

and thank you, stacey. so glad we bumped into each other in this great big world of blogging!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on everything, Georgia, including the new workshop. I guess you are being told now to definitely pursue photography again. Happy New Year, I know it will be a very special year for you.

mrs mediocrity said...

an amazing year, for you and for me as well.
an amazing photo, i remember that shot, it took my breath awat when i first saw it.
happy new year to you.

Lisa said...

That is so exciting that you won the workshop! I think I may try the do the next one, Picture Spring! I've been eyeing those workshops for a while now. :P Yay! And what a great year 2010 has been. I know you had your ups and downs but look how it ended up? It's perfect, so beautiful. I feel the same way about photography in 2010. In a lot of ways it was a good year (shooting my first wedding/engagement) BUT in between those things I just sort of let my camera sit there. NO MORE! This year I'm doing a 365 project just to make sure my camera spends a little time in my hands each day. Bring it 2011!! :P Much love <3

DebraP said...

LOVE your photos in this post. That first one is stunning. I found you on Picture Winter and look forward to seeming more there, and here as a follower. Happy new year!

georgia b. said...

thank you, candace!
and kelly!
and lisa!

debra, thank you for stopping by! happy new year to you as well.

Joy said...

girl... you are just so AWESOME! I need to spend more time here. What a visual delight--it feeds my brain.

Joy said...

Well, I didn't read the entire post, but the part about turning your talents over to God (who gave them to you in the first place--I agree) resonated with me, as I have been thinking the same thing for the last few months. Letting Him take me where I need to go. I have to say, that He has taken me (in my writing) where I NEVER imagined I'd be--I know it has to be the Lord's doing as I have failed doing things on my own for years. So... here's to an awesome God, who knows what is best for us. Congratulations on the pregnancy and the exciting direction your life is headed. I still am a sucker for your photography--not sure there is any photo of yours that I do not like!