It seems that every catchy, inspirational, funny, and tear-jerking quote or saying about 2020 has already been put on virtual paper by better writers than myself. Every time I read something about this past year, I think, “same, friend.” Lucky for me (and you), photographs are more my thing than words. I wanted to write a post sharing some of my favorite photographed moments in 2020 because I think moments matter.
However, as I mulled this idea, I also want to recognize that it’s OK if you didn’t come out of 2020 feeling like you have an arsenal of Pinterest worthy moments. It’s OK if you skipped on family photos and your kids spent more time on screens than digging in the dirt outside. Staying present in 2020 and making it to 2021 is more than enough.
These aren’t my highlights (or lowlights); they are just some things I was lucky enough to capture along the rollercoaster of this past year. I hope you enjoy them!
Connection Instead of Perfection
If you’ve had a session with me, you’ll know I encourage setting aside perfection in exchange for a connection. In a year where connection to others seemed to dwindle, I really leaned into this concept as we moved through the pandemic. Here are a few of my favorite moments.
Spokane Senior Dog Project
Alright, this might be my favorite “small” turned big project coming out of the year.
Senior dogs have always had a spot in my heart. I will never pass up the chance to pet every silver muzzled, cloudy eyed dog I come across on the trail. However, I rarely see their photos pop up on social media or a photographer’s portfolio. Why? I’m not sure. Life gets busy, and after the puppy stage, we often go on autopilot when it comes to photographs, perhaps. Before we know it, we get reminded how unfairly short their lifespan can be.
Coming off of the first lockdown, I had this idea to fill my portfolio with senior dogs and take the opportunity to shed some light on an often-forgotten group of pups. Besides, what better way to take the edge off the pandemic than loving on some dogs and learning their stories? To say this lifted my heart was an understatement.
Kayaking with a Cat
I can’t believe I get to say this, but I went kayaking with the coolest people, their dogs, and a cat.
Yes, a cat. Little Prince was right at home on the back of the kayak, walking on the trail or riding along on his owner’s back. While the cat was cool, the people he hung out with were even better. If there was ever a group of people that exemplified kindness, adventure, and just an overall stellar way to interact with the world around them, this was them.
NEOWISE Meets the Aurora
I don’t often share this part of my photography, but I love night photography. I especially love chasing the aurora. Like many of us this year, I went out to try and grab some images of comet NEOWISE this spring. I knew there was a chance of catching the Northern Lights, but when my phone dinged at midnight, and I saw the solar storm growing, I was as excited as I’ve ever been. I grabbed this photo in about a 5 min window when the aurora peaked. It’s definitely my favorite of 2020.
Landscapes and Wildlife Along the Way
I spent a lot more time walking in places less traveled (you know, social distancing and all). Beyond that, I found myself spending more time just being still in those places. Oddly enough, I was without my camera much of the time. However, when I remembered to grab it, I caught moose, elk, 600 squirrels, turtles, and some pretty cool views. This slow down was a welcomed change of pace in some regards.
A Few Family Shots Too
When it comes to documenting my own life (family, pets), I still really drop the ball. However, I was able to grab a few moments of them too.
Quigley is slowly turning into a great dog model when encouraged with enough cheese, and Sully is still unabashedly himself at every turn. These two made for some fun memories and great stories.
Taking the time to pull up my favorite photographed moments of 2020, I’m reminded what an honor and privilege it is for people to invite me into a small piece of their life. Being able to hear the stories and share a part of someone’s life for even a few minutes is by far the best part of my job as a photographer.
I’m looking forward to 2021, and I’ll be here for however it decides to unfold.