Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reflections On A Reclaimed Year

The end of the year, such a busy, chaotic season, but I always make time to reflect. It helps me to see how far (hopefully) I have come creatively, things I liked and things I didn't and what I learned from them. Also things I want to pursue further in the year ahead, and things that it is finally time to let go off.

Personal Projects

I have half-heartedly dabbled in personal photography projects before, never lasting long enough to learn what I needed to learn from them. Early in the year, I took a class taught by Pam Korman called The Personal Project You Already Shot. The only personal project that I had enough images of to put together for this class was my self-portraiture. The class was awesome! I finally, finally started printing my images with regularity - I did 8 X 10's so I could lay them out to sequence them for the project. It is helpful to have the physical images to move around. I completed the class, made a book from Blurb, and learned a lot along the way. Is it my finest work ever? No. But I started and I finished, there is a lot to be said for that. I plan to work on more personal projects in 2018, I like the non-rushed feeling of them.

Starting in June, I decided to do some #30dayprojects for the summer, picking one word to focus on and use for inspiration in my photography each month. June's word was flowers. I photographed my own gardens, flowers at local gardens and the farmers market, and then the meadow at a nearby county park.

The Meadow became my personal project for 2017. Starting in late June, I went almost weekly to photograph at sunrise.

I honestly don't remember what July and August's words were.

The Meadow

The meadow taught me so much.

It taught me discipline and joy.

It taught me a love for sunrises and that magic golden light. It taught me to love my tripod, at least on location. It taught me to love my 55-250mm zoom lens, before the meadow I used the 55-250mm maybe once a year. One week I forgot that lens, that taught me something too, I was very uninspired without it. Every lens has a purpose, I just needed to find it.

I loved watching and capturing the changes from week to week.

A paved loop trail lies in the middle of the meadow, I discovered so much by walking both directions of the loop.

I am sure there will be a few visits to the meadow next year, I can't imagine not.

The Blog

Almost six years of blogging, and still I have more to say, more to share, more people to connect with. Each year my blog sees a slow but steady rise in readership, which always amazes me.

The blog posts I enjoy writing most are on sharing what I have learned about photography, either through classes, trial and error, or something I have read.  I also love sharing my travels, whether they are day adventures, solo adventures, date days, or family vacations. All of these are planned again for 2018.

Photography Conference

Photo Credit: Glen Huizenga

I went to my first photography conference combining it with vacation. We had a great time on vacation, and I learned a lot at the conference and met some really talented photographers. I also learned I can play with the rest of the group, I am good enough.

My husband and I also attended a iPhone photography workshop, it was nice to do it together, and see how different our styles are, which is a good thing. I can see us doing more of this in the future.


I developed a love of reading poetry this year thanks to Laurie Wagner and her 27 Days of Wild Writing course. I can see poetry playing a bigger part in my projects in 2018.

I am still doing my daily Morning Pages. At the end of September, I started my fourth year. Each morning I also read the entry from the year before. It is good to read how far, or sometimes not, I have come.

I have definitely felt a stronger pull towards photography this year than writing.

Photographic Style

I have really honed my photographic style this year. I would say it is most prevalent in my iPhone photography and processing. My obsession with leading lines and paths continues.


I am excited to explore 2018 and see what awaits me.


  1. I like your photo style and how you always strive to do better. Looking forward to following your postings in 2018. Happy New Year!

  2. Sarah, I want to thank you for this blog. I read it faithfully because what you share here..your photos, your successes, your classes, your techniques, your writings are all an inspiration to this amateur photographer. I learn something each time. You have devoted time to being a better photographer and your work reflects that. I strive to make that time in my life to learn by doing as well as reading about it.

  3. So love your words and images Sarah looking forward to seeing 2018 with you!

  4. It feels like 2017 was a significant year of creative accomplishment for you. As always, I'm impressed and inspired by your discipline and dedication to finding out what works for you. The results speak for themselves in the steady improvement of your photography and writing skills, and in that honing of your style that you mentioned. Every photo in this post is a beautiful example of that! I can't wait to see what 2018 brings.

  5. I love that you take the time to look back on the previous year.
    And I love that I found your lovely spot on this Work Wide Web.
    Happy New Year and Happy 2018, Sarah.

  6. Inspiring - looking forward to 2018!

  7. Thank you for sharing you photography and life adventures through your writing.

  8. It's always interesting to look back on our year and to feel that we have done the best with our time each month. I enjoyed all the photos here as you explain your year in images. May 2018 be as personally fulfilling as this year has been for you!

  9. You've come so far over the past year! I love that you have personal projects to help you focus and teach yourself new things. I've been trying to think of a project for myself that isn't overly ambitious - unfortunately my time during the week is so limited and the light during my lunch hour leaves me feeling dissatisfied. I am looking forward to following along in 2018 - it will be fun to see what you discover!

  10. It sounds like it was a great year for you, Sarah!
    I think the fact that you are constantly learning AND enjoying is simply wonderful.
    Wishing you all the very best things in the New Year.

  11. Much accomplished! Here's to a new year!

  12. I haven't followed you for long but I've enjoyed reading your journey so far :-)

  13. This is a wonderful recap of your year! With so many blogs closing, I'm always relieved to find that there are still bloggers that are willing to share their experiences, especially good friends like yoy! Wishing you a Happy 2018!!

  14. Wonderful to follow along . . .
    And receive your photography gifts . . .
    You have golden vision . . .

  15. Sarah, this is a perfect summary of what 2017 meant to you, photographically speaking. I always enjoy reading your blog, and tagging along on your journey. I look forward to doing the same in 2018.

  16. Sarah, what a wonderful reflective review. It is so interesting to witness your journey and you are so generous to share it. I have two questions - how do you know about all these great classes? Where do you find all this information? And how do you choose your personal projects (ok, three questions)?

  17. I can't wait to see your 2018 work! I like the 30 day project idea. I might be able to handle that.

  18. I really like your post good blog on site,Thanks for your sharing.



Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)