Favorite Moments of 2018 | Engagement Portraits + Weddings

A couple kiss at sunset on their wedding day in front of the Sonoma wildfire damage

It feels strange to look back on an entire year’s worth of work and choose a few favorites to highlight. One of the reasons I enjoy photography so much is its power to take you back to a moment in time, to help you remember a day in your life. Like most years, 2018 felt like it flew by. It’s been so mind blowing to go back through the year and remember celebrating with all of the awesome couples I’ve gotten to connect with. Here are some favorites that I enjoyed revisiting.

After reflecting on the past year, I can’t help but look ahead and start framing goals for 2019. One goal that combines both my professional and personal desires is to travel more, and I’m getting started on that particular goal early! In February, I’m starting a road trip from San Francisco and going all around the parks in Utah, with some sidetracking into Nevada and northern Arizona.

I’m beyond excited as I’ve never been to most of these areas and for me exploring new places is probably my biggest source of inspiration. My itinerary isn’t even fully formed yet and it’s already insanely packed with amazing new places to see! In California I’ll be hitting up the Alabama Hills, Death Valley, and Sequoia to name a few. On my way to Utah, I’ll be checking out the Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon. Then in Utah, I’m planning to explore Zion, Monument Valley, Moab, Canyonlands, Arches, Dead Horse State Park, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Grand-Staircase Escalante. I’m also going to dip down to Page, Arizona and play in Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell.

Later this year, I’m snowbound to Tahoe with the family, heading to Colorado to photograph a wedding, camping in Pinnacles, and maybe a trip to Iceland?? Still in the works! Will definitely share once those plans get firmed up.

Another important goal for me in 2019 is to book more couples who I have a genuine connection with. I’m sure you’ve heard people talking about working with their “ideal clients” and for me that simply means working with someone I could consider a friend. I read this article on Junebug Weddings and it points out how crucial it is to book a wedding photographer that you enjoy hanging out with and that you feel you can trust because they are the vendor you spend your ENTIRE day with. There’s obviously a lot of other great reasons for hiring a phenomenal wedding photographer, but from my perspective, working with couples that fit your personality has a ton of mutual benefits, trust being at the forefront. I became a freelance photographer because I’m passionate about working with people I enjoy spending time with and that connection with my couples makes for better creative work.

Moving forward, I’m most excited about finding couples who are committed to celebrating their love in authentic ways, especially if that means throwing tradition out the window. I’m a firm believer that you should celebrate your wedding in your own way. Lots of people have opinions about the way your wedding should be put together, but at the end of the day, it’s you and your partner coming together and that’s what it should be about. So if you’re idea of a wedding is outside the norm, then more power to ya. I’ll be there to support you, camera in hand.

Lastly, a small goal of mine is to actually take a big step out of my comfort zone: to be in front of the camera more. Believe me, I totally 100% understand the discomfort of being the one having your photo taken. (Have I mentioned I’m very sensitive and empathetic?) I’m certainly not a vain person, but I’ve realized I spend so much of my time taking the photos that I’m rarely in any photos. So for this coming year, I’m making it a priority to not only take more personal photos, but to be in more of those photos as well. Also important is that my potential clients have a face to associate with my name. So you may see more of me — my actual face! — on my Instagram stories and posts in this next year.

And to round this off, some non-work highlights of 2018 include: celebrating my best friend’s engagement (and capturing the moment it happened!); playing with baby goats on my birthday; family trips to Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Tahoe, and a special trip to Maui with my mom; finally hiking Alamere Falls in Point Reyes (epic!); a girls getaway in wine country with my friend who moved to Australia; meeting my friend’s baby for the first time and finding out another friend is pregnant!!; attending a Harry Potter dress up party (my husband and I went as owls, I was Hedwig!); camping in Mendocino and Crooked Lakes; actually attending a wedding as a guest and bonus getting a quality weekend with old friends; hosting my second annual wreath making party; and another wonderful Christmas with my family in Los Angeles, this year with the Nutcracker!

A huge thank you to all the wonderful support my friends and family continue to give me with a special shout out to my husband and our two pups — I couldn’t do it without you. Happy New Year everyone!