It’s time for one of my favorite blogs of the year: my year in review. I always look forward to going back through my work and reflecting on the adventures an amazing couples I got to work with. As a total aside- it’s pretty funny how much I look forward to this blog post considering how much I *agonize* over picking images. I tried to set a goal this year of only picking two images per shoot and then wound up flagging over ten for some elopements. I have a *terrible* time picking favorites.
Still, despite my inability to narrow down images, I really enjoyed putting this post together. As I put the photos in order (smiling like a doofus the whole time!), I thought about what I’d say. For a while I started calculating some numbers- how many miles driven, how many states and national parks visited, how many predawn starts and nights I got home so late I only had time for spaghettios or easy Mac…but then I stopped. Sure those numbers are fancy and maybe impressive…but those figures are honestly pretty superfluous to the work I do. They are a happy side effect to what I do, but never the point of what I do.
The point- is the day these couples have. The epic way they start to their lives together that I am lucky enough to be a part of. That’s the point. I have so much admiration for the couples I get to work with- whether their decision to elope is a total leap (one they are bound to get flack for) or the decision is the most natural thing in the world (the only kind of wedding day that ever made sense)- I can’t help but be in awe. Cause every couple you see here is going after what matters to them. They’re doing the fun thing, the rad thing, the brave thing… the thing that makes their heart flutter with the person they’ve decided is their forever.
And friends, there is not a thing in the world cooler than that.
2021 has been a strange year. I know for a lot of folks it’s been full of grief, disappointment, uncertainty… it’s strange times we live in; pandemics, political divide, climate crisis. It feels inauthentic to talk about this year without acknowledging those things. And. I also want to acknowledge I’m proud of the work I’ve done this year. I’m proud of this business that I’ve built and the art I’m putting into the world. I’m grateful beyond measure for this job of mine (and the friends and family that support me through the journey).
I’m looking ahead into 2022 with excitement. I have lots of goals for the year- to continue balancing this job I love with having a life I love *outside* of that work. To dedicate time and focus to honing the creative side of my craft. Boring business goals like organizing my workflow and perhaps outsourcing some tasks (we’ll see haha). I know 2022 will have its challenges. Every year does. But I always like the bookend of the new year. It’s the end of something… and also the beginning. So much possibility 🙂
But now, looking back. Below is a (warning: long) collection of some of my favorite images I captured this year. I had so many other favorites I didn’t include because this collection is already absurd in it’s length. But here’s a taste anyway.
Thanks as always to my incredible couples, without whom none of this would even exist. My love to all as this chapter ends, and another begins.
If you made it this far, WOW. Congrats. As a treat for you, I did actually take a peek at how many business miles I drove this year, and it was 24,753, which is only just shy of the amount it would take to circumnavigate the globe.
Yikes. Good thing I a) offset my carbon footprint each year and b) plan on getting an electric car here real soon.
— Ryan + Styhiln