Courtney and Diana... and Happy New Year!

I'll say it.  I woke up this morning with a slight hangover and lots of emotion about 2011.  I don't think 2010 was my best year.  And I always get a little down after the holidays are over, because there's usually nothing to look forward to for awhile.  I've been on a break from photography for the past few weeks, because I thought if I stopped shooting I would have more time to focus on learning new photography things by taking online classes and watching training DVD's and workshops.  But the truth is I haven't felt like myself lately, and I think part of that has to do with the fact that I haven't been working at photography, I haven't been shooting, and so hopefully that changes in the next couple of weeks.  I told myself I just needed the break because I was stressed out from always going, going, going, but the truth is I feel like I've been hiding out because I've been scared.  People who know me always seem to think I have fun all the time, that I'm outgoing and like to go out and party and can usually find a good time wherever I go.  The truth is, I'm scared.  I'm scared all.the.time.  Sure, I have the weird fears that everyone has... tornados, snakes, shark attacks (seriously, they are a legit problem) but those things don't even come close to what I'm really scared of, which is never being enough.  Never being a good enough photographer, never being a good enough friend, never being pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough... the list goes on and on.  These are things that keep me up at night, things that weigh on my mind so much that I bust out crying at work sometimes.  But giving into those fears is not going to make me a better photographer, and it's certainly not going to make me a fun person to be around.  So for 2011, I have to say that I hope I can strive to be the best person I can be, and hopefully being the best photographer I can be will just be a natural extension of that. In honor of starting the New Year off on the right foot, I wanted to announce the winner of my "Winter Contest".  Well, I should say winners, because when it came down to it, I couldn't pick just one!  I really couldn't.  The winner had it all sewn up, and then at the last minute someone else came in and made me laugh hysterically, and so I decided to give the free photo session (or gift certificate) out to 2 people.  They are Sarah Colwell and Kelsey S!  Sarah won me over with the creativity of her post.  I am a huge Christmas tree fan, I collect Christmas ornaments and I love seeing the tree all lit up.  We all have our favorite things that are a tradition for us to put on the tree, but Sarah started a tradition where she actually is turning each year's tree into the tradition, by creating an ornament from the trunk of it.  I thought that was very cool and so she got my vote!  The second winner, Kelsey S, described her favorite tradition of buying ornaments with her husband from each trip they take together.  I thought this was cute, because it's what I do (without the husband)- I buy ornaments every new place I go and when I put them on the tree I am reminded of the fun I had on that particular trip, or maybe a funny story that happened when I bought it, etc.  So Kelsey's story was cute and I liked it, but what put me over the edge of having two winners was when she said every year they buy a "Happy Birthday Baby Jesus" ice cream cake for dessert.  Now, hopefully Kelsey doesn't get offended when I say this, and hopefully people don't think I am laughing at what Christmas represents, because I am absolutely not- but when I read those words I spit out my Coca-Cola laughing.  So I will be e-mailing Sarah and Kelsey the good news later, and I thank everyone who weighed in on their favorite holiday traditions.  I absolutely loved reading about them and I wish I could have picked more winners.  I will be doing more contests this year, and I swear I will be more decisive and be able to actually choose one winner.  Please enter again and again! :)

Okay, so I'll end this ridiculously long post by actually showing you some photos from a wedding I second shot for Tania Sones Photography in October.  I couldn't have loved this couple more, and Courtney and Diana- I hope you have a wonderful 2011!

They opted to do a first look...

Speaking of things I couldn't love more...

So adorable and I love the fall colors we had that day!

Ceremony time...

Congratulations!