A Loving Glance Back at 2017

2017; a year of progress, growth, travel, and exploration. I hope I'm not the only one who can describe their year with these words! Hopefully, reading this article will help you reflect on the best moments of your year - I think it's important to identify and appreciate them as each year comes to a close.

As cliche as it may sound, this past year was truly a roller-coaster. But if I'm reviewing my life honestly, I think it's safe to say that this might have been my best year yet! I'm thankful that I'm able to share these moments with everyone who supports what I do. I'd like to thank all who have read these articles, viewed my photos, and helped me grow this past year. I hope you enjoy this look back at 2017 with me!

5. My Growth as a Portrait Photographer

When I first began my pursuit of photography, the thought of photographing other people seemed frightening, yet dull. I was intimidated at the idea of directing someone else, and especially in some of my earlier sessions, I was floundering on what to do. In 2017, I saw myself change into a person who began to understand what I had to do in order to take a good portrait. Looking back on some of these said portraits, I can confidently say that this growth was visible, and I've fallen in love with this area of photography.

4. Winning my First Award as a Photographer

One of the proudest moments I've ever experienced came as a result of the above photo. I won second place in the Berks County Photo Contest all in thanks to my growth in technical skill, and my amazing trip to Europe over the summer. I've entered a lot of contests since I've started to take photos, and I could not be more grateful for those opportunities. This was a really eye-opening moment that made me realize that it's okay to take myself seriously!

3. Family Trip to the Californian Coast

The summer of 2017 sped by, but our family trip to California stands so clearly in my mind. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, and the beautiful drive in between, my family made an abundance of fond memories during this trip. Seeing the Golden Gate bridge, shrouded in mist, and exploring LA in the summertime were just a few of the moments that I know I'll cherish forever. This trip was in celebration of my amazing sister graduating from high school, and I'm so glad she chose this location.

2. Exploring New Ways to Be Creative

Identifying my favorite hobby is impossible, so I like to cheat the question and simply say: trying new things; it encompasses everything that I love, and the possibly of trying something new, every single day. This year was filled with photography as well as paint, calligraphy, and journaling. These were such fun outlets to explore, and I've really enjoyed practicing and learning more about each skill-set. It's been so fun sharing all of these experiences with my friends and family - all of which could not be more supportive of my indecisive nature!

1. Reminding Myself the World is Always Bigger Than I Imagine

At some point my friends and family will get absolutely sick of this statement, so until anyone tells me to knock it off, I'm going to keep saying it; being lost, alone, and drenched in rain in a foreign country is the best experience I have ever had in my life. I will chase that feeling again and again and again. There is truly nothing like it. My trip to Europe this past summer changed absolutely everything. I know it sounds cliche- but it really did help me view the world more realistically. It's gigantic, but nothing's actually impossible. It helped me dream up some amazingly exciting travel plans for 2018 (no spoilers!) and it's helped me come closer to figuring out what I want out of life. The short answer to that question - everything. (In the most unselfish way possible, of course.)

I hope you enjoyed reading through my favorite moments of 2017! I've included a gallery at the end of this article to include some of my other favorite photos. I invite you to look back on your 2017 as well - what moments would you put in your highlight reel? Were any months better than the others?

Thanks to everyone for supporting me through this amazing year. I cannot wait to share 2018 with you all!

-Julia

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