It’s New Year’s Eve, a day for looking back, for remembering.
In that spirit, here are my personal top twelve favorite photos from the last year—and why!This photo of white birch represents for me a special effort to go out and find something beautiful to photograph on the most uninspiring of gray winter days. Often my favorite photographic memories are the times when the perfect photo presents itself and I’m ready for it—but this picture is a good reminder to me that while not all photos come easily, I’ve never come up empty-handed when I’ve intentionally gone in search of beauty to capture.
I love this picture because it was completely un-contrived by mama (as we mamas with cameras sometimes do) and tells a true story. The untold part of this story is that all winter this small girl was scared of snow—and then, after this last gorgeous big snowfall of 2015, the fear suddenly, inexplicably transformed to wonder and off she went to explore. I grabbed my camera, followed behind—and this is where she led.This barred owl wins “Best Result of Being Ready For the Unexpected” award of the year.The swans have become such a beloved part of the rhythm of seasons here on our little farm. Catching them in the air during this golden hour was a dream come true.My favorite shot from our family trip out west this spring is a toss up between these two. I love the way the chartreuse green of budding cottonwoods is layered behind lavender lilacs against that magnificent backdrop of looming stone. But that capture of a wild mare standing guard over her young foal? Mmm…too hard to decide. So you get a bonus shot.Another lucky capture, taken less than twelve hours before my own sweet third baby girl was born. Perhaps it was the contortions I had to put my hugely pregnant self through to get low enough to the ground for this shot that sent me into labor?Flowers never fail to be an appealing subject. This was my favorite floral capture from this year.I’ve been taking photos at the headwaters of the Mississippi ever since I owned a camera, but this one with it’s hint of movement and different perspective is a new favorite of a favorite spot.Nocturnal photography is still experimental territory for me, which is why the success of this harvest moon capture (and what I learned in the process) was truly a highlight!I discovered this glorious golden tunnel of a woods road on my birthday. It brings back happy memories of a tub of tiramisu ice cream and a blissfully slow drive without another car in sight to mind my frequent photographic stops.I can never resist a good mushroom photo opportunity. The wet autumn hike through an ancient forest that led us to these and so many others is a particularly lovely memory to me.And, finally, this shot, which is as close to a self portrait as you’ve been offered yet on this blog, and encapsulates everything I love about winter in Minnesota.
I’m so grateful for each bit of God-glory I’ve had the privilege to experience, discover and capture this year, and for the lessons learned and documented along the way. What photos and experiences will 2017 bring my way? Speaking from past experience, they’re rarely what I expect, but usually better than I imagined. I can’t wait to find out!
“O God of our salvation…Thou crownest the year with thy goodness…” (Psalm 65:5, 11)
Praying that you, too, can look back and recognize that He has crowned your year with goodness, and that He will walk with you in the year ahead, gracing you with more and more, day by day.