My word for 2017 is rest.
Learning what that means to me physically, creatively and mentally.
Learning to take on less because I just was not able to everything that came my way. Which is a real challenge for someone who has the energy of Leslie Knope and steamrolls herself every day. I’d call it my hiatus year but the reality is, 2017 was my rest year. When I hurt my neck early on what I had planned went totally out the window. It was the year I did involuntary soul searching, reality grounding and trying to figure out what to do with myself as a creative that couldn’t create all day every day. I may not have created all that I wanted to this year but the months were still filled with opportunity, memories and laughs that I enjoyed every second of. Getting the chance to look back at these months, I can see the way God worked. I am beyond thankful that this year was filled with wonderful things!
My favorite 5 images I took this year:
1. All This Earth
When you don’t create for a while sometimes you just wake up and your mind demands it. Sam got right into this chilly pond and Mackenzie was such a beast assistant. I love working with water for the same reason why I love light, it is always changing. A quote from my Disney favorite Pocahontas best describes it: “What I love most about rivers is, you can’t step in the same river twice.”
2. The Angel of Death
This image was a tribute to the art history class I really enjoyed in college. Funny now, graduated two years later and I am missing that afternoon class. I had a really engaging professor and the more I learned, the more I realized how art history influenced my photography work.
3. The Luna Quest
I met Maddie quite a while ago and I have wanted to photograph her ever since. If you meet her, she's a real life nymph. I have never seen something with such whimsical features! She's incredibly kind, we both fancy ferns and brushed our hair with prickly pine cones that day.
4. Quiet Thoughts & Quiet Company
Can you see the obsession I have with luna moths yet? I imagine my spirit animal as an owl with the same little green moth on his head. This was another ‘things didn’t go as planned' lesson. Just when we were ready to rumble, so was the rain. So I grabbed my little green friend and made Ally lay on the hardwood floors in my house. My editing started to shift as well during this time! I started to really focus on what colors I liked, what feel they gave and spending more time working on images.
5. Secrets of the Garden
My favorite image of this year was unplanned and more of a surprise. Walking the streets of downtown Frederick with my best friend Liz is a monthly thing. After coffee and a stroll in the blazing summer heat, we passed by an alley that just captivated me. The ivy wall was so thick and the light was streaming through so perfectly. I had a dress in my car and Liz was just Liz, more than willing to hike all the way back and shoot. It was such a crystal clear moment for me, I HAD to shoot this. It was too perfect in my head. Not every location is an ideal obvious thing, sometimes little whimsical locations are tucked in back alleyways of a city. I would never think to shoot much in the city. Thanks Liz for being the incredible you. We had so many laughs because SO many people walking thought I was having a conversation with an ivy wall.
Virginia Dare Dress Co.
Combine by insane love for dresses and a dear friend Rebekah and you’ll get a big chunk of my year. Being a part of Virginia Dare Dress Co. team in 2017 was such a wonderful cup of coffee with a strudel waffle cookie on top. Supporting friends and their dreams, watching them grow and helping any way you can is at my core. It all re-sparked the dreamer in me, getting to witness such a wonderful company be created. I can remember sitting on the floor of Rebekah's office and listening to her talk about this idea she had. Now, I'm twirling around in one of her dresses. She's really an incredible person, I hope you meet her one day. She cares for the little details that warm the heart and cares for every single person. She makes you feel loved and she is so easy to love!
The Verity Varee magazine was published this year. Another dreams happen-punch in the face-amazing Jesus moment. Nearly four years in the making, I remember the first time Emy ( a total stranger) emailed me about this idea. Now to hold the actual magazine in my hands, I can't even describe it. She's another woman who loves others, she listens, makes a cheeseboard the most magical thing I've ever seen and is someone I consider a dear friend. She created Verity Varee out of her brokenness and used it to help others, including me. It is a whole lot of work, not all of it is pretty but by golly when you have such a team it is always worth it, always fun. I have gotten to meet so many unique women this year, sit down at beautiful tables and discuss things you rarely say out loud. I learned what community means, how to trust other women and live life a little better. This coming year is filling me with excitement because I know what wonderful things are to come.
This year wouldn't be the same without my best friend, Liz Rachel photography. Thank you for all the 2017 photo adventures, all day coffee work days and for being my number one cheerleader. Your encouragement kept me from straying away from my creative self and your pushing is going to make 2018 a great one.
When will there ever be a year that really goes as planned? Or a year that doesn’t fly by a million miles an hour? The older I get, the more go with the flow I become. The more I learn to take it one day at a time and enjoy what I do and who I love.
Thank you for such a wonderful year, for being apart of my work and everything that is LaRue.
Happy New year! I'll see you in 2018.