Day Three Hundred Sixty-Five:

New Year’s Eve Toast…

A year has passed.

365 Days of Photographs, all made with a 50mm focal length on a full frame camera.

We had an impromptu gathering of our friends and neighbors and the kids tonight and it was a great way to finish the year.

And what a year it has been.

A visit with my sister Mary and her husband Scott in January, Sparky’s baptism in February and my Mom’s trip for it, a life-altering month in South Africa in March, a busy summer & fall of portraits for our third Kids of OC Charity Book Project and weddings, a visit by my niece Stefanie and her fiance Jeremy, and numerous trips to school to drop off and pick up, and hundreds of moments with the kids throughout the year.

This blog, though, became a photographic focal point, if you will, for my work this year.  Every day the thought would be in the forefront in my mind:  “What am I going to photograph today for the blog?”

Sometimes it was easy or obvious, other times it was downright daunting (like when I was busy with Christmas orders and had very little time to photograph).  I would often dedicate one camera with a 50mm lens specifically to craft an image for the blog.  Having those parameters might seem like a limitation, but instead it forced me to view the world with that perspective in mind and I think it made me a much better, more thoughtful photographer in the process.  I would use this lens because of the blog and that would be a change from the way I might have approached it before this blog started.

Some days I photographed a lot (over thousands on some days with weddings, sometimes hundreds for other things) some days I photographed a little (just the other day I made 14 exposures).

It wasn’t about the numbers, though, it was about trying to create an image that I would be proud to share.

Thanks for spending the year with me and for your notes of support when I photograph struck a nerve.  I appreciated it and they often came when I was at a point when I most wanted to abandon the blog (not too many, but there were a couple times).  I’m glad now that I did not.  Nor would I have let myself.  The legacy I wanted to create for the kids was too pressing and was the goal that pushed me on.  Plus I can be downright stubborn when I want to be.

The joy of photography is still with me, and it might even be more pronounced 365 days later.  I’m more in love with photography than ever before and especially when it means pointing the camera to the people in my life I love the most.

Thanks to Nicki, Kate and Sparky — they helped me shoulder the obligations of the blog, which often meant coming to bed later because I was editing and processing an image for the blog.  Or being under the constant gaze of a Zeiss or Canon lens.

But they never complained and just allowed Dad to do what he does.  I couldn’t be more grateful for that because I suppose it’s my way to bottle them up.  I keep telling Kate to stop growing up and there’s a part of me that means it because I suspect that in no time, I’ll be watching her head out for her first date, a prom, high school soccer matches, and driving her own car.  Don’t get there too soon, my little girl.  I know you will but maybe, just maybe, this is my way to get you to slow down a bit.

When I look at the year’s photos of Sparky, the changes are so pronounced.  He was a newborn then and now he’s a little boy.  Babbling, not talking, but a little boy and not a baby.  That first year the changes are dramatic and we’ll have them documented on the blog (and in the book).

Special thanks, too, to our friends and family who never hesitated in letting me photograph them for the blog.  It often was my excuse to come along on a play date (when a year ago, I probably would not).  I’m glad I did because I got to know them, and their children so much better over the year.  Everyone should be so lucky as to have friends such as these that are so willing to be so helpful.

I’m blessed with a beautiful and loving wife, and two children that are the joy of my life and I thank them for allowing me to share them with you.

May your life be as richly blessed and lovingly photographed. Cheers!



8 thoughts on “Day Three Hundred Sixty-Five:

  1. Paul,

    Thanks for all the post this year, while I didn’t comment often I did get to view almost all of them. I appreciated your images and how you composed special and everyday events throughout the year.

    I was in one of your wedding classes about three years ago in Chicago.

    1. Hi Greg,
      Thanks for writing and so good to hear from you! I appreciate it and I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog.
      Hard to believe it’s been such a long time since that class in Chicago–man it flies! This blog showed me … just seemed like it was over in a blink.
      Have a great 2011!!


  2. Paul,

    What a perfect photo on which to end this remarkable year in pictures.

    Thanks so much for sharing them with the rest of us! Your dedication and your imagery provided daily inspiration. I know that your family will appreciate this unique memento even more as the years go by.


    1. Ron.
      Thanks so much — I thought it was the perfect photo and had that sense when I made the frame, too. I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog and thanks for letting me know you!
      Have an awesome 2011!

  3. Thank you for sharing this project and all these moments with all of us. I always saved your blog for last in my blogroll to check each day…something to look forward to thoroughly enjoying and digesting. As always, I have learned a great deal by seeing what you’ve done. I hope the year ahead of us is even better than the last.

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