Best of 2015

Holy poop what a year. To say 2015 has been one of the biggest years of my life would be an understatement. Saying it was hard to pick out my favorite moments and photos of this year would also be an understatement.

So here we go: my top 10 favorite pictures of 2015, along with the top 10 favorite moments of this year.

My hobby truly became my job. My new years resolution for this year was to make my business "official", to streamline my interaction with clients, and to find my identity in a sea of other wedding photographers. I've learned this sort of thing isn't something that just happens. While I'm still constantly thinking about ways to feel more official, I definitely know I'm on the right track. I don't know if I'll ever fully "be there" but I'd say I kept my 2015 new years resolution pretty well!

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I've figured out my style. My goodness this has been way too long in the making. I look at tons of photography. TONS. After awhile of staring at these pictures they all start to look the same and as a result, so did my photography. And I got bored. Those peachy, airy, light pastel colors everyone seems to love never really captivated me all that much. I discovered I loved my images so much more with richer colors, moodier atmospheres, and natural, earthy tones. I'm still learning how to achieve exactly what I want but I figured it out and that's a pretty big deal to me.

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I got an apartment with my boyfriend. And it's been friggin amazing. After four years of only seeing eachother 2-3 times a month, I now have him by my side every day and it's been the most incredible, most comforting and fulfilling thing. I've learned so much about myself through him, and every day he helps me be the person I want to be. Every day he gives me the support I need to keep going, when I'm angry he calms me, when I'm riding the anxiety train, he puts things in perspective, when I'm happy, he shares that joy with me and makes it so much richer. I never feel alone anymore or like I have to tackle anything by myself. I'm so lucky I get to have him in my life all the time.

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The movies that came out this year! Yes this is worth talking about. I can't think of a better year of movies. Mad Max, Inside Out, The Martian, Jurassic World, The Force Awakens, Minions(just kidding). Man this year was awesome. We had fast paced road races, Pixar made me cry, Matt Damon was badass in space again, and childhood Andrea rose from the dead with Jurassic World and Star Wars. I'm just completely obsessed and I feel like a passionate kid all over again. I can't stop consuming everything Star Wars these days. Star Wars is everything. Star Wars. 

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I left my life sucking retail job. Yes, yes, I know there's worse jobs in the world. Like slavery. But leaving my job as a cashier at CVS was pretty life changing. I was miserable there. I couldn't plan out photoshoots with the schedule always being a mystery, I worked every weekend, so many of the friendships I had before I worked there fell apart, and some days just led to me crying in the bathroom. Being treated like I was subhuman by way too many customers was like a pickaxe to my social confidence. I'm not cut out for the forced customer service face. Since leaving in July, my social anxiety is getting better and I just feel like my soul is returning.

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I fell in love. With a cat. Since we brought home Doot, he has been a constant source of happiness. He's just the biggest sweetheart. He runs to us when we come home, sleeps against my leg at night, has no problem with us scooping him up and squeezing him whenever we want to cuddle him, and just cracks us up with his stupid cat antics. He's perfect.

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I met one of my best friends. It's the weirdest thing that you can meet one of the best people in your life through some homeschoolers blogging website when you're in 9th grade and proceed to have one of the most awesome friendships for nine years without ever meeting. And then meeting. It's the most surreal thing ever. But after taking about two hours to make my nerves calm down, it felt like I was hanging out with someone I always hang out with. Adventuring through Providence and Boston for two days drinking too much beer, kicking eachothers butts at arcade games, and nostagia-ing way too hard listening to our teenage years music tastes sets that weekend as probably the most fun of 2015.

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My new job is perfect. After working every holiday for three years, getting emails that explicitly tell you not to work on them feels like heaven. I get to work by myself, go into work whenever I want, stay as long as I want to, all while being able to wear jeans. I'm covered in papercuts from the cards, but getting this job in Hallmark has just made my life so much easier and so much more satisfying.

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Connecticut. Just Connecticut. Though I'm in the next state over from where I grew up, this place feels like a whole other world. It's just beautiful. Even after six months of living here, I get so excited whenever I see a giant, tree-covered hill. They're like mountains compared to what's in Rhode Island! I've seen some amazing views, hiked some of the best trails I've ever been on, swam in secluded, tranquil rivers, experienced gigantic state fairs, and won $40 at one of the casinos. This place is the real deal.

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My confidence hit an all time high. First getting into photographing other people used to be so nerve-wracking. Remembering different poses, struggling to make conversation, posing people, keeping things organized...it just wasn't good. Now, it feels like the most natural thing in the world. I know what I'm doing, I know how to get the results I want, I know how to direct people and keep a calm face in the chaos. In these moments, I get so in the zone that I don't even feel like myself but it no longer feels like I'm stepping too far out of my comfort zone. It's just what I do now. It's super weird.

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My new years resolution for 2016 is to watch The Force Awakens as many times as possible.

-Andrea =)