The Personal Archives | A year in review

It's funny for me to look back on this now... an entire year squeezed into sixty photos or so.  I think this is a pretty nice representation of our life, some key memories, the changing seasons, and the year as a whole.  As I write this I'm glancing over at a sweet baby girl who came into our lives in October.  My how a year can change things.  I had hoped and prayed for a baby for awhile, then kind of pushed the notion aside for awhile to focus on building my photography business, thinking that it would happen eventually but now probably wasn't the best time.  I had a business that was less than a year old, 17 weddings booked for the year, and lots of lofty goals that I had no idea if I could actually accomplish.  I like to dream big. {you can check out this post from New Year's Day last year if you want a little more background:}

Well, a few months into the new year, I unexpectedly found out I was expecting!  I am going to be honest, I was thrilled but also terrified.  I had just set all of these goals, written them down, booked a lot of amazing weddings, and had PLANS.  God laughed at my plans and threw me a giant curveball.  I like to think I'm pretty fluid... I have always been someone who goes with the flow (or against it) and try not to get too uptight about things I can't control.  That's life.  And I had been praying for this for a long time... even if the timing wasn't what I had originally hoped for.  I decided to keep all but two weddings (with the blessing of my couples) which were scheduled within 2-3 weeks of my due date, and press forward.  I found an amazing second shooter (and friend), Brittani, who ended up being my shoulder to lean on (literally) for much of wedding season this year.  I am not ashamed to say that I think that I grew a lot as a photographer having her by my side.  I shot a wedding on October 3, and went into labor on October 15!  I then went on to shoot two weddings in December for a total of 15 weddings this year.  That's a big step up from the first three that I shot just last year!  Talk about a whirlwind romance.

In addition to a jam packed wedding and portrait schedule, I also worked full time as a designer.  I feel that I am in a rare position where I truly enjoy what I do and I know that doesn't come easily for most adults.  I really like what I do.  I love shooting weddings.  Both are a huge blessing.  With working so hard, there are definitely drawbacks.  My schedule is limited.  I like to have fun.  Fun happens, and cleaning doesn't.  My house is a disaster 99% of the time.  It is what it is...

As I had the last 11 weeks off to be a full time Mommy to our newest addition, I had a lot of time to think and reflect.  What do I want to do?  Where do I see myself in a year?  What's important to me?  I think about all of this knowing that I return to work next week and it will be different.  It will be hard.  I might offend some here, but I'm going to be honest... being home these last weeks was easy.  And amazing.  Now, before you think, "How can she possibly say that?!", my situation is a little different.  My son was in school most days and my main responsibility was loving on a baby who is the sweetest thing.  I know I got lucky... she is a pretty content baby and when her needs are met she is a complete joy.  Yes she has her days when she is fussy, and no she still doesn't sleep through the night.  But she is perfect and healthy and amazing.  It has been absolutely wonderful... and I have been able to enjoy just her.  This ain't my first rodeo, but let me tell you at 30 years old caring for a newborn has seem to come much more naturally than at 24.  I guess I have done some growing up in the past six years.  I know next week will bring early mornings and rushing out the door, daycare and a lot more pressure.  I also know I can do this.  I'm really lucky to work for a wonderful company and I will only be going back part time for now.  I have a feeling I will end up loving it so much that I hope it never ends!

Thinking about returning to work, I know I need to make some changes in 2016.  Changes in my personal life, mostly.  I need to live more.  I tend to make work my life because I love what I do.  I need to take more time to live life.  Don't get me wrong, when I'm not working I think I know how to have fun, but I want more of that.  I really want to travel the United States more, even if it means sleeping on couches or in a tent, heck, even a questionable motel room would do.  I'd even be happy just spending more time out in my garden.  A lot more time. My backyard is pretty awesome, and our children would benefit tremendously from more adventure and less television.  I think we do a pretty good job at this now, but hey there's always room for improvement.  I should probably pay more attention to my husband and less attention to my computer screen, even if it's work related.  I think balance is a good thing to usher in this year, and a good place to end this post.  Here's the personal archives review, in order from January - December:

Personal 2015 1Personal 2015 2Personal 2015 3Personal 2015 4Personal 2015 5Personal 2015 6Personal 2015 7Personal 2015 8Personal 2015 9Personal 2015 10Personal 2015 11Personal 2015 12Personal 2015 13Personal 2015 14Personal 2015 15Personal 2015 16Personal 2015 17Personal 2015 18Personal 2015 19Personal 2015 20Personal 2015 21Personal 2015 22Personal 2015 23Personal 2015 24Personal 2015 25Personal 2015 26Personal 2015 27Personal 2015 28Personal 2015 29Personal 2015 30Personal 2015 31Personal 2015 32Personal 2015 33Personal 2015 34Personal 2015 35Personal 2015 36Personal 2015 37Personal 2015 38Personal 2015 39Personal 2015 40Personal 2015 41Personal 2015 42Personal 2015 43Personal 2015 44Personal 2015 45Personal 2015 46Personal 2015 47Personal 2015 48Personal 2015 49Personal 2015 50Personal 2015 51Personal 2015 52Personal 2015 53Personal 2015 54Personal 2015 55Personal 2015 56

Nicole DuMond is a wedding and portrait photographer based in the rolling hills of Stillwater, Pennsylvania and serving the surrounding areas of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, including Bloomsburg, Benton, Berwick, Red Rock, Stillwater, Danville, Lewisburg, Hunlock Creek, Sweet Valley, and surrounding areas.  Nicole is also available for limited travel along the East Coast & Worldwide.

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