It is hard to believe that 2016 is over in a few days. This year flew by, bringing with it life’s usual rollercoaster of epic highs and occasional setbacks. Photographically, however, I am filled with joy and gratitude when I look back on the past year.
I think the quote that best describes my photography in 2016 is this one:
“Don’t pigeonhole yourself. You aren’t just a wildlife photographer, an underwater photographer, a studio photographer. You are a storyteller.”
—Kathy Moran, National Geographic senior photo editor
This quote speaks to me on so many levels, but most importantly about the need to let your vision as an artist take you where it needs to go. I did that a lot this year and I have no regrets: I photographed what made me happy, I traveled, I networked, I taught, I made new friends, and I always tried to keep my focus on visual storytelling.
With that said, let’s look at back at my 2016 (with some of my favourite images from the year), and then look forward to 2017…
Working with Fujifilm, and becoming an Official Fuji X Photographer
Fujifilm was on fire this year and it was so exciting to watch. I was actively involved with the launch of the X-Pro2 and the X-T2 and I watched, with excitement, as the GFX-50S medium format camera was announced at Photokina in September. This momentum is not going to stop either as 2017 is shaping up to be another stellar year in the Fujifilm community.
Without a doubt the best part of my year was when I was asked to join the incredibly talented group of Official Fuji X Photographers. I am so humbled to be a part of this amazing group of artists; and, I continue to be inspired by them on a daily basis.
With that said, I would like to take a moment and thank my friends at Fujifilm. The team at Fujifilm Canada is exceptional and the support that they have provided me is more than I ever could have asked for. Beyond that, however, is the need to thank Fujifilm for bringing us these amazing cameras and for bringing the joy of photography back into the lives of so many people. I speak with photographers from all over the world on a daily basis, and I don’t think I’ve ever been part of such an inspired and passionate community of artists. It is a beautiful thing.
My love for travel continues to grow stronger year after year. I love experiencing new places, meeting new people, and discovering new cultures with my camera. Travel this year brought me to Amsterdam, New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco. These trips re-energized me, inspired me, educated me, and provided content for this website. With trips planned in North America and Europe, 2017 is already shaping up to be another inspiring year of travel. I can’t wait.
Portrait photography makes up less and less of my work these days; however, I still photographed several engagement sessions and weddings in 2016. I truly believe that being asked to photograph someone’s wedding is one of the highest honours that can be bestowed upon a photographer, and I have so much appreciation for all of the couples I worked with this year.
Writing, Publishing and Podcasting
My love for writing continues to be an unexpected, but welcome, byproduct of starting this blog. This year end review will be the 110th post on this website, and I was honoured to be asked to write for Fuji Love magazine, for the digital Fujifilm X magazine, and I also did an interview on the 53mm website. I continue to plug away at several eBooks that will finally see completion in 2017 and I love writing my Instagram posts. I also had the pleasure of guesting again on my friend Valerie Jardin’s podcast, which is always a lot of fun.
Workshops, Presentations, and Teaching
I have been an educator for over 20 years, with formal training in adult education, and that became a much larger part of my photography brand this year. Over the year I was asked to give 11 presentations, some at the request of Fujifilm Canada and some as an independent artist. In August I had the pleasure of collaborating with Valerie Jardin and assisting with her street photography workshop here in Vancouver. Finally, I have been actively teaching my private street photography workshops, as well as, the Skype mentoring I do with friends and students from around the world. I cannot express my gratitude enough for having these opportunities. Many thanks to you all.
As always, there was street photography… more than I’ll ever be able to write about or publish as a matter of fact. I feel alive when I am photographing the streets, in much the same way I felt alive when I worked for almost two decades as a paramedic. There is nothing that brings me more satisfaction than documenting life on the streets, and it continues to change everything about my photography.
Thank you, and looking forward to 2017…
There are far too many people to thank for this blog post, so suffice it to say that I truly appreciate all of you that made 2016 so amazing for me: The readers of this site, my friends on Twitter and Instagram, my students, my peers in this wonderful world of photography, the great photographers who inspire me, and those who simply love looking at great photographs. You are all amazing.
Looking forward to 2017, I am guided by this quote from the late Steve Jobs:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
New changes are going to start early in 2017, with the late spring launch of a new series of 2.5 day street photography workshops in several different cities. More information on these will be posted at the end of January. This will be followed shortly after by the publication of my first eBook. To say I am excited about these upcoming projects would be a huge understatement.
Finally, I encourage you all to read that last quote again, and to always remember to create the photographs that make you happy. Don’t let your inner voice as an artist get drowned out by the opinions of others. Satisfy yourself first, and everything else will follow.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and I’d like to leave you with some of my favourite images from 2016.
Best wishes, and many thanks,