“Maybe the amount of extraordinary things that happen in your life depends on what you notice.”
Sophia Joan Short
What a wild ride 2021 was! Rescheduled weddings added to the already scheduled weddings of the year, making it the busiest year for most vendors in the wedding industry. As much of a whirlwind that the year was, it really felt like “coming home” for me at work, with refining what matters personally and professionally. After 11 years of Molliner Photography, I was rediscovering what fills my cup and brings me satisfaction in my art.
This blog post is my favorite because it is an opportunity to savor the goodness of God, even in the wildest year yet. I am here feeling humbled by the stories told, lessons learned and the adventures had. Thank you to the couples who invited me into one of their most important moments, but also into their lives as friends. Thank you to the talented people behind every single one of these images who worked tirelessly for couples to celebrate big! Thank you to the brands that trusted me to share their heart behind what they do through my lens. Thank you to my family and friends who have encouraged, supported and helped with childcare (last fall was its own kind of wild!). I’m most thankful to the Lord who allowed each and every moment of 2021, because it led me back to experience that He is faithful always.
Below are just a few notable moments that made 2021:
- Wayne and I celebrated a decade of marriage in Greece and I took my film camera which was a dream! I was even given the opportunity to photograph a couple out there.
- There were 15 flights taken for work, taking Molliner Photography to places like California, North Carolina, Missouri & Utah. So many breathtaking views making the most stunning backdrops for storytelling.
- The process of booking and partnering with couples for their weddings got a bit of a facelift. We created a more refined process of recognizing our ideal projects/clients. This led us to more confidently say “no” to make room for our “yes.” In order to protect our personal time, both Kim and I also decided to not accept any new weddings/sessions in December. It was still a busy month of editing, but we made space for our own memories with our people.
- My favorite moment I saw God working was when I was put in a situation where our professional values were tested. I felt that the Lord was supplying abundantly more than what I asked for or expected in calming the storm and bringing light to truth. When I was tempted with anxiety and fear over a very challenging situation at work, I saw my own version of Matthew 8:26.
- Emily, from The Ganeys, invited me to work alongside her in Tahoe for a very special wedding weekend. It was by far the hardest work but one of the most rewarding. I love working together as a team, but more than that, I just love every opportunity we get to be with one another for quality time. This year, work brought us together 3 times!
Below are a few of my favorites. My hope is that you notice His extraordinary beauty behind these moments. I hope you see the expressive joy, thoughtfully curated details and the tender touches that filled my cup in 2021.
I was able to attend Hybrid Co and make new friends while shooting/learning alongside heroes like Elizabeth Messina, Perry Vaile and Daniel Kim. A highlight was pushing myself to create work I was proud of, even through limited factors like creating portraits in 60 seconds with film, handheld and with very little light indoors.
One big thing both Kim and I learned was to measure success by degree of presence over the degree of work. We learned we both needed a more rigid schedule, protecting our time in order to honor the Lord with our limited resource of time. With a wild year comes a need for wild boundaries to protect the right things first and to work within capacity. It felt like a year of learning (and relearning) my why, my idea of success and my new capacity.
Our Content & Creative Director, Ashley, began a new charcuterie business called Baker’s Table. This time, I had the pleasure and fun opportunity to work for her and her company through a brand shoot. This year was a big year for photographing creative brands.
Our very own Office Manager, Tori, got engaged to my brother! Wayne was able to photograph their proposal since both Kim and I had our own weddings that day. It was the first time that MP was shooting at three different locations! Fun fact: Technically, Tori will be the only Molliner working for Molliner Photography once she is married. They met at the MP office when she first started with us 6 years ago!