A reflection on the year.

Today is Amber & Bo's 1-year anniversary! It's hard to believe it's already been a year since this amazing day. Even with the freezing cold weather and an endless downpour, their love couldn't be dampened! The day at Vintage Oaks Farm is certainly one I will never forget... partially because of the joy they shared, but also because it was the first wedding I ever shot as a primary shooter. When I think back to this day a year ago, it's amazing to see the incredible things that have happened within a year in our personal and professional lives and the ways I have been encouraged, blessed, challenged and more.

At the time I didn't have an official photography business, but knew I had a love of documenting amazing moments and serving others. I didn't have tons of fancy gear, but knew how to make the gear I had work to my advantage. I didn't have endless knowledge or training, but was determined to work hard to provide Amber & Bo with the best images I could possibly create. And finally, I didn't have an extensive portfolio to show, but I did have an amazing support system behind me who believed in me and referred me to others, even when we didn't know if we'd be moving 2 hours by car or 2 hours by plane.

Since this wedding day we have found out where we'd be living for the next 5 years, my husband graduated from medical school, we bought a house, I launched Lauren Carnes Photography, we moved, my husband began residency, and I shot 8 more weddings, multiple engagement sessions, lots of delicious food and various styled shoots, collaborated with fabulously talented creatives, and was featured on some amazing publications. We lived life, we traveled, we mourned, we celebrated, we built new relationships and most of all we rejoiced in the goodness of 2014. What. a. year.

I say this all to say two things: thank you and keep going. Thank you to those who entrust the biggest moments of their lives to me and allow me to share in and capture some of their most cherished memories. To those who celebrate in the joy and calm me in the challenges all while supporting me fully in this endeavor. To those who encourage me and continually make this little business what it is. I am forever grateful for each and every one of you.

And keep going to those who are just beginning in any creative endeavor. You can do it. A conversation yesterday led me to the reminder that, "Good things take time." Keep pressing forward, keep working hard and keep showing kindness to others. When doors are open, walk on through. And when they're closed, knock or move along to the next door. He will guide you in your steps if you trust Him to do so. I'm always so inspired and encouraged by those who live these principles on a daily basis. With 6-months of small business life under my belt, I aim to remember this every day and simply thank you all for the reminder.

Finally, thank you to Amber & Bo for inviting me in on their special day, and allowing me to have my first chance at shooting at wedding. You launched more than you could have known in my heart. Here's to all that 2015 has in store!