Flat-lay of chocolate chip cookie ingredients

Top 20 Photos of 2020

December 29, 2020


Don’t you just love looking back on the year and curating your own list of superlatives? Best movie, funniest TV show, most danceable song, most inspiring book, most hilarious moment, best adventure, and so on…

With that in mind, I figured that I’d choose 20 of my favorite images I captured throughout 2020 – which was no easy task! I gave myself rules to help the process:

1. They had to be taken with my DSLR (it would have taken forever to scroll through my phone, and it’s not like you need an entire blog post dedicated to my nieces and nephews). 😉

2. I couldn’t spend hours and hours choosing. If a photo moved me for some reason, it went into the contenders category and then I narrowed it down from there.

3. I couldn’t let myself feel bad about not choosing a photo from every shoot (especially featuring my glorious clients!).

That’s it. Those were my three rules. So without further ado, I present to you my Top 20 Photos of 2020. (In chronological order.) Below each is an explanation of why it made the cut. Enjoy!

Time to bake cookies! I wanted to have fun with flat lay images, and this inspired future product photography shoots I would do in 2020. I can’t help it, ingredients (and baked goods) make me happy and I just love how this looks! (Taken 03/11/20)
Waves looking north towards Mount Baker from Edmonds Beach. Throughout the year, if I was ever feeling like I needed a break, all I had to do was walk along the waterfront and listen to the waves to feel calm and refreshed. (Taken 03/16/20)
My last shoot before lockdown, so this will always be memorable! A sweet maternity session for the Holzer family at the Washington Park Arboretum. (Taken 03/21/20)
The Edmonds ferry crossing the Puget Sound in March…quite empty with the recent COVID news. I remember this evening vividly, and again, it provides me such a sense of calm and appreciation for our little corner of the world. (Taken 03/21/20)
Super night for a super moon! I’m fascinated by the detail we can see from here. It always feels so exciting to get a solid moon shot. (Taken 04/07/20)
My first styled product photography shoot! Since I was stuck at home, I figured I could at least help some small businesses (like Borealis Candle Co.) with product photography! I especially love this one because I envisioned creating this citrus backdrop – and it actually worked! The vibrant colors make me smile and I feel like I can smell this candle. (Taken 05/06/20)
Gig Harbor, WA – my happy place. I could sit and stare at this view for hours and never get bored. This setting will always be in my top 20 photos. 🙂 (Taken 05/09/20)
I think this was the first spring (in a while, at least) that I really paid attention to nature. I walked my neighborhood regularly and I saw the progression of plants turning green, budding and blooming. It was glorious. This particular photo feels so graceful, like the rose is swimming – it reminds me of a betta fish. (Taken 05/17/20)
Another one from the same spring walk…I’m obsessed with the symmetry and design of this flower. Mother Nature is a pro! The shallow depth of field allowing this flower to stand out from the background makes my heart swoon. (Taken 05/17/20)
What better way to celebrate entering “Phase 1.5” than by photographing a wedding! And after having to relocate and reschedule their wedding several times, Jasen and Kacee were ready to tie the knot, rain (lots of rain) or shine. There was so much happiness on this day, including from me because it was my first photoshoot with real, live humans in three months! (Taken 06/13/20)
My first high school senior portrait session of the year and I wanted Kate to shine! I love how the fairy lights and branches frame her so well, and give a perfect summer vibe. The UW Center for Urban Horticulture was my go-to portrait location for the year, that’s for sure. (Taken 06/26/20)
Another high school senior photoshoot, and a contender for my favorite session of the year. Maya admittedly didn’t want to smile big in many of her photos, but I was able to sneak a photo of her laughing and I just can’t get enough. She’s such a bright and creative spirit! (Taken 06/29/20)
Seattle in the summer is glorious, is it not? I asked Maria to join me at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture for a portrait session because I had a burning desire to create and shoot just for fun! (Taken 07/30/20)
Nothing levels-up a senior portrait session like incorporating props, and I am really proud of this shot of Jack with his dirt bike. The lens and angle I used were outside of my usual style, but something I’ve been working on adding to my repertoire. (Taken 08/18/20)
If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ve probably caught on to how much I love Mount Rainier, so this should be a no-brainer. This photo also takes me back to the day that I hiked Paradise for the first time, and it felt so good to get outside in nature! It was a glorious day. (Taken 08/22/20)
Just as I did in the spring, when fall came I walked my neighborhood and photographed the changes. The colors were beautiful, and this image of golden leaves signifies the start of the season. Another one that makes me feel calm. Maybe that’s my 2020 theme? (Taken 10/06/20)
I can’t help but smile and laugh every time I see this photo of my mom and nephew throwing leaves at McMurtrey’s Red-Wood Tree Farm. They were helping me scout the location for upcoming mini-sessions, and I ended up photographing the two of them on a little adventure around the farm! (Taken 10/09/20)
The tree farm mini-sessions in action! Lexi’s energy and joy are how I feel at every photoshoot, and how I hope my clients feel, too. Any time I can capture a kiddo in their element, that’s a huge win in my book. (Taken 10/24/20)
When I first scouted the tree farm, this is one of the images I envisioned, and I was so happy I could capture it with the entire Sam family looking good at the same time. (Taken 10/24/20)
You might recognize a familiar face in this one! I had the immense honor and pleasure of photographing one side of my immediate family…and it was the highest-pressure family shoot of my life, ha! I knew this photo would be enlarged to 30″x40″ and live on a prominent wall for several years – PLUS, it’s my family – so I wanted it to look amazing! You’re probably wondering how I got 18 people – including eight children! – to look at the camera at the same time. I’ll let you in on a little secret…I didn’t. Perhaps I’ll share how I created this image in a separate post! Suffice to say, I am extremely proud of this one! (Taken 11/21/20)

I hope you enjoyed this look back at my 2020! Do you have a favorite photo (or top 20) of the year, too?

While there are many reasons that 2020 was ridiculously challenging and frustrating, I choose not to dwell on them. I’m grateful for the many opportunities and new perspectives the year provided – whenever one door closed, a window opened and I hopped up on the ledge and squeezed myself through. I’m looking forward to what 2021 will bring us all. Happy New Year, friend!