In a lull from lockdowns + reschedulings I went for weeks without picking up my camera.

Some days I would feel guilty. Some days I would stare at my gear on the shelf and blame myself for not being creative enough or not being a true artist. I fooled myself into thinking I was honoring the craft by setting it aside but actually just felt discouraged watching my business start to crack.

A particularly nice and cloudy day [always rare for LA] I went for a drive. There were a few places I wanted to check out, mainly to be in nature + to feel the pulse of a quiet city. Most everything I wanted to see was closed so I drove up the Malibu coast until I got to the end.

Travel was exhausting and strange in 2020. I flew several times for weddings and each one took more out of me than the last. I snuck in a small road trip with Indy from Texas to our family summer home in Minnesota. It was exhausting staying socially distanced in hotels and eating meals takeaway or outdoors. The pandemic forces you to be always on your guard, sanitize your hands until they crack, and avoid most interactions with other people. Strangers always felt like the enemy and that is not cool.

Friendships surprised me this year. A dear friend and I took a wonderful weekend trip to Palm Springs in February before the world closed. We still giggle at how lucky we were to have one of the last normal trips this year. The year was filled with mini play dates, phone calls + quiet small meetings, usually outdoors. Ironically, my long-distance friendships grew stronger while some of my LA friendships seemed to fade away.

This year I was meant to travel to Scotland, France + Tahiti.

I did not go abroad this year.

This year I was supposed to photograph twenty-one weddings.

I got to shoot five.

This year I was going to thrive + keeping moving ahead.

I still did, just not in the ways I expected.

I found joy in very small things like watching rain, making cocktails, hiking + scouting new locations, writing and shooting film again.

The spark hit me sometime in the summer. It shined brighter with each small shoot I had. I loved documenting 2020 in the handful of weddings I had, some portraits + some of the lovelist engagement sessions. My creativity felt invigorated, renewed. Perhaps stepping away didn’t make me less of an artist but more of one after all.

Unexpected lows and unexpected joys carried over for a hopefully new year ahead.

-t