Dread Year in Review: 2016

I think a lot of us can agree that 2016 was an epically shitty year on so many fronts. From the massive amounts of celebrity deaths (Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher just to name a FEW), to the American election, to the general tensions and tragedies in the rest of the world, a lot of people HATED 2016.

Though I have danced around it, I’ll confess. I went through a major slump last year. I was overwhelmed by work and did not do nearly as many photo shoots or events as I would have liked and I honestly fell into a depression for a quite a while. I had no time or energy to do what I loved and felt like a constant failure. I think I’m finally fully coming out of it now, and that’s why I’m finally doing this entry that I meant to do in January in JULY.

I have to admit it was not the best year for me, but I wouldn’t say the worst. I had friends and family members who passed, there was the flood in Ellicott City and other shitty things happened, but there was also good. I got a brand new car, I met George RR Martin and got books autographed by him, I got to meet and be photographed with my all time favorite band Korn, I met Adam West and Burt Ward, I met Michael Rooker and Will Friedle, I went to Niagra Falls, I made new cosplays, crocheted, drank wines in plenty of new places, went to conventions, met new people and made art.

And there is probably even more that I cannot remember right now, but let’s focus on the art part.

As per tradition, 10 of my favorite photos from the last year, in order by date photographed.

Let’s do this.

First up is the Tardis Burlesque shoot with Larry Bradby. I did this look originally for a Doctor Who themed burlesque and variety show I was in a while back, but I wanted to work it and get some real shots of the outfit. Larry was awesome in working with me on this and this was actually my first shoot of the year last year. I started really late, but it was a great start. πŸ™‚ My Tardis pasties were made by me and they are probably the ones that I am the most proud of at this point.

Next is a very random idea I had, basically to channel Maleficent but not be an overt cosplay. Mainly I wanted to play with a new wig and Rob Mann and I had not shot in a while, so when he suggested we get together I was all about it. I love doing gothy looks and this was one I really enjoyed. πŸ™‚

Next up was this kick ass pirate ensemble which I did for both the Privateer festival (photo by Steven Freeman) and then again for this shoot with Katie Potter, at her urging. These shots turned out so cool I was so happy with how they came together and I just love dressing like a pirate any chance I can get. Β ^_^

This next entry is a pretty kickass cosplay I had been working on for a while now: steampunk Ariel. It also allowed me an opportunity to meet the DC Cosplay Photoshoot group and a lot of cool people have entered my life thanks to that. I am so glad I took the time to go to this shoot and I remember it was such an uplifting moment for me. Marie Newby got this shot which was my favorite of the day and really captured this costume well.

Following that was a pretty cool shoot I did with Devana of SomethingBittersweet Photography. We hadn’t worked together in a super long time so it was so good to see her again. It was also cool to play Wednesday Addams for a while, even though it was sweltering outside.

Oddly, I only got to shoot with Jim O’Connor once last year. We were going with an Ophelia in the water style theme and the entire time we were shooting, I had curious little fish nibbling at me which could be startling at times, but we had a good time with it all and the water felt fantastic on such a hot day.

I threw together a random look and decided it needed to be captured. It had been a while since Tasha from SavingMySanityThroughtheLens and I had worked together. Coincidentally, while Tasha and I were driving around, we found a burnt out house and thought it would be a fantastic shoot location, so we got this awesome shot.

Next was a fun shoot with another photographer I have not worked with in a while, Jason McNeil. This shoot was very simple and fun and it just turned out very glamorous.

Lastly was a shoot that meant quite a bit to me, mainly for the location. My great aunt passed last year at the age of 95. Every summer she held family reunions at her home in the countryside of Virginia. When I say country, I mean dirt roads. Her home was a fixture in my life and she was the glue that always held the family together. Now she’s gone, and the property will soon be sold. I wanted to say goodbye to that place and my memories there with a photo set. Ross Sieber indulged me and was cool enough to come all the way to Virginia with me and work on this and I am so grateful for this.

Thank you everyone who still follows me and cheers me on, I cannot tell you how great you all made me feel when I felt like I was at my lowest points. Thank you all so much. ❀

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