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RACHEL DOWNEY PHOTOGRAPHY

2018 Year in Review

Does anyone else feel like 2018 had one of the strangest cadences?

January was about 6 years long, February was over in 2 days, April through June is a blur for me, July was several months long, August-October didn’t even stop in to say hello, and here we are at the ass end of the year. Or as Christa says every year in the poem she recites in our show: the wreck’d end of the year.

I think I like that better.

The rapid passage of time is part of why I’m obsessed with documentation. (The other part has to do with my short term memory issues.) I focus so much of my time and effort on photographing other people’s lives that I’ve been forgetting to document my own, and that is heartbreaking for me. I realized this as the seasons were turning late in the summer, and I’ve been making a more conscious effort through the rest of the year. I always make a book for the year (more on those in the coming months), but lately, I’ve struggled to keep up. The 2017 book still isn’t done.

Busy bee.

So I want to start this “Year in Review” series, a look back on the year that I’ve had and things I’ve forgotten and the accomplishments that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. And I’m including a list of the not-so-good as well, for balance; you can’t pretend everything was groovy. But if your mindset on a day to day basis is one of optimism, you’ll find you remember so much more of the good things. I’m just going to spit it all out, in the only out of order, unfocused way I know how.

 

The good:

I started a new job, moved into a new apartment, shot a bunch of weddings, made so many new friends, got freaking engaged, got freaking married, celebrated my brother’s engagement, lived my best plant goddess life, rebranded my business, went legit, started mentoring, published 44 blog posts, fell out with my best friend to fall back into my best friend in the best way, shot engagements and families and branding and random beach dates, spent Christmas on the coast, learned some new recipes, upgraded my gear, started booking for 2019.

I tried sushi for the first time, watched Mama Mia 2 with my wee brother, pet so many dogs, tied my hair in a ponytail for the first time in a decade, cut my hair off again after two years of agonizingly growing it out (and it feels amazing), stood up for myself, organized 5 styled shoots, learned how to ride a motorbike and got my motorbike license, started weightlifting again, danced in St. Patrick’s Day shows with some of my favourite people, danced again for Christmas even though last year we said we wouldn’t, rebranded my business, went to Half Moon Bay and ate the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. Twice.

I took Duncan to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for the first time, then his second time, bought some power tools, welcomed a sweet baby niece, squeezed my brother’s new dog, got my first new sofa, went to my friend’s art show in the city, hiked Lands End with Maggie, ate gluten-free cookies the size of my face, re-read all of Harry Potter, gained weight, built some furniture by hand, finally got new glasses, went wine tasting by the sea, hung a gallery wall, watched my dear friend’s baby live through his first year of life (from afar).

 

The not so good:

I struggled through unemployment, dealt with being in a long-distance relationship, lost some plants to the squirrels, lost some more plants to the snow, spent too much money on petrol, dropped a lens under a car (don’t worry, it survived), family moved away, I had health problems, Trump still exists, Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, “politics” makes me want to scream, California burned, my friend’s sister died.

 

 

 

Goals for 2019*

  • Attract and connect with and work with more of the “right people”
  • Write more
  • Get better at saying “no”
  • No new gear; get really good at using what I have
  • Grow unreasonably large plants
  • Work on the YearBook month-by-month, not all at once
  • Stop comparing my work to other people’s work
  • Hang out with photographers who are a lot better than me
  • Live in the same city as my husband

 

*These are my “floaty” goals. If you want to talk about the real process of goal-setting and why that’s important and how to actually achieve your goals, stay tuned…

 

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