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I am a North Carolina conceptual portrait photographer. Look here for updates on my photography adventures. Visit www.HeatherEvansSmith.com for details on commissioned portrait shoots and fine art sales.

December 30, 2013: The 2013 Year In Review

Last year my during my 2012 year-in-review blog post, I poured my heart out about the ups and downs of the year and what I learned going forward. I started an experiment called 52 Chances. Every week I put myself out there in some way: entering contests, teaching a workshop, sending out a packet or email. It was a great experiment that opened doors for me. Though many good things came out of that experiment, one of the things learned was that I was focusing more on promotion than work. I am not a fast worker. It takes time for me to plan my images and, for lack of a better term, the spirit to move me. Some months I can get 3 solid images in and some months I don't take my camera out of the bag. This year put myself out there, but made sure that I worked consistently to shoot and finish my series The Heart and The Heavy.

The year started out perfectly with a retreat in New Mexico with David Bram and Jennifer Schwartz's Flash Powder Projects. The retreat came at a perfect time for me.  I was spinning my wheels and needed solid direction. I left New Mexico with a 12 month plan and I am happy to say that 10 months later I have stuck with that plan. You can read in detail about the retreat here.

Shortly after the retreat I taught a wonderful group of women at my Savannah workshop. I was extremely impressed by the outcome of the photos from that day. I have shared this video before but I feel it is worth sharing again.

Of course one of the highlights of the year was the Project Imaginat10n experience. What a wild night that was! If you missed the blog post you can catch up here (celebrity photo bombs and all).

Throughout the year I took some of my favorite images to date and completed my series The Heart and The Heavy. The series was shown at two galleries, one in Durham, NC and one in Atlanta, GA.

Overall I would say that the year was a success, but it wasn't without its ups and downs. Many days came with elation, recognition, rejection, self-doubt, defeat and confusion. Despite this, I wouldn't change my occupation. Creating is a fight, a good fight. Completing an image that has been wrestling within me for months makes all those uncertainties worth it.

I spoke about these ups and downs recently to a creativity class at Wake Forest University. I have found through my short time in this profession that if you only look towards the end goal then you will be disappointed. There are so many small events and chance meetings that lead to bigger things. You may not see these at the time. When I woke up this morning I found this quote on the internet by Dr. Seuss:
"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

This holds true for all aspects of life though particularly resonates for me regarding my work. Every small thing has the possibility to open the door to experiences one never dreamed.

So what does 2014 hold for me? I am moving forward with clear goals yet an open mind and space to allow events to unfold. I am starting a new project soon but will continue to put myself out there and await serendipity.

I sincerely wish all of you a Happy New Year and thank you for your support.



Beata Rydén said...

I am so impressed by what you´ve managed to do in one year. That is amazing!!! I look forward to follow your creative and artistic journey the next year, I´m sure it will be very exciting and bring you a lot of new and happy things!

Happy new year!!!

Heather Evans Smith said...

Thank you so much Beata! You have beautiful work!

Beata Rydén said...

Thank you <3