Like many, 2019 was not without successes and challenges professionally and personally. Before highlighting some of my highs of the year, I wish to thank each and everyone of you for being a part of our year. You have no idea how much your many avenues of support mean to Amy and I and we could never truly and accurately express how much you are appreciated. Some of you have allowed us to be your photographer, some have purchased sports pictures, some of you have said hi to us in the halls or in the community, many of you sang and wished me a happy birthday at the football game on senior night, and one individual even let us know she was praying for us. It blows my mind how good you are to us and I wish to say thank you!
I wish to spend the next few moments sharing a few highlights from 2019.
I was blessed to shoot not one but two state tournaments this year. Those who know me, know I love to get pictures of kids in their element and for our seniors, I try to follow their careers when possible and was able to do that all the way to state twice this past year.
First up, was Eli Pannell. It was understood early, as a state qualifier in wrestling in 2018, anything less than the top of the podium in 2019 was not an option for him. Thanks to the Clinton Herald, I was able to cover him as he pinned his way through the State Tournament defeating Chad Grimm in a match I will remember for as long as I live. To be there to capture those moments of celebration on camera is priceless to family and friends but also to me. I truly believe God has blessed our family with opportunities to bless others and when things like this happen, I am reminded of how much I love what I do!
Not long after the Illinois High School State Wrestling Tournament, the Prince of Peace Irish punched their ticket to the 1A State Basketball Tournament. I could call this a "double prizes" day for me because my oldest daughter had recently been selected for the All Iowa Academic Team and was invited to a dinner in Des Moines scheduled for the same day as the Basketball Tournament. Unfortunately, things did not go well for the flu stricken Irish as they came up short. Although they lost, I saw some positives come out of it. The fan support was absolutely there 110% and to see the Irish play as hard as they did and as sick as they were really showed true heart.
As a photography business in this day and age, you constantly see things changing. You have to either lead, move with the times, or you get left behind. Personally, I am one who has a mind that constantly colors outside the lines and a pen and napkin just doesn't fulfill the ideas to a full conclusion. In the past, I have worked with models who have endured, paint, flour, different lighting set ups, jump suit with hand cuffs, a prison cell, fireworks, mud, car wash, a parachute, a fog machine, and cold weather. These have all been fun family oriented opportunities and a great experience for those involved while getting some memorable moments, great pictures and a lot of laughs. Each year, we have been blessed with models who were willing to sacrifice their time to assist us while we work through the obstacles on our way to success and in 2019 we decided to create our rep team program. This program helps us out but we also want to use it to reward the models who go above and beyond the standard shoots. Our first year of this program has been a step in the right direction for sure and we are looking to build from the foundation in 2020.
This is the time of year when the class of 2020 really begins to look forward to graduation and what they will do next. But don't worry! If you still need senior pix, it's not too late. Give us a call. We can do some fun winter shots or get creative indoors. It is also a time when the class of 2021 gears up for their senior year. As we look at putting together our 2021 senior rep team, comment below if you want to know when we are accepting applications. I can't wait to see what's in store for this year!