“If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.” – Carrie Fisher, 2011
“Laugh until you hurt every chance you get.” – Tim Summerlin, 2016
In what is sort of an expected annual tradition, wedding photographers are supposed to write a year end review every year and say happy shiny things about how wonderful the year was. But it’s not my style to bullshit you. So here’s my story about last year and some of my favorite and best wedding photos of 2016.
To be certain, 2016 was an unusual year for most of us. Brutal in many ways. For me personally, it was a year of inconceivable loss, reinvention and rebirth. On January 25, 2016, my brother lost his life in a car accident, and it’s fair to say I spent most of the rest of the year in a tailspin. There were the nights where I couldn’t sleep with the lights off. And the weeks I couldn’t stop crying. And the guilt. And the despair. But in the midst of all that, there were amazing acts of kindness and compassion from so many people. So many of you reached out to me to offer kind words, support, and understanding. Over the course of the year, Jessica and I made the decision to scale back the number of weddings that I accept so that I could have more time to spend with my nephews, but despite that, 2016 was our most amazing business year yet. This year, you all inspired me and redirected me in a way that was completely unexpected. You’ve helped me find a better way of seeing that is more honest and intentional. And more creative. So I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being a bright star over an ocean of darkness this year. You were needed in more ways than you can imagine. I am forever grateful to have been a part of your story, and even more grateful that you were a part of mine.
Another special note here. My brother was a lot like me, especially his oddball sense of humor. I expect that he would have been impressed to know that the year that we lost him was also the same year that the world lost Bowie, and Prince, and Carrie Fisher. He was a fan of all of them, but in particular, he was a sci-fi nerd and Star Wars was one of his favorites. I expect that right about now he’s hanging out with Carrie Fisher somewhere in the cosmos, drinking a perfectly aged whiskey and laughing his ass off.
So here, in no particular order, are 68 of my favorite photos of 2016, from the more than 125,000 that I shot. I know I missed a few, and if you’re looking and you don’t see yourself, please don’t think I’m overlooking you. I’m still trying to get back into the habit of keywording and labeling things so that I can find a needle in a haystack. So please speak up and let me know and I’ll get it right.
One last postscript. This year would not have been possible without my amazing superhero of a wife, Jessica. I’ve never leaned on her so hard, and she’s been a rock like you can’t possibly imagine. Our anniversary is coming up soon, so there will be much more lavish praise for her coming soon, but I didn’t want to end this post without acknowledging the incredible part she has played in making all of this happen.
Now let’s go kick 2017’s ass. We got this.