2014 Was Intense: A reflection of my past year.

2014 was intense.

It's hard for me to decide if 2014 was either good or bad - it had such a contrast of highs and lows that I feel the best word to describe the year would probably just be 'intense'. 

It started absolutely amazing - I was travelling more than I have any other year. Starting with a few weeks in Grenada, then down to Georgia, and not long after over to Nova Scotia with one of my favourite photographers. Hell yeah, right? I was moved into a great house with a few of my best friends (thanks guys!), started dating my wonderful girlfriend, was shooting pretty regularly, and even had a few gallery showings. All good!

October is when things started to get a little rocky, with one of my best friends being diagnosed with cancer. Having not dealt with something of this sort hitting so close to home, I was pretty rattled. Then, a few weeks later my childhood home had a bad fire, displacing my mom and shaking things up pretty hard. With these events I spent the next month and a bit travelling back and forth from Toronto to my hometown, Brockville. 

With all of this happening I found it hard to focus and stay in the 'groove' of producing new material and focusing on my career. In no way did it make me step back from where I've gotten, it just slowed me down a bit. Understandable, I think. BUT, with this time I've had a lot of opportunity to really think about the path I'm taking and the potential steps I need, or want, to take. I've been thinking a lot about what kind of photographer I want to be, what areas I want to focus on, and overall, the person I want to become in the future.

Although I tend to change direction pretty regularly, I'm pretty confident in a few simple goals I've set for the future.... because, that's what you do in the new year, right? Goals!

Travel More. 

I think travelling may be becoming more, or at least equally as important as photography is to me. It's become an addiction that I'm so happy to have - I prefer to watch it, read about it, look at it, and day dream about it more than anything else. 

Take more portraits.

I like people. I'm so interested in meeting new people, and photography is such an amazing way to do so. Pointing a camera at someone has this weird ability to connect and almost skip a few steps in becoming better acquainted with said person - I'd like to take advantage of this ability more often.

Make my portraits mean more.

Although I still love just making a beautiful portrait for the sake of the craft, I want to begin adding more depth or meaning to the portraits I take. Perhaps it's by photographing people in a place they're connected to, or adding some words, or maybe even grabbing an expression that hits hard - either way, just make them mean more.

My TRUE FANS (hah!) may remember my Strange(r) People project from a few years ago? Well, you may see more of something similar. Also, I think Humans Of New York is one of the most amazing photography projects happening right now - serious inspiration.

Produce more content.

I want to create more. I want to take more photos, explore new mediums, take part in more projects, and just constantly be working on something. I'm completely addicted to the satisfaction of creating something - even if i'm sick of it a week later (the usual) I'm always still happy that I at least finished it. So, expect a lot more coming at you.

So yeah, goals are cool.

Finally, I'd like to acknowledge a few things I'm releasing this year...

First, obviously, is this new website. Huge thanks to the wonderful Anthea for your design help and feedback, Brendy for your usual website guru-ness, and everyone else who lent a few words of feedback.

Secondly, I'll be releasing new content almost every week for the next month. I have a few big projects I've been holding onto that I'm super excited to show everyone. Be stoked.

Finally, my upcoming gallery showing. The opening party is Thursday, January 29th and it'll be hosted at the awesome Black Cat Gallery on Dundas West. I can honestly say the displayed work will be like nothing I've done before.

So far 2015 has started off with a serious bang. In addition to those things (and probably the best news yet) that best friend I mentioned, Sierra, finished her last chemo session today! Amazing.

So yeah, 2014 was intense but I honestly couldn't be more excited for 2015. I believe it'll be a big year for me personally and professionally. Goin' in stoked!

Sincerely,
Dylan