Truth be told, 2016 was a rough year for a lot of people. The world saw a lot of hurt and friends lost loved ones. 2016 gave way to anger, hatred and divisiveness. People hurt each other and hurt for each other.
If there is anything we can keep in mind moving into 2017, I think it’s that we’re the only ones that can make 2017 a better year. The change of a new year will help, for sure. But we have to be the ones that change our words, thoughts and actions.
In 2016, I saw the end of my freshman year of college and the beginning of my sophomore year. With that came blossoming friendship. If one thing sticks out to me in 2016, it’s friendship. As 2016 comes to a close today, I’m thankful for the friendship from the past 365 days.
Here are some of my favorite photos and memories from 2016.
January 22, 2016 // It was a quiet snow day on campus. Most people were watching a movie in the Admin or returning to their rooms after sledding all day, but I ventured out to catch the sun setting across campus.
April 23, 2016 // Paula graduated from college, and I was more than happy to take some graduation photos for her. I love black and white photography, and I loved how this photo turned out in B&W. Congrats, Paula!
June 16, 2016 // This summer, I had the opportunity to work in the Office of Public Relations as a PR intern. I was so grateful for the opportunity, and I learned so much. I also was able to see campus during the summer, and while it was miserably hot most of the time, I loved the peace and quiet.
July 15, 2016 // This is another summer shot I captured on campus. Armstrong Hall is my second home, and I love the people that live there.
July 16, 2016 // Not only do I love this photo because of the beauty of Heber Springs, but I also love it because it reminded me of the couple days that my friend Thomas stayed with me this summer. I was able to show him my neck of the woods. Good mems for sure.
July 23, 2016 // I took summer 2016 as a time to check out my local surroundings more. This shot is of the Little Red River, just down from the Greers Ferry Lake Dam. Despite the hot and humid Arkansas temperatures, the water was freezing.
July 23, 2016 // I picked this as one of my favorites not because it really has any sentimental value, but because I love how small the person is at the bottom of the shot. It reminds me that we’re just a tiny piece of God’s vast creation.
August 27, 2016 // A brother and man’s best friend. I think this picture is pretty self-explanatory as to why I love it so much.
August 27, 2016 // When I first shot this, I didn’t mean to just focus on Duke’s nose. But after looking at it a little further, I decided I liked it a lot, actually. Crazy dog.
August 27, 2016 // I don’t usually name any of my shots, but if I did this one would be called “The Grillmaster.” I’m not sure dad is excited about me posting this one, but the colors in this make it one of my favorite shots from 2016.
August 31, 2016 // I picked this shot not because it’s visually stunning, but because it captured one of my favorite things about 2016. Friendship. We had all piled into Sam’s car to take advantage of 50-cent-corndog day. Friends and Sonic. Much love for both.
September 3, 2016 // Great colors. Great weather. Great friends. This photo is from the first tailgate of the football season, and it has some of my favorite people in it.
September 3, 2016 // Kendall was talking to potential club members. Her glitter roots and space buns are pretty intimidating, right?
September 3, 2016 // Another shot of the first tailgate of the season. No one in particular is captured here, but it does capture the game-day atmosphere and friendship that I love about Harding.
September 3, 2016 // Shadows and B&W. Two things I love about this shot. But as I was looking at this picture, I remembered that I shot this after sprinting down the bleachers and to my car to grab my camera. It was half-time of the football game, I stood up to stretch and noticed the great shadows from the kids playing in the practice field behind us. I knew I had to capture it before the sun went down.
September 10, 2016 // Each year, ASI students place flags around the front lawn in memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11. It’s a simple and moving memorial.
September 10, 2016 // I shot this photo with the thought that I wanted it to be my iPhone lock screen wallpaper. And it has been since Sept. 10. The setting sun created an incredible canvas of colors behind the bell tower.
September 11, 2016 // There is nothing quite as iconic as the White County Fair. The food, the rides, the animals, the people — it’s all a sight to see. I picked this shot because of the great colors from the game, but also because of the lady’s expression at the end of the row. She wasn’t so sure about me snapping her shot.
September 18, 2016 // It’s my favorite tree on campus; therefore, this is one of my favorite shots of the year. A rain shower had just moved through, campus was quiet and my favorite tree was ready to have its picture taken.
September 18, 2016 // I didn’t know this girl, but she graciously allowed me to get a couple shots of her against the iconic columns of the Administration Auditorium.
September 25, 2016 // 2016 brought a new photography opportunity — shooting events for church. When they asked me to capture some moments from our Night of Worship, I was skeptical at first because worship can be such an intimate moment, but it ended up being an incredible way to use my talents to capture the church worshipping together.
September 28, 2016 // At the groundbreaking for our new church building, I couldn’t pass up this silhouette shot. I loved the power of this shot. The father and son watched as ground was broken for the church building where their relationship together and with Christ would flourish.
October 6, 2016 // Kendall: a real cool cat. Like I said, 2016 was all about friendship for me. And mine and Kendall’s friendship is one that I am so, so thankful for.
October 8, 2016 // At Baby Hartsfield’s gender reveal party, I was able to capture the people I love most — my family. Hopefully there are several shots of Baby Kasen in my 2017 blog posts.
October 15, 2016 // Now this was a great day. Ty proposed to Addison, and I got to be there to capture that moment. It was an honor for Ty to ask me to do that. I think I was probably as nervous as he was.
October 15, 2016 // Reliving the surprise. Addison was so impressed that Ty was able to pull it off without her finding out.
October 15, 2016 // Post-engagement. My friends and I made our way through Crystal Bridges Art Museum. I picked this as one of my favorites because of the framing of the sculpture in the background, but also because of the curiosity of the faces of the two boys.
October 15, 2016 // This picture deserves a full post. The tour guide was explaining the painting. At the surface, it just seemed to be a strange, abstract piece, but he explained to us that it depicted the painter’s emotions from being a persecuted gay man in the early 1900s. To hear the story and the pain behind the brushstrokes was heartbreaking, and I think my friends’ expressions show that really well here.
October 15, 2016 // October 15 was just a really great day. Coffee, friends, love and art. I’m incredibly thankful for Sam, her friendship and killer Spotify playlists.
October 15, 2016 // Model status. This ended up being one of my favorite portraits from 2016, and I didn’t put much thought into it. Hannah was being goofy as we were leaving the museum, and I picked my camera up to capture here personality when she turned and posed. Perfect. Unplanned shots like this are my favorite.
October 20, 2016 // I love to travel, and 2016 allowed me to travel far and wide. In October, we visited my favorite city, Washington D.C., for a conference. This street performer made the beautiful night even more spectacular.
October 20, 2016 // Another shot of my favorite city from my favorite trip of 2016.
October 20, 2016 // I picked this shot because I loved the contrast of the massive columns of the Lincoln Memorial to the couple sitting below.
November 19, 2016 // The first day of Thanksgiving Break found the family and I in Mountain View. The sunset cast an orange glow over the water and tree tops.
December 19, 2016 // This could be a freaking Christmas card! Duke is a big advocate for bringing your pets indoors when it gets cold out. He was happy to model for me, too.
December 20, 2016 // Brady and Savannah got married in 2016, and I was lucky enough to be able to capture some sweet moments for them. Congrats, Brady and Savannah!
December 21, 2016 // Being home always reminds me how much I love Arkansas sunsets. This December afternoon was crisp and cool.
December 21, 2016 // Another shot of that beautiful Arkansas sunset.
December 25, 2016 // Christmas Day and family. And this crazy expression from Aunt Susie who was excited about her sweater.
December 25, 2016 // Duke needed a Christmas-afternoon nap. One of the reasons I chose this shot was because I loved the natural framing of the window. And of course because I love Duke, too.
I’m looking forward to a prosperous 2017 filled with more friendship, family, coffee and photography. I hope 2017 treats you well, too.
Kendall and Hannah leaving 2016 behind. Peace and blessings.