Well hi there, 2016!
This year, I thought to myself, "Self, it would be super fantastic if you could finish your "Best Of" post before like…April." So here it is, January 6th, and I have ALL MY 2015 SESSIONS ORGANIZED AND ARCHIVED! Basically, I'm super on the ball so far this year (on the other hand, it IS only January 6th so….I'll give it a little time. I'm sure I'll fall apart by the 9th…10th at the latest!)
Big, BIG thank you to all my amazing 2015 clients: a huge percentage of you were return clients, and in my mind there is no greater compliment to my craft than clients who come back again and again. I'm SO happy knowing people are over-the-moon with their products! So…here they are…my very favourite shots from 2015.
#43 I call this, "Most Adorable Kid in Wildflower Field. Ever."
#42 Sometimes, my favourite newborn shots are the natural poses :) Adorable Mr. Parker!
#41 PEI sunsets, clover fields, and this family.
#40 This ring. No words. Sigh.
#39 PEI has the most stunning locations. And people!
#38 Because how often does one get to photograph a "kilted" wedding party?!
#37 Kisses for not-quite-here-yet Baby Sis!
#36 Fingers and toes and belly button….swoon!
#35 Waiting patiently for my nephew!
#34 Those BACK WRINKLES!!! Gah.
#33 This family.
#32 Maybe my favourite bridal portrait ever?
#31 Sweet smiles from Baby Jeremiah!
#30 Dog…PEI beach….gorgeous couple who's wedding I get to photograph in 2016...OBVIOUSLY this picture in making it into my Favourite Images blog post ;)
#29 My Biggest-Little brother and his Tiny Human!
#28 This gorgeous Momma-to-be and her perfectly round belly!
#27 Sometimes, you just need to stand next to the ocean and have a good long stare :)
#26 One of my favourite newborn-parent shots of all time! Seth and Leanne and gorgeous Baby Eden!
#25 Beautiful sisters!
#24 My first ever set of GIRL newborn twins…and they're my….fourth cousins? Third cousins? Third cousins once removed? Something along those lines :) I think the point here is that they got my good looks ;)
#23 Being able to photograph gorgeous families in barley fields and not having to ask permission, because they're owned by my family: PEI for the win!!!!
#22 That's not a baby…that's a bear!
#21 My gorgeous cousin-in-law and stunning Baby Ben!
#20 Is it weird that I want this print on my wall, and this isn't even my family?! ;)
#19 So. much. adorable.
#18 As I post this shot…I realize that it may be the first time sharing this image on my blog?! I'm not sure how that happened. Regardless. I'm in love!
#17 Taken on my parent's property in Western PEI. Everything about this Momma-Daughter shot just slays me!
#16 …..Annnnnnd this one, from later in the same session. Because A) Well I mean look at these two! So much love! and also B) This is one of my grandparent's field's, where I always have thought maybe someday I could build a house (despite the fact that, you know…I live in Moncton…)
#15 This image is so special…we were able to go back to the same field where I photographed J + M a little over a year before, when Baby J was still growing in her Momma's belly!
#14 Oh my land. I don't think I need to explain my love for this shot ;)
#13 …parts A and B. Because it's my blog…and I can do what I want!
#12 Oh Baby Weston….you fold your hands like a little gentleman, and steal my heart!
#11 You know what else I can do when it's MY blog? Include pictures of my own kiddos. Because I'm the boss.
#10 Oh hi….you are adorable.
#9 Snuggly engagement shots are the best!
#8 Since I was due with Baby #3 at the first of October, I sadly missed a lot of this year's "colourful" season :( But what I DID get to photograph…I'm in love with!
#7 "Hmmm…..should I wake up my Momma 3 times, or 4 times tonight?" Baby Asher has some big life decisions to make!
#6 Getting to to watch families grow, through the maternity-newborn-baby stage. I ADORE that part of my job!
#5 That moment, when it starts to snow for approximately 45 seconds during a maternity session!
#4 I love all the love!
#3 A forever-favourite shot!
#2 I sometimes get asked why I take some pictures "with the heads cut off". Or partially cut off. Welllll this is why: I LOVE how, in the image on the left, the eye is initially drawn to the hand placement, his ring, and the soft smile on her lips. It's the same reason I include "detail shots" with my newborn sessions!
(Yes yes, I KNOW there's no #1…we'll get to that in a moment.)
Now. Those are in-no-particular-order Favourite Shots of 2015. But the FOLLOWING shots…they are the winners of the first annual Kate Hawkins Photography "Images of the Year" contest, in which I compete against myself. Kind of like the awards "Live With Kelly + Michael" give out every year. To themselves.
Let me explain.
I think it's fantastic when photographers enter, and win, photography contests. I think that for some people, it ups their game and helps them push their craft forward and aspire to DO better and BE better and create images that will be remembered. For me, I find that inspiration in other ways, and I'm learning that I don't want to compete against other photographers. I see other photographers' images that I ADORE, but are so completely different in style and composition from my own, that when I compare my own work to them, I start to second guess MY shooting and editing style. So I think it best (you know…for my own sanity), that I only compete with myself…in an effort to make each year of work better than the last. SO. Here are my "Winners". My very favourite images from 2015, in each category, that I feel were my Very Best Work.
Engagement: Lucas + MacKayla, Western PEI
Honestly, I could've chosen any image from this session. The light, location, and MacKayla's props and outfits were all absolute perfection (and I usually HATE when people use the word "perfection", but it's required here!)
This first image is one of my favourite shots I've ever EVER taken, of any genre. I love the simplicity, and the rustic details. And the PEI red dirt, obviously ;)
And this shot. I mean honestly, could these bridesmaids BE any more gorgeous?! And the dresses. Kudos to Amy for picking the most stunning colours and styles!
Hands down my favourite family shot of the year. I think it's a mixture between the matte B+W edit, Mr. Leo's adorable face, and the matching leather jackets ;) Taken in Moncton, NB.
OH this shot. I don't think it's any secret that if I were to specialize, it would be into maternity + newborn. They are my ABSOLUTE favourite sessions. I adore this shot of beautiful Jensen and her growing baby belly! Taken in Fredericton, NB.
Three very different shots taken under very different lighting conditions. Completely in love with these three! I think the common theme here is that wildflower fields make me drool :)
I booked more newborn sessions in 2015 than in any previous year. Obviously I was completely thrilled about this fact…but it also made it difficult to narrow down my absolute favourites. Here are a couple that really stood out to me this year!
Ok……THIS image stood out to me because this baby is clearly one of the three most beautiful children ever created (three-way-tie with my other two kids!) ;) Baby Zoe, 6 days new!
So that's it. My most-loved images of 2015. And now I leave you with my ABSOLUTE favourites, head-over-heels-in-love images from this past year….#1 part a) and b). Full disclosure: The first image was a self-portrait using a timer, and I obviously didn't take the second picture, but my sister did…and we look a lot alike, so….I think it sorta counts ;)
30-something weeks preggo with Zoe…..
…..and Zoe again…only seconds old!
Dorian + Amy were married at my home church in Western PEI in July. I am so, SO THRILLED that they planned there wedding for July, and that even with my growing belly I was able to keep their wedding on my schedule for the summer ;)
Some of my favourite things about this wedding:
- The bridesmaids dresses. Pale blue, pale yellow, mint, coral, and pale purple. OH my land.
- The flower halos that Ashley (sister, bridesmaid, and mother of the flower girl!) made for Amy + Miss T (the flower girl).
- All the happiness :)
- The soft, peaceful worship music Amy had playing while the girls got ready at her parent's home.
- PEI = RED DIRT!!! Hooray!!!
- Simple, rustic bouquets of white baby's breath. So gorgeous.
- The CAKE! There were pinecones on it!
- Getting to watch these two be so completely in love, and take the first step in the rest of their life together :)
One of my favourite shots of the day :)
But these COLOURS. Honestly. I want these dresses to be mine, to just wear everyday. Around the house.
I don't know about you…but I think they're going to be pretty happy together ;)
James + Andrea. You were my first wedding of Summer 2015, and I feel SO honoured that you chose me to share in your special day! You two are beautiful, and I felt to blessed to capture the moments of your special day, and witness the love between you. And I'm happy you had such a gorgeous, sunny day that perfectly matched the joy in everyone's hearts. I hope you love your images as much as I enjoyed capturing them! I wish you only happiness in your life together :) xoxo
Honestly. This hairstyle. I want my hair to look like this. EVERY day.
And here's what happens when a prop you want to use won't stand up on it's own ;) Thanks Rhonda!!!
If you read my blog just for the pictures (which, frankly, I kind of hope is the case, seeing as how this is my photography blog) but care little of my personal life, you may want to stop reading now because this one is mostly just words. Although I WILL throw in a couple pictures at the end, for good measure!
This is a post that could alternately be titled, "Things Katie Planned for Her Life/Job that God Laughed At And Then Fixed." And it begins with the reason why, when people would recently ask if Summer 2015 was all booked up with weddings, I would make a cringe face, mumble something unintelligible, and then go sulk in a corner.
Let's start with this: as of this June, I've been photographing people for six years. The first year (while living in eastern NFLD) was full of online workshops, tutorials, and classes, and also full of free photo sessions, as I worked to learn my gear, my style, my processing, and some sort of business sense. A little over a year later I began charging for my work, and within 2 months of being in business I had photographed my first (paid) newborn session. More newborns and maternity sessions followed, and while I loved photographing pretty much everything…those were absolutely my favourite. I remember saying to J very early on that if I ever specialized in one area, it would absolutely be maternity/birth/newborn. Weddings were far from my mind, because by the time I felt prepared to cover a wedding, we knew we would be transferred to a new posting the following summer. The year we moved to Nain, Labrador, I had to turn down thirteen summer weddings in St. John's and Fredericton.
I didn't start accepting bookings for weddings until we were reposted again, two years later (summer 2013), to Moncton, NB. Summers 2013 and 2014 were both very busy with weddings, and felt especially long because in Summer 2013 I was very pregnant, and in Summer 2014 I was still nursing an almost-1-year-old. But I loved weddings. I love being part of what is one of the happiest days of a person's life, and getting the opportunity to capture every moment, the big ones and the little ones. And I was very much looking forward to the 2015 season…even though many of my wedding weren't going to be until between late August-December. Because it would be first Wedding season where I wouldn't be either pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Fast forward to early February of this year. In the words of my friend Charlene, "PA-PRISE!" As it turns out, I hadn't had the flu for the last three weeks…instead, it seems Baby Hawk 3.0 has taken up residence inside my belly! Something I've never EVER wanted to do is have to contact a bride to back out of a wedding. So I was SUPER EXCITED (but not really) to have to do that not once, but FIVE times. In a row. And then (the icing on the cake) turn down three more weddings the following week. Maybe I could've shot weddings at 8 months pregnant and everything would've turned out just fine: I've shot engagements and maternity sessions while being that pregnant before. But obviously I (and the bride and groom!) can't risk the possibility of me ended up on bed rest the week before a wedding, and throwing a wrench in everything.
So. This was me: very excited about this new little life inside me, but incredibly down about losing so much work, and disappointing so many people (one of my least favourite things to do…). I sulked for a couple weeks, annoyed my husband to no end with my complaints, and then finally got over it. And here's what happened: a tidal wave of bookings, EVERY one of them being either maternity or newborn, or both. Another lovely example of, "Funny Things That Happen When Katie Thinks She's in Control of Her Life."
I still adore weddings. And I'll probably always cover weddings. But I am so, so excited to be filling my calendar with newborn sessions. So excited, in fact, that I want to create a whole separate branch of my business for my newborn and maternity sessions, and give it it's own name. But J says that's just silly ;)
So here's the moral of the story: sometimes when God closes a door... he opens a window (you've never heard that before. I made it up totally by myself, right now! Smart, huh?!) But seriously.
Now here are some newborn images so you can further understand why I love this area of my job so very much :) Happy 2015!
Each New Year (or late Spring, depending on my level of motivation and whether or not I have a newborn) since 2009, I dedicate a blog post to my favourite images from the previous year. Sometimes there are 20. Sometimes there are 30. This year there were 104. So in an effort to not overwhelm myself and anyone reading this, I've split the images up in "Weddings" (this post), and "Everything Else" (which will follow in the next week or so and consists mainly of maternity + newborn images, with a few family shots thrown in for good measure!)
I'm still in awe that this gets to be my job, and that I get to spend the happiest days of people's lives with them. I mean really…that's pretty awesome :) I had ten weddings in 2014, so I've pulled my favourite images from each wedding, and organized them into a sort of "timeline", so that there would be a bit of order to them. Thank you to all my 2014 brides, for being so beautiful, for getting married, and for trusting me with the incredible job of capturing your memories for you.
Can we all just take a moment and swoon over this picture?! Definitely one of my favourites, ever!
Mama + Daughter. So very special!
Matching bride + bridesmaid's robes were a new trend this summer: I LOVE IT (in my mind, everything is better when things match!) ;)
First Glimpse with the bridesmaids...
…and with the bridesmaid's AND Mom and Dad...
…and with the Groom!
Something I struggle with at weddings? Keeping my eyes from filling with tears when I look through the lens to see this.
All summer, I waited patiently (or un-patiently) for a bride to wear a flower halo. THANK YOU Danielle!! :)
I got to work with the most gorgeous bridesmaids this summer…and my wonderful brides did a fantastic job of choosing equally gorgeous gowns for their 'maids! Greys + pastels…swoon!
One of my super stunning sister-in-laws :) No big deal!
And a few extra moments that maybe weren't scripted ;)
What every good bridesmaid should be wearing under her gown...
Em…I'm really, really sorry for keeping this picture.
And for posting it here, now ;)
*** Disclaimer: This is my sister-in-law. If you're not my sister-in-law, I would never do this to you, so no worries :)
And finally…here it is. My 'season closer' of the 2014 wedding season!
If you don't know Brent + Natasha…you should. I've followed Natasha's blog for a couple years now, and her words and spirit paint such a beautiful picture of God's love and faithfulness to us. When she first contacted me about photographing her wedding, I was BEYOND thrilled…and a bit worried, maybe, about my leaky eyes that tend to bring forth tears even over things like Tim Horton's commercials and country music.
And now, because I'll start crying again if I think about this beautiful day much more (and then I'll have a headache, and splotchy eyes!), I'll just share some of my favourite images from this perfect day.
"The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness."
Lam 3: 22-23
This…was not my idea. But I love it ;)
Hands down, favourite shot of the day. And that's saying something…because I love basically everything that came out of my camera that day!
These two. Sigh.
I loved my own wedding and reception, but J and I always say that if we could do it over, we would opt for a backyard, barbecue + buffet style reception. Joe and Melanie totally stole our idea ;)
I first met these lovelies for their engagement session in Fredericton back in April. Joe + Melanie are my favourite type of clients, as they just naturally smile and laugh when they're together. Lifestyles photographers often tell clients to just, "try and pretend I'm not here", and for these two, that came so naturally. I had such fantastic time capturing their engagement photos, and then their wedding at the end of August. Here are some favourites of their beautiful day!
Happy almost-2-months-of-marriage, Joe + Melanie…I wish you every happiness! xoxo
In the past year, I've had the awesome opportunity to photograph the weddings of all three of my Husband's sisters: and this is number three!! Jesse + Danielle had an intimate, outdoor ceremony on my father-in-law's property outside Fredericton, NB…and the rain held off JUST long enough! These two haven't seen their images yet, so instead of blogging every single picture from their wedding I'm just going to share a few favourites :)
Jesse + Danielle…you two are a beautiful couple. I'm so glad I was able to celebrate with you, and capture your special moments! xoxo
That time my daughter sort-of photobombed a wedding picture ;)
I'm not going to say a whole lot before blogging Em + Jared's pictures…because I am just SO excited to hurry up and finish this post and share it with everyone! I will just say this: I love these two. Emily is my husband's sister, and so this ceremony (and whole day) were so special to me. These two are Mommy and Daddy to two of my VERY favourite little men, and so while they've been a family for a long time, it was so special to watch them say their I Do's and be joined by marriage. I'm so blessed to call Em my sister, and so completely honoured to have been able to not only photograph this day for them, but also to be able to be there just to witness all the most beautiful moments of their wedding day. I love you both so much…and I hope you're enjoying day #50 of wedding bliss :)
Jared + Emily
Shot the prep photos and sneak peek in the Bride's wedding night suite: the same Delta suite where the Queen stays when she visits. No big deal.
"You can't call Jared on your wedding day! You're not supposed to talk to the groom until the ceremony!"
"Oh whatever. So far today, I've already kissed him and shaved his head." Haha...
Most adorable sneak peek! Oh my heart :)
Pre-wedding pep talk from Uncle Jamie!
My favourite picture. She is STUNNING.
This summer, I decided I was going to get a picture with each one of my brides.
This is the only wedding where I remembered ;)
And then there was that one time I "accidentally" forgot to get in the family wedding picture…oops!
Congratulations, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and my two sweet nephews :) xoxo
All images, watermarks, and frames are property of Kate Hawkins Photography. Please do not copy, edit, or otherwise steal from me!