2021 was a very memorable year for my photography.
The big news from this year is that I opened my very own gallery and studio space in Baileys Harbor! It has been a dream come true to have a place where I can showcase my work. I was a frequent vendor at many of the festivals, art fairs, and farmers markets around Door County, but it is really cool to have a more permanent setting for my prints. The first year of the gallery was a huge success and the response has exceeded my expectations. Running a gallery is no joke though! The store brought about many challenges that I never really thought about when it comes to displaying my photos. However, I also was presented with many opportunities for showcasing my work. I am very excited for the second year in 2022!
The other big news was that I published my very first photo book! I am very proud of how the book turned out. This project started out as nothing more than a simple book to put out in the gallery to act as sort of a catalog of photo options. The idea was that if there wasn’t an image in stock that someone might like a print of, they could page through a book to see more offerings. Well, that didn’t last long. Once I began laying out the book I decided that I wanted to do this right. So I found a printing company, the best in the world in my opinion, and got started.
Even though the book was released late in the season (October 2021), the book has moved very well and I have been blown away by the responses to this book. This was another big undertaking with its own unique challenges. There’s so much that goes in to putting out even a simple photo book that I never thought about before. The good thing is that I worked with a great printer who made the process super easy! I learned quite a bit! I have even started planning for my next book!
As the summer approached and the season got started, I have seen some tremendous growth in the business side of my photography. The gallery was a success in its first year, as I mentioned, but I also had a very busy wedding and engagement season. That was great, but there is a downside of running a photography business. Especially one as varied as mine. That drawback is that taking photographs is probably one of the things you spend less time doing than anything else. Pretty crazy, huh? With marketing, sales, printing, paperwork, and all those things that are less glamorous, there’s not much time left in the days to take new landscape photos.
During 2021, I did start trying a new way to photograph landscapes that I really like. I started taking more landscape photos using a wide open aperture (usually f/2.8). Most landscape photographs are taken at smaller apertures of f/11-f/22. We do that because we want the entire scene to bee sharp and in focus. That makes sense, but shooting a scene wide open creates an entirely new level of interest. It removes distracting and meaningless elements from the viewers attention and leaves only what matters sharp and in focus. I use this technique in my wedding photos quite often and I think it workd very well in landscape photos as well.
Craziness aside, I was able to get out and take some photos that I am very proud of during 2021. I even was able to get away for a two week vacation with my family in Colorado (in the middle of the season, nonetheless!)! It was an amazing trip! We visited Denver before heading up in to the mountains, spending 5 days in Estes Park and another 5 days in Grand Lake where we did a lot of hiking and exploring of Rocky Mountain National Park. I was able to take quite a few photos while in Colorado. Some of them are below, but man more remain in the archives waiting to be sorted.
Well, that’s enough talk for this post. Here are my favorite photos of 2021. They are not limited to 10 photos and are not in any particular order.