2021 In Review
Year after year I feel an overwhelming sense of apprehension to properly recount the last 365 days in words. In order to prepare for the momentous task I like to fly through my iPhone camera roll in order to bring back all the memories in glimpses of bad smartphone photography. Last year, I compared 2020 to a low-budget M. Night Shyamalan drama with no twist. But, this year felt different.
I remember sitting on my couch on New Year's Eve, bourbon in hand, mesmerized by a digital fireplace on YouTube. At the strike of midnight I clanked glasses with my girlfriend and exhaled a deep breath. In an instant, I felt a small weight lift off my shoulders. On par with the rest of the world I yearned for normal life without COVID-19. I just didn't know what to expect after January 1, 2021. Would it be our comeback year or would we remain in a paralyzed limbo waiting for the pandemic to ease its grip?
While I had considerable hope, the first quarter of the year wasn’t what I expected. I lost a big international bid and incoming inquires had slowed to a lethargic pace. I felt similar to an Olympic runner on the chalk line waiting for the “on your marks” followed by a faint murmur. As the year unfolded, many of my questions were only met with half-baked answers. I hoped for creativity, ambition and achievement but, it wasn't until just a month ago that I began to have clarity on what this year meant for myself and my business.
2021 was not a year of triumph. I didn't climb a tall mountain, travel somewhere perilous or photograph a big movie star but, I did grit my teeth, hammer down and power forward. It was a year of tenacity and will. It was a year of struggle, but more so reward and celebration.
- I minted and sold an NFT.
- In collaboration with Brunch & Brand, we hosted an exclusive webinar “Marketing for Commercial Photographers”.
- In partnership with the Brodgan Family Foundation and Worldserve International, we successfully wrapped another trip to Tanzania, Africa and Kenya, Africa in support of the mission of clean water in East Africa.
- We successfully wrapped a year-long project for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture featuring all four seasons at four different farms in Kentucky.
- I executed the largest production of my career for Carrier Global.
- I paid off all my debt.
- I began co-hosting a bourbon podcast.
- We adopted a Newfoundland puppy.
After 11 years in the photography industry, it was a year my business earned. We worked and we worked hard; I'm incredibly grateful. My crew and I captured over 100,000 photographs and countless hours of motion in 4 different countries for clients such as Carrier, Rabbit Hole Distillery, Celaya Tequila, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Norton Healthcare, WorldServe International, Kentucky Tourism and Palm Beach Tourism.
Behind the brand is a collection of people who I owe a debt of gratitude for 2021: Colleen Clines, Mom, Dad, Missy Lynn, Jeff Lynn, Maggie Clines, Tommy Clines, Brittany Myers, Dave Cobb, Elizabeth Clines, Tom Clines, Jonathon Chi, Adam Mescan, Zach Browning, Rachel Waters, Louis Tinsley, Danny Alexander, Craig Oppenheimer, Stacy Swiderski, Honore Brown, Lindsay Thompson, Bryan Sheffield, Jeremy Richie, Jordan Hartley, Eric Christensen, Thomas Ingersoll, Gary Miller, Allison Dimick, Coury Deeb, Tyler Deeb, Ryan Galanaugh, Andrew Robinson, Stephen Phillipi, Jordan Bogart, Geoff Storts, Emily Keenan, Miranda McDonald, Becca Schell, Lambsey Reeves, Kelsey Taylor Fell, Tyler Anderson, Tyler Zoller, David Bongiorno, Neal Alfano, Jordan Wollman and Sol Perry.