2020 {Personal Favorites} | Maine Children and Lifestyle Photographer

As promised on yesterday’s post of favorite client photos of the year, today I am sharing my favorite personal photos of 2020. Narrowing this group down was also a challenge, so as with the client photos, I’m sharing my top 10ish and going with a solid 21 photos, ha! This year I am completing my third 365 project (366 in 2020!), and I cannot believe that this year’s project is coming to a close. I will be doing a final wrap up and review of the year as a whole in a few days when my slideshow is ready to go, but wanted to take the opportunity to share my absolute favorites from the year as kind of a teaser for the full final project.

This was a big year for me professionally, as I was accepted as a Clickin’ Moms Click Pro – a career goal of mine for several years now. Since I was accepted in February, I have had the honor of interacting with an incredible group of the best women photographers from all over the world. While I was hesitant at first to be active in the group (you know, imposter syndrome), I forced myself out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to share my work and be inspired by theirs. I pushed myself to think outside of the box, to see the world in new ways, and to push my own limits of capturing light and moments, and I truly feel I grew through my 366 Project and my membership in this group of fabulous women.

I can’t wait to share more reflections of this crazy year in a few days with my final 366 Project, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading these little stories about my most favorite from our year. Here are my top 21, in chronological order.

1. Sandy Point Beach, Yarmouth Maine, January

I have to laugh as I look at this photo, taken first thing in the year. Little did we know how often we would feel like jumping and screaming and smashing mini icebergs throughout this crazy year, ha! But on this January day when we adventured to the beach here in town, Molly had fun jumping on the ice, as well as finding treasures, and doing the things we love to do when it is just us exploring along the shore. This photo still makes me giggle, even almost a year later.

2. At home, Yarmouth Maine, February 2020

I mean, is there anything more innocent in the world than kids making snow angels? On this snowy day, I sent Molly outdoors and ran upstairs to my bedroom to capture this fun shot from above. With a little editing magic you may wonder how she even got there. 😉

3. Disney World, Orlando Florida, February 

I will be forever grateful for the fact that we were able to go to Disney World this year, returning home just two weeks before everything shut down. We have spent so much of our year longing to go back, and I know it’s because Disney is magical, but also because it really was the last true “normal” fun that we were able to enjoy. This trip was special before covid hit, but means even more now that we understand just how lucky we were to go. This silhouette of the girls at the aquarium may not be technically perfect, but the magic of the moment warms my heart and makes me so nostalgic for those special days.

4. Merrill Memorial Library, Yarmouth Maine, March

Before the shutdown, we were in the habit of visiting the library on a regular basis, and it was quickly becoming a favorite spot for Molly to do her homework, for me to read and enjoy a little quiet time. Tucked away in the back corner on the second floor is this fun little reading spot, overlooking a big picture window and our cute little Main Street. I’m so happy I took the opportunity to capture this moment, as the library closed just a few weeks later, and we have not been able to return since. We can’t wait to see our favorite nook again in 21021.

5. At home, Yarmouth Maine, March 2020

March was brutal. What a month full of emotion, anger, fear, sadness, grief, and determination to make it all work. This photo was taken about a week into remote learning, when our cat Naboo decided that Molly’s desk was her desk. These two really bonded this year, and I love this moment of comfort between Molly and her furbaby.

6. Eastern Promenade, Portland Maine, May

I love this shot. I love the colors, and the lights, and the buildings, and the moment, but I also love that this photo represents one of the reasons I love doing 365 projects. We’ve walked the Eastern Prom a bunch of times, but I’ve never noticed these buildings, or really looked at this gorgeous fence. But on this day, as we walked along, this scene stopped me in my tracks, and I asked Molly to peek through the fence to see what was happening on the other side. The image became an instant favorite, and so did this cute little spot along the Prom.

7. Cousins Island, Yarmouth Maine, May

I’ll never forget the beauty of this night. Molly, Jim, and I headed to the beach to watch the sunset, and we were treated to such an amazing light show. But out of all the images I took that evening, I love this one of Jim jumping along the rocks the most. This has been a pretty transformative year for my husband – a big part of that being him focused on prioritizing his health and becoming more active. This was actually kind of a funny moment as he realized he was becoming stuck on the rocks in his sneakers as the tide rolled in, but this photo was the first time we really noticed some physical changes in Jim, and it was one of the first photos I’ve taken of him where he commented on how good he felt about the way he looked. It was a total win in my book, and a moment worth capturing and remembering. I’m so proud of the work he has put in this year, and so happy he has allowed himself to be in front of the camera more and more.

8. Pine Point Beach, Scarborough Maine, May

I just feel lighter looking at this photo. What a special day this was. After months of really being locked down in our own little bubble, Molly and I decided to take the almost 5-mile round trip walk on the beach between Pine Point and Old Orchard. Once we got through the crowds at the end of the beach, the wide, low-tide beach and warm temperatures brought so much happiness and light to our faces and our moods. This image of Molly running barefoot with a huge smile on her face says it all. This day was one for the books and definitely a highlight of our 2020.

9. Hampden Maine, June

For Father’s Day we masked up and headed north to our hometown in Hampden, where we were able to celebrate the dads in our lives. I took a few photos of Molly with her Grampy and Papa after our lunch, but this one of Molly and her dad was the one that stole my heart the most. Growing up without a dad in my life, I never had the bond these two have, and in some strange way I think it makes me appreciate the love they have for each other even more. I love the way they love each other, and I’m so grateful every day that Jim gives Molly the gift of an amazing father.

10. Fort Foster Park, Kittery Maine, July

In early July I had a family session at Fort Foster in Kittery. Molly tagged along as she sometimes does, and at the end of the session we explored the actual fort (and got some really cool photos for both myself and the family I was working with!). Molly felt brave and climbed high up on the side of this wall. As she climbed, the clouds made this gorgeous line, and at the top, she was perfectly placed below them. I don’t often shoot from below, but this one just worked and I love this photo of my masked-up girl looking at the world from above.

11. Great Diamond Island Maine, July 

For the 4th this year, we had this brilliant plan to grab our bikes, hop on the ferry, and head to Great Diamond Island, where we would spend the day exploring, enjoying lunch, and heading home hours later. We also made this plan with very very little research, so upon arriving at Great Diamond we quickly learned that it is mostly a private island with very little space to actually explore, unless you are staying on the island. So an hour later we found ourselves back at the ferry dock, waiting for the ferry to take us to our next adventure. The little shack, dock, and soft fog were so pretty and I had to capture our extended wait for the ferry while we had the space all to ourselves.

12. At home, Yarmouth Maine, July

If 2020 taught us anything, it is the appreciation for the little things, so when the neighborhood kids started to squeal about a rainbow forming as the rain continued to fall during the tail end of a thunderstorm, I had to grab my camera to capture their soaking wet rainbow dance party. I was totally bumming that I didn’t grab my wider lens for this shot, but now I actually love that the moment is focused on the girls’ serious dedication to the rain dance with the rainbow in the distance behind them.

13. Cadillac Mountain Summit, Acadia National Park Maine, 2020

In July we decided to head up the coast for a few days in Bar Harbor, one of our most favorite summer destinations. We were not at the hotel for five minutes before we realized just how much we needed this getaway and tacked on an extra night.  I’m so glad we had four days away from the chaos of work and being confined to the walls of our house. On this evening, we grabbed sandwiches and headed to the summit of Cadillac, where we picnicked and enjoyed the sunset. This image of Molly taking it all in as the golden light so perfectly hit her is one of my most most favorites of the year.

14. At home, Yarmouth Maine, August

One of my goals this year was to push myself with light, and embrace darkness and shadows more than I usually do. So when we lost power after a storm one evening in August, I decided to take advantage of the dark and really embrace the moment. I asked Molly to grab our electric lantern and walk through the office, and loved how this photo not only represented the moment, but a lot of how we felt in 2020 trying to find light in the dark.

15. Sandy Pines Campground, Kennebunkport Maine, September

For Molly’s 10th birthday, we had planned to take her to New York City for the first time, but we quickly realized that that trip was not going to happen. So for several months Molly pondered what she’d like to do instead for her birthday, and finally landed on a glamping trip at Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport. We brought her best friend Tessie along with us, and we all spent the weekend in a super super cute glamping cottage. If you’ve never heard of this place, add it to your list because it is just so darn cute, and was definitely a perfect plan B for my sweet girl’s big tenth birthday.

16. At home, Yarmouth Maine, October

I’m pretty sure this one speaks for itself, but this was pretty much how we were all feeling mid-October as covid fatigue settled in and we were making the best of hybrid learning. I have always loved the light on Molly’s desk, but the mood in this photo definitely matched the mood of this day, and the challenge of school life during this pandemic.

17. Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Wells Maine, October

If I had to rank my favorites for the year, this would be the winner. I still cannot believe I got this shot. This was taken at the end of a family session where we dodged grey skies and rain drops, and as we were all getting in our cars to head home, the skies caught fire, and we quickly headed back out to the field for some photos. I asked Molly to climb on this sculpture and had such amazing luck catching the sun peeking through the center and the bright colors of the sky as I silhouetted her and the trees.

18. At home, Yarmouth Maine, October

2020 was the year of Hamilton in this house, so naturally Angelica Schuyler made an appearance at Halloween. Molly pulled this dress off perfectly (purchased from Taylor Joelle), and I love the motion in the skirt of the dress as she twirled around raising an invisible glass to freedom. Not pictured – my husband dressed as Ace Ventura – we’ll have to save that one for another list. 😂

19. Mt. Battie Summit, Camden Maine, November

In November, we took a drive up the coast and hiked the long way up the back of Mt. Battie. We are not a terribly outdoorsy family outside of spending time at the beach, but are working hard to make hiking and other adventures happen more often, and every time we do it, we are so glad that we did. This day was one of my most favorites of the year as it really reinforced the hard work my husband has been putting in to get more healthy, and the hard work we’ve been putting in to become closer as a family. When we reached the summit, I was excited to see this huge star on top of the tower, and loved capturing this moment of Jim catching up to Molly who was very patiently waiting for her sandwiches in his backpack.

20. At home, Yarmouth Maine, December

With both Molly and I being home almost full time this year, finding our own spaces has been super important. We have a little nook behind our couch that was used for greenhouse plants with the previous owners and has become Molly’s little hideaway over the past few years (bonus – it hides all the toy clutter!). This year we cleaned and cozied it up and I loved this moment of her quietly playing her ukulele amongst her legos and other toys.

21. Ferry Beach, Scarborough Maine, December

Last year, one of my best friends from high school moved from Buffalo to southern Maine, and having her here and having our kids get to know each other and become buddies is just so fun. We couldn’t do our normal holiday gift exchange this year, so instead we headed to Ferry Beach where we explored at sunset and then exchanged gifts in the parking lot. I love this shot of the girls on the rocks as they adventured together and Jen and I had a little time to catch up and enjoy a sunset at our happy place.

What a ride this year has been – check back in just a few days for my complete 366 Project and full re-cap of life in 2020!

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