Fairbanks

Best of 2016

I know everyone always says this, but I'm going to say it anyway. I can't believe a year has already gone by! This year in particular seemed to go by in the blink of an eye and, looking back, I can see why. (Sorry for the unintentional rhyming). On New Year's Eve last year, I sat down and created a list of intentions for 2016...something I haven't done in years past. I have to say that I feel like I had a completely new experience after doing this. It was amazing to see things I put on my "2016 Bucket List" come to life. Lay in a hammock in Bali...check. Take a calligraphy class...check. See Northern Lights...check check. Set your intentions people! There was one thing on my list, "Fall in love." I looked at it a few days ago and thought to myself, "Well, that didn't happen." But then I thought about it again. I actually did "fall in love." Looking back on 2016, I realized this year was huge for me in personal growth and working on self love. For the first time in a long time, I feel much more clear on how to love myself, how to set boundaries in personal relationships and stand by how I want to be treated, and, most importantly, having a clearer understanding of my self worth. I think this is an ongoing process for sure, but learning to fall in love with myself and treat myself with kindness has been one of the best relationships I've ever been in.

I played, I worked my ass off, I met amazing people and cultivated very precious friendships. My theme for 2016 was "Service." I asked myself, "How can I serve others?"  I think giving is one of the most important things a person can do in their lives. I gave all of myself to my clients and my business. Which leads me to my theme for next year, "Balance" AND "Letting go of limiting self beliefs." Next year I will be working on maintaining a better balance of work and personal relationships...making it a priority to make time for friends and "personal" time. I will also be working hard on letting go of playing small and releasing the fearful beliefs that hold me back from dreaming BIG. I'm excited to see where that takes me!


 

I started off 2016 in Fairbanks, Alaska with my besties Mark and Christine. We played in the snow and went dog sledding. We were even able to check "See Northern Lights" off our Bucket Lists on New Years Eve. What an amazing way to start the year! You can check out more images from our trip here. Photos by Christine Chang, Mark Groves, and/or myself. taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0050taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0051taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0047taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0049taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_alaska_northern_lights_travel_photography_0048

 

I rented a bright orange jeep with some friends and went on an epic road trip adventure up the Central Coast. Whenever I'm feeling uninspired I plan a trip and it makes me feel totally refreshed both mentally and creatively. Photos by Christine Chang, Katrina Jayne, and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0062taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0063taylor_kinzie_photography_central_coast_road_trip_0064The biggest highlight of my year was planning a trip to Bali. I had felt called to travel there for a long time and the trip was absolutely life changing...I even got my first tattoo! (sorry mom) Bali is such a magical place and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they can brave the 23 hour flight time. Check out more images from our trip here. Photos by Shaina Weiss, Anthony Weiss, Brandon Haws, and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_bali_travel_photography_0055taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_bali_travel_photography_0054I was lucky enough to shoot a wedding in New York in July 2016. I hadn't been to New York since college so it was a really different experience the 2nd time around. New York is such an amazing city but I don't think I could live there. I'm an open spaces kinda girl. Photos by Sarah Zimmer and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_new_york_wedding_photographer_0060taylor_kinzie_photography_new_york_wedding_photographer_0059taylor_kinzie_photography_new_york_wedding_photographer_0061I had such an amazing time in Joshua Tree as an attendee at one of Christine Chang's workshops. We got to stay in a super retro AirBnB...I felt like I was taken back in a hot tub time machine. Lots of images from the workshop are coming soon! Photos by Christine Chang, Katrina Jayne, and/or myself.

taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_joshua_tree_travel_0052taylor_kinzie_photography_los_angeles_wedding_photographer_joshua_tree_travel_0053One of the highlights of my career thus far was getting to shoot at Taft Point in Yosemite. I didn't know I was afraid of heights until this moment. It was SO terrifying but such a rush at the same time. I could hear the echo of my voice as I directed my couple to move closer to the edge of a cliff. Crazy! Photos by Kylie Nicholson and/or myself.

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Thanks to all for your love and support. Can't wait to get started on 2017 with you! Cheers to making new memories!

 

An Education in Fire {Alaska Trip 2015}

We were tired after a long day of playing like children in the infinite Alaskan winter and the bite of the crisp air was beginning to wear on us. We quickly retreated to the cabin, seeking shelter and a place to thaw our souls.  It's warm window lights beckoned us inside with the promise of hot chocolate and lazy naps.  Ripping our snow boots off as we stomped through the doors, we hastily made our way to the loving embrace of the couches...falling into them like the arms of an old lover. Christine, covered head to toe in her striped onesie, melted off the couch and made her way to the stove. Her face wore a stubborn determination as she furrowed her brow and began to pick up logs of wood to place them in the stove. She was going to start a fire.

Mark and I looked on as she searched for a match, undoubtedly questioning if we were going to freeze to death that night. Finally, after a long period of watching Christine poke at the fireplace, Mark began boasting his prior experience as a Cub Scout and stepped in for assistance. She resisted him as he continued to voice his suggestions.

"You have to blow on it to give the fire oxygen," Mark urged. "This is an education in fire for you."

She turned and gave him an evil glare. I laughed at them from my little corner of the room. They were like siblings bickering in their pjs. Both stubborn. Both pushing one another to be better in their own way.

"An education in fire," I thought. "Beautiful."

After a bit of coaxing, the fire finally ignited with a brilliant glow. "Take that Mark Groves!" Christine shouted. She was satisfied with herself and walked away with a proud smirk.

It was New Year's Eve and we had yet to spot the Northern Lights. There was a lot of talk of a recent solar storm making for powerful Auroras but, so far, we had just seen a lot of cloud coverage. It was the reason we had come to Fairbanks and with the end of the trip drawing near, we began to fear we may not be able to check "See Northern Lights" off our Bucket List.

Christine had brought a list of questions to help us reflect on our experiences in 2015 and to set our intentions for 2016. We sat around the kitchen table in our pajamas, sipping on moonshine and beer and opening our hearts to each other. I felt vulnerable and safe at the same time. We talked about the things we were most grateful for. We discovered that, sometimes, the things you are most grateful for in the end can be the very thing you feared would destroy you in the beginning. We talked about the people who had influenced us most over the course of the year and my heart felt overwhelmed. As I sat there with two of the most inspiring people in my life, it all suddenly made sense to me that my hurt was a gift.

We took a short break from our goal setting to peer out the window for a light check. THEY WERE OUT! We jolted up from our chair and threw our snow boots on, grabbing our cameras and scrambling outside in our pajamas. The cold could not pierce the excitement we felt in that moment.  We set up our cameras and began to take pictures. It was all happening, just as we'd imagined...only better.

"5-4-3-2-1! Happy New Year!" The clock struck midnight and a rush of fireworks filled the sky beside the Auroras. We popped our champagne and began to pass the bottle around, each taking a celebratory gulp. I stood there below the dancing curtain of neon mist and felt myself become part of something bigger. I could feel my face fill with wonder and all I could seem to whisper was "it's just too much." It was suddenly so clear to me that life can be this good. That living your life with passion can bring you to beautiful people. That life is meant to lead us to moments that make our hearts ignite.

This was my education in fire.

I put together a little video from our trip. Watch until the end for some funny outtakes of us being dorks. Song: "How Much Light" by Ryan Adams.

All photos are by me, Christine Chang, and/or Mark Groves.

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