January 01, 2012
My Personal Memories, Dreams and Reflections
Happy New Year! I bet when you entered your own Memories, Dreams and Reflections earlier today, you thought I would have mine ready to go. As you learned, you were wrong. I guess I took an impromptu blog-cation the past few days. I’m sure you understand. But here I am with my own reflection of the past year as well as next week’s Scavenger Hunt items (just scroll all the way down). I just ask that you give me some time to go through all of your entries. This might take a while.

1. Me!
I took a lot of self portraits this past year thanks to Elena from Selfie Magic. In fact, I asked Elena a few months ago to write a guest piece for me on getting started. If you haven’t had a chance to read through her tips, it’s worth the time. Click HERE. Now why did I choose this particular portrait for my first prompt? I guess because it makes me laugh. In fact, there was a Facebook group formed because of this image. I think that’s reason enough to do more self portraits in 2012.

2. I Love You
IMG_5736 RS
I do love my husband. When I was going back through my photos from the year, this one really stuck out – it even got I Heart Faces‘ attention. There’s something about a man in his most basic element that really gets me.

3. Still Laughing…
IMG_6028 RS
You might remember our 4th of July celebration with our friends Karen and John. Every time I’m around John, he does something crazy. During their wedding portraits, he stood over a fire for a picture moment…so I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me when he jumped into to the fireworks. Either way, it trips me out.

4. Winter Wonderland
Job 37_6 RS
Apparently 2011 didn’t produce as much snow as I thought – I had just a couple of photos to choose from. Not that I really mind. Maybe this year.

5. Birthday
Beth's 30th Birthday RS-27
I tend not to make a big deal out of my birthday, thus the reason I am so glad I have friends like my girl Beth that enjoy a good celebration. This is one of my favorite photos from Beth’s 30th birthday. It was quite a party.

6. Friends
Lucky RS
This fortune cookie should really say “I feel so lucky for having so many friends.” Although I had a few pictures taken with various friends throughout the year, I couldn’t settle on just one. I was so fortunate to meet up with blogging buddies like Kat, Sarah, Laura and Casey during 2011. I hope to meet even more people in 2012.

7. I Was Inspired…
1000 Cranes
In March, people from around the world created origami cranes in support of the people in Japan. I was inspired and joined the cause. You can go HERE to read more about it.

8. Spring Fever
Sunlight Bokeh RS
I probably should have included my allergy pills to represent spring fever, but what’s the fun in that? Other than sneezing, I enjoyed all the color and sun that Spring brings with it. This photo is now being used here.

9. Travel or Vacation
IMG_7774 RS
We had the luxury of traveling to London and Paris in September. It was a once in a lifetime trip (well I hope that’s not the case, but we’ll never be able to travel the way we did last year) and I’m so glad we had a chance to go. I love this view of the Eiffel Tower.

10. Summer Days
IMG_6332 blog
This past summer, my Alma Mater (Peace College – a traditionally women’s college) announced that they would become William Peace University and begin to accept male students to their day program. Many of us were pretty upset about the decision and held a Peace(ful) Protest. This is one of my favorite photos from that day.

11. A Day in My Life

I spent part of the year participating in Vloggin’ Vednesdays. For one of the prompts, we were supposed to interview someone we loved (at least I think that’s what it was). I decided to interview Kitty Paw. It was pretty funny…at least I thought so. \

12. All Smiles
Two Front Teeth
You all know our niece’s freckles and smiles. It’s infectious! I love this particular shot of her taken during a weekend visit. I don’t remember exactly what was said to make her laugh like this, but I love it!

13. Autumn Harvest
Autumn Collage
Autumn is my all time favorite season of the year, so I couldn’t stop at just one photo. I pulled this collage together for the Shades of Autumn photo challenge.

14. Family or Home
Jeremy Pushes Carter RS
We are so fortunate to have such loving families. I could have chosen any number of photos to represent this prompt, but I kept coming back to this one. My husband was pushing our nephew around the yard during sunset when I took this photo – it gives me a glimpse of what life will be like with our own children one day.

15. Celebrate!
Mary and Enrique-Creative RS
We went to several weddings last year…weddings = celebrations! Of course I brought my camera to each one so I had plenty of photos to choose from but I think this is my favorite. If you knew the couple, you would know how special this moment really is.

16. Let’s Do It Again…
During my visit with Kat this past fall, I had the opportunity to spend some time with her son, Brandon. I thought we’d have fun with the afternoon light and play with an action shot. I am totally going to do more of these types of shots with the kids I photograph in 2012. It’s way too fun not to.
17. I Miss You
Family Photos CS Vanilla Latte RS
Fortunately, I did not lose anyone close to me this past year. Although my grandfather died several years ago, I still miss him.

18. Beautiful
IMG_5552 RS
I had no idea which photo to use for this prompt. I’ve shot some beautiful people over the past year, but I didn’t want to choose one of my client photos. However, I will put my girl Casey on the spot. Isn’t she beautiful? I hope to have more opportunities to photograph her and others in 2012.

19. Dress Up
All Dressed Up!
Look – it’s me again. I bought this dress for a rehearsal dinner and later wore it to another wedding the same weekend. Since I was feeling sassy, I decided to take a picture of myself all dressed up. I wish I had some of the pictures from that one wedding I was in to share with you (I only have small Facebook resized images). I might have mentioned that I was going to do my best to re-wear that dress. Well I’m happy to report that I re-wore the dress to my company’s holiday party.

20. Macro
Mushroom Fairy Village
I took a number of macro shots this year. At some point, I was drooling over other people’s mushroom images (weird thing to obsess over, but it happened). Then it happened…I got my very own mushroom village. In fact, I think we still have some in the front yard. This was one of my favorites.

21. Holidays
Merry and Bright: Christmas Card 2011
Are you tired of seeing this picture yet? I really do love it – I just hope we can top it next year. Actually, I know we can!

22. My Favorite
London Storybook
This particular prompt was hard. How do you choose a favorite from an entire year? But when I went back through my photos, I knew this one had to be at the top. As I started processing my European vacation photos, I started applying a new technique that creates a storybook effect. I love it.

23. Don’t Ever Change
IMG_6581 RS
I may have used a picture of my niece last year and the message holds true. I love her childish joy, her big goofy smile, her ability to feel emotion stronger than most adults, and her positive outlook on life. I can only imagine the person she will become and I hope she never changes.

24. Just Because…So There
Kitty Paw in the Sun 1 RS
You’re actually going to see an entire collection of Kitty Paw photos on Tuesday (or Wednesday), but I had to include this one. I’ve got this photo as my phone background. I love everything about it.

25. Hopes and Dreams
Spiderweb in the Sun RS
In 2011, I had a number of goals…and in most cases, I think I achieved those goals. Here’s where I stand on the goals I established last year:
  • I did not open my Print Shop on Etsy.com. In fact, I have no plans of continuing with this goal, but I may explore other venues to sell my prints. I’m just not sure that Etsy is the right fit for me.
  • I got a ton of practice with portrait photography. In fact, as of August 2011, I am officially in business. I’ve completed the legal/business requirements and had a busy December. Now it’s just a matter of carrying that business throughout the entire year. If you’re interested in my portrait work, just contact me.
  • I think I learned how to use Adobe CS5 and Adobe Lightroom pretty well this past year. I want to continue getting the most out of each of them though in 2012. I’m sure there’s still more to learn…and more to share. On that note, I created a few Photoshop actions this past year. If you missed it, here is Nice and Easy.
This year will be a bit of a continuation of last year with more fine tuning. Although Jill and I have discontinued Shoot and Edit, I still plan to regularly write photography and editing tutorials. I also plan to continue sharing my faith each week. Also, my husband and I are currently working on a new site that will hopefully launch within the month. It’s going to be a big year – I can assure you of that! 

With that said, a big thank you to everyone that I’ve “met” in 2011 – you have really inspired me and I’m looking forward to continuing the journey in 2012. An even bigger thank you to everyone who has participated Memories, Dreams and Reflections. I think it’s been a big hit and I look forward to many more years in this community. Have a great 2012 everyone!

Memories, Dreams and Reflections

Scavenger Hunt SundayNow…I bet you’re looking for a Scavenger Hunt Sunday list. If you want to participate next week, here are your items, sponsored by Terrie from Creative Explorer (these can also be found at the bottom of my blog each week):
  1. One Color
  2. Laundry
  3. Empty
  4. One Dozen
  5. Soft
Thanks again Terrie for so many great scavenger hunt items. If you’d like to contribute items to the list, just send me an email with your suggestions (I can better keep track of them this way). Each week, I will select one reader’s prompt list, add those items to what is currently on tap and give the selected reader a shout out on my blog during Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

    love these! I am just about to finish mine! So excited! :)

    Fab pics, will be fun to see your 2012! :-)

    Loved all your shots, as usual, but am really curious as to what you meant about your Holiday shot. Hmmmmmm……………….????


    Gorgeous,now how did get lets do it again to move?

    Love them all of course. But I really love the processing our your ‘favorite’ and the photo of you and your niece in ‘don’t ever change’.

    I love these!
    the macro picture made me laugh, because on the informational video for the macro lens I use, the guy says “I use the Sigma 105mm macro lens to shoot…mushrooms. and then he talks about it for a long time :)
    happy new year!

    congrats on your business! That’s a big step forward!
    I, too, think that Etsy is not the right place to start selling your work.
    Hugs from my corner!

    Beautiful pictures full of fantasy. I hope you’ve had a great time for the holidays, I wish you a happy and prosperous new year 2012.

    You’re launching a new site? Can’t wait to see it. :D

    Love the shot of Kitty Paw.

    Love these. Your photo of London is fantastic – I live near London and it kind of puts my shots to shame…..I’ll have to try harder this year! Love the firework shot too. Happy new year. :)

    Wonderful post and wonderful pics! :)
    Happy new year!

    Happy new year! Wonderful pictures!

    In our sea of love

    Love all your choices, but I think the one that struck me as the best is the pic of your husband with “the essential wear” on. Such a thoughtful image. Happy New Year, Ashley and thanks for hosting this fun challenge each week.

    Ashley, I’m so glad we’ve “met”! Your photos really are gorgeous.
    Happy New Year to you! :)

    Hi Ashley! Happy New Year to you! I loved seeing all of your photos. You are a great photographer! I look forward to chatting with you more in 2012 and I can’t wait to see more of those Kitty Paw photos!

    Wow Ashley, gorgeous collection, all wonderful, I love Kitty Paw, the light and highlight bokeh is gorgeous, and your winter shot is beautiful, love your selfies and the one of your husband is so candid! Awesome representation of the year!
    Love this idea, having some technical difficulties but hope to have mine done soon!

    Beautiful shots – your selfies are always fabulous! Best of luck with your business ideas in 2012!

    Ashley, your photos and the post are wonderful. Good luck with your business in 2012. I look forward to participating in more Scavenger Hunt Sundays and thank you for hosting them.

    I love each and every one of these! You have been such an inspiration this past year … I am so glad to have “met” you! Looking forward to seeing many more inspirational photos/posts in 2012.

    Happy New Year!

    What a year Ashley- your journey has been incredible. I would love to hear more about all your details on becoming official in the biz. I know I am not ready- but knowing what is ahead when I get to that point is always great to know. (I’m a planner) :) I can’t wait to see what you have planned for 2012 & excited that Scavenger Hunt is back on for next week :)

    Beautiful photos, really like your fall collection. Happy new year!

    Yay. So happy to see your images. You have had a great year. I always enjoy your selfies, your niece, and Kitty Paw shots. I loved visiting London and France with you this summer-and there are some gorgeous light shots in the bunch.
    Looking forward to blogging along with you in 2012.

    Happy New Year! I feel so blessed to have found you this year. You continue to inspire me. Wishing you abundant blessings in your new business venture. Looking forward to following you in 2012. GOD Bless!!!!!!!

    These are great, Ashley! I just love that picture of London and your dressed up dress is so great! Have a great 2012!

    I love your photos and the way you incorporated events from the entire year into different themes! Have a wonderful 2012! May God bless you and your husband richly in the coming year.

    This is such a great collection! Looks like a wonderful year!! Happy New Year!

    SO many good photos in this list!!! My favorite is your shot from autumn. You’re SUCH an inspiring photographer & blogger. I hope you have a wonderful 2012 :)
    Sweet Violet Photography + Design

    Great collection Ashley, of course! Happy new year to you!

    Happy New Year Ashley. Love the photos you have chosed to share….I am very curious about that storybook effect. I love what it did for the shot Big Ben.

    This is an amazing post! Wow! You are really talented!

    You absolutely look sassy in your dress up photo! Love it! and I still love love that mushroom photo… and your holiday photo… love them all!

    Congratulations on your business. 1, 2, 3 and on and on, your photos are all fab!

    It’s sad that Shoot and Edit had to go, thank you so much for sharing what you know with us. It has been great!

    I love these! The “dressed up” photo is great – your hair looks awesome, and that dress is fabulous!

    Have a great 2012, you have so many wonderful things happening!

    Love your vlogs, you must start doing them again! So glad you fought for the lime green Dr.Seuss chair :) I am so intrigued to see your new site, wonder what it is…
    And congrats on being a business!

    Great photos!

    Just downloaded your Action, thank you! Sooooo intrigued by your new sight, can’t wait to learn more! Hoping 2012 brings you continued success Ashley.


    Every photo is excellent. Looks like you had a full and blessed year!

    Love your selections! So glad you did this again this year as it is such fun to look back and realize how much we’ve actually accomplished over the year. Can’t wait to see what you and 2012 have in store!

    Congrats on your very successful year Ashley! I know you’re an inspiration to many, and I consider myself lucky to call you a friend! :)

    Such lovely shots. You truly have a gift. Thank you for doing this hopes, dreams review. It wasn’t easy. My computer has been acting up. Sure wish I’d started on it back when you first mentioned it. :-) Thanks for all you do, it is something I look forward to.

    Beautiful pictures. It sounds like you had a wonderful year! Here’s to 2012! :)

    I love all of these Ashley! 2011 was a really good year for y’all! And congrats on getting your business up and running. I know that’s so much work, but so awesome, too!
    Thanks for doing this. It was so fun for me to go back and find these.
    Happy New Year!

    You always make me smile! I love your year. So incredibly beautiful! Wishing you another fantastic one! May joy be abundant! Love, Becky

    Your photos are all so wonderful, if I had been you it would have taken me an entire year just to choose my favorites for the previous! I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for you!

    Great collection! What a fun year!

    what a wonderful year in photography! such beautiful memories and moments shared!

    many of your favs are mine of your work as well!

    here is to a fabulous and all things new 2012!

    thank you for sharing the year with me!

    PS I know for sure next year you will top your card! :-D

    love every bit of it. your interview with Kitty Paw is so cute. made me smile. she is an adorable cat. but I love all that you share with us. so creative and inspiring. Happy 2012 sweetie :)

    Your photographs always stand out, A!
    Truly you inspire all of us. Cheers!

    Great set, I am IN LOVE with the macro mushrooms, I’d totally have that on my wall! Looking forward to reading more of your posts in 2012!

    Wonderful images and post Ashley!
    I just finished a poat I entitled “My Best of 2011″… It took so long to choose the 20+ images!!
    I am not sure I could do another :(

    I enjoyed your walk down memory lane, you chose some really nice shots! It may actually have motivated me to do my own. I do know I plan on participating in the Scavenger Hunt more often! Have a great New Year!

    What great shots!! Thanks for all the tutorials and prompts – you’ve been such a wonderful resource this year!!

    What gorgeous look back at 2011! All the photos are incredible, but I think my fave is your holiday portrait. Wishing you an incredible New Year my friend!! ♥

    You are such an inspiration to me and so many others, Ashley. And I appreciate the fact you visit my blog and leave such supportive comments.

    I wish you all the best for 2012. Good luck with the new venture. Can’t wait to see what it’s about! :)

    Loved seeing your Memories, Dreams and Reflections!! Your photographs are beautiful! Happy New Year! Look forward to reading all year long :)

    Love taking a walk down your memory lane! So many of my favourite shots here!!!

    Beautiful photos! I look forward to seeing what you get in 2012! :)

    Awesome, thank you for the idea and the inspiration.
    Will probably post mine tomorrow, nearly done with it. Take care. xxx

    Happy new year to you! love all your fantastic photographs from 2011 and congratulations on being a portrait photographer too and I look forward to your new blog, so much going on, so exciting!

    Loved all of these! Your Kitty Paw interview made me smile. I don’t remember seeing it before, but very creative! All of your photos are beautiful! :)

    Lovely set of photos – particularly loved your 7 & 8 shot of the crane and spring shot. Happy new year to you

    Beautiful set of photos to round out the year! I just love all your shots from your vacation! I love that still laughing shot!

    Recently found your blog and have been enjoying it. Love the photos and wishing you a productive, successful, and happy year!

    i so loved all of these! that shot of kitty paw is gorgeous, so glad you did this link up, i plan to get linked this evening.

    I absolutely love them all but still drawn to 19. You look so great – like you belong in a magazine. Great memories, Ashley! Cheers to you and the new year!

    What a fun year…thanks for hostessing! Your photos are great are fabulous and i am happy I wasn’t the only one who started my post I MEAN finished my post ;) at the last minute!

    Let’s put a meeting on our list for 2012! We are so close to each other! We could meet in Asheville… Would love too to find out about arranging a photo shoot or a swap photo shoot for how you would photograph Twila.

    All the best in 2012 to you and Kitty Paw and the Hub!

    Is it too corny if I say that this post was like sharing memories with an old friend? You have been such an amazing part of my journey this past year, and your images have inspired me more than you know. So looking back on them evokes a bit of blogging nostalgia for me! Maybe I am a bit too emotional today, haha. ;)

    Oh My Stars.. Every on of your shots look fabulous.. You have the most big beautiful eyes. Your Me shot just cracked me up!! Thanks so much for doing scavenger hunt every week. It really has helped me with my photography.. I love it!! I wish you and your hubby and kitty the best of luck in this new Year!!

    Hugs, Linda

    Love your images. My favs are Macro and Spring Fever. Can’t wait to see your work in 2012!

    Hi. I was curious where you photos were :) You really take some incredible photos especially love the ‘i love you’, vacation and sassy picture of you. But, really they are all incredible!!
    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year… great collection.

    terrific set of photographs! may we see a lot many this year too :)

    happy new year…

    My Third Eye

    LOVE, love, love your Still Laughing.

    Thank you for hosting Scavenger Hunt Sunday and the yearly Memories, Dreams and Reflections. These are two of my all-time favorites to join. :)

    Here’s to a wonderful year ahead of you, A.

    These are all fabulous! I wish you a wonderful 2012!!!

    Your pictures are so beautiful and I really love that you have this project for all us bloggers to share with each other and get to know other blogs. I especially love your picture of London where you said you used a technique called the storybook effect, if you don’t mind how do you do that? I think it would be so cute to make a picture for my daughter’s first birthday with pictures from her first year in the storybook look!

    thanks for hosting MDR’s… it was a blast!
    my FAVE of your pics = I WAS INSPIRED & AUTUMN HARVEST. Your photos tell a lot about your personality, character & zest for life… I’m happy I ran across your blog.

    I heart you and I am so thankful for your blog as it keeps me a bit updated on your life which I would otherwise be completely out of the loop with. I love all of these pictures…feel like it was forever ago that we took the pics of each other…def. a redo this spring somewhere fun! :). It has been such a blessing getting to know you…cheers to many more years!

    I love your hubby, too…and that photo is so, so sweet. They are all wonderful, tho!

    beautiful photos!

    I remembered EVERY one of those photos!!! You’ve had a GREAT year!

    great collection and congratz on your new business venture.

    These are sooo great. Love them all. I seriously can’t pick a favorite. That first one is still so great. :)

    I am so impressed: from roaring with laughter at your mugshot, to drooling over the treatment of the London scene: this is a masterful series exhibiting your skill, sense of humour and artistry.

    I love love the spider web. So gorgeous! And I love the Spring fever picture too! Well all your shots are gorgeous actually :) as usual!

    These are great Ash! congrats on all your accomplishments this year. You get better and better by the minute. Good luck with all you do in 2012.

    I love all your memories of 2011. They are all lovely and there is no way I can pick one or two to comment on. Though I have to say I love the way your Christmas card came out. I finally got my post up today. Whew. Can’t believe how hard that was. Looking forward to another year of Scavenger Hunts, though I missed this week. Hope it is okay if I post them next week with next week’s pictures.

    These are all fantastic! I’m so excited for you and your new photography venture. I’m sure you’ll be a big success!!