The End of 2012

Growing Up : Prints Available

It’s that time of year again. Many photographers are sharing their favorite images from 2012, and while I think that looking back at the past year and picking out your favorite images is a cool tradition and all, I’m never very good at picking out favorites, so it’s not something I often do. Typically, when I look back at a year photographically, I always feel like I did so little and ought to have gone out shooting more.

2012 has been full of ups and downs, as many of you who regularly read my blog could probably decipher pretty easily. It started with trying to desperately wrap up my final semester of grad school amid traveling to Haiti and Costa Rica, then fell into a sobering summer where I was determined to take time away from work and responsibility to just focus on recovering from the past couple years of little sleep and much stress. Following that, I was bored and broke, so I found some purpose in teaching and, as usual, I landed myself an erratic schedule filled with part time jobs based in various states to ensure that doing my taxes at the end of the year would be borderline impossible. I scraped by, hung on, loved hard, and was plenty foolish. I had beautiful moments, some filled with smiles, some with tears, many with both. I met new people, made new friends, and found inspiration from the completely random people I met on my travels. I even started to think about photography very differently than I have in the past. 2012 unraveled not exactly in the way I might have expected it would, but fortunately a good friend once told me not to have expectations suggesting they were a surefire way to be disappointed. So thanks to him, I was neither disappointed nor surprised by the turns the year took. Life happens, and you’ve just gotta roll with it the best you can.

Cloud Forest

As much as the end of one year is an appropriate time for reflection, the beginning of a new one also seems like an appropriate time to set goals. Photographers have a tradition of doing this too. While New Year’s resolutions notoriously end in failure, it’s still probably good to have a few goals lined up. After all, having goals gives you purpose, something to work towards and strive for.

So I’ve thought about it, and the only goal that really seems worthy of making a goal is the same one I’ve had my whole life. To be fair, it’s probably one of the few goals I’m any good at sticking to. I just want to BE HAPPY. Simple, vague, largely immeasurable, but totally attainable. And 100% worthy.

4 thoughts on “The End of 2012

  1. Hi Kari,

    I follow you on Facebook, but I don’t read you blog very often. After reading this post I have a slight clue about how you feel right now. I have had the same experience in 2011.
    Just being happy is a wonderful goal. That’s what it’s all about.
    I hope you will find more and more happiness in your life very soon.

    I wish you lots of luck for 2013 and please keep surprising us with your beautiful pictures.

    Kind regards,


    1. Thank you, Ron! I’m actually a generally pretty happy and upbeat person, and I think allowing myself to be that person is important. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in trivial things that don’t really matter. I think treating photography like a business with a set formula for success is a much less fulfilling way to pursue it than if I treat it as a passion and allow it room to grow and change in the way that feels right to me. The path my life has taken me in has been beautiful yet largely unpredictable, and setting distinct goals for the year ahead right now feels too restrictive. I’m a go getter, and if I set a goal, I’ll either make sure I achieve it because I said I would even if it ends up being wrong, or I’ll not do it and then feel as if I’ve failed in some way. Being happy is something I know I can do and something I know will always be important to me regardless of what direction I head in. I also think it’s important to remind others that happiness is important! Photography is an art, a form of expression, and a means of communication. If it’s not something you enjoy and take pleasure in, than you shouldn’t be doing it.

      “Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” – Hardy D. Jackson

  2. I wrote some time ago, and browsing your blog I was touched by these beautiful words, and if you allow I want to say a few words.

    There is not very long ago that I discovered your site. At first I only saw the beautiful pictures and then I started to read you. And I discovered a very real and sensitive, maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I felt through your pictures and your writings. I think there are photographers who take beautiful pictures and then they go home and they think they will make a lot of money and they will be happy because they are rich. Then there are other photographers like you I think Kari, when they see a beautiful thing, their eyes sparkle and their heart starts to dance, they feel these things first and after they gives. Everything goes through what you feel with your heart, follow this guide beautiful is what makes us happy. Happiness is a path, not a destination. We should not expect to be happy, we are happy or you do not. And if you is not so change the way listening to his heart, because there is one thing I am sure of is that the heart is never wrong.

    I wish you a wonderful year 2013. Continues to transmit your heart is telling you and the pictures will always be beautiful.

    I apologize if the words are not always right because I’m on Google translate, because my English is not very good.

    Steve Décaillet

  3. Kari, I’m reading a lot of angst in these pages. Remember, you are attempting to do one of he hardest things in the world to do. MAYBE, music is harder. The photographic industry has cratered to the point where pictures are NOT EVEN A COMMODITY. So keep all that in mind. It’s a new world out there for us all. be cool….

    Jorge de la selva

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