Dear ReaderMegan Dohm

Year In Review : 2 0 1 7

Dear ReaderMegan Dohm
Year In Review : 2 0 1 7

Quite a lot has gone down this year - rather than being a true genre photographer, I can honestly say I've tried just about everything in the space of 2017. Instead of attempting to put it all into a linear timeline, I thought I would sort photographs by category. The photos you will see in this post are mostly encountered in my professional wanderings, but some are from personal work or from my travels (which were mostly to the beach and Williamsburg, a happy combination). Make sure you stick around till the end to see some conclusions from the year!

P O R T R A I T S

This year, the word portrait encompassed a wide variety of work - from more traditional version with a focus on one particular subject, to artists at work, to day-in-the-life work. The one common thread of what I was trying for (whether or not it was achieved) could be summed up in a quote that I found last year by Leonardo da Vinci: "The artist has two chief objects to paint: the man himself, and the intent of his soul." 

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Possibly one of my favorite images from the entire year. When people forget the camera is there and immerse themselves in work they love to do, magic happens. 

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I got to play around during this shoot with mirrors and chiffon and twirling.

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Shooting about a day and a half with the Chownings was eye-opening on how much work goes into the day-to-day operations in Colonial Williamsburg. 

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Shooting throughout downtown Raleigh made me feel like the city was a little more my own.

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In perhaps the most herculean effort of the year, we managed to get a family photo over Thanksgiving.

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Working with the Honest Pint Theatre family again this year was a definite highlight. Artists working to tell stories created some really incredible moments. 

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My self-aggrandizing side would like to call the following photos "self portraits" but really all they are is mirror/feet selfies taken in various places I've been this year, places where I may or may not have had permission to take them.

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L O V E

Of the romantic nature; engagement, weddings, and even a styled pretend wedding in a butterfly garden.

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Dance floor faces.

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My childhood best friend got engaged, and I had the privilege of being in on the surprise.

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J O U R N A L I S M

This all started out as a scheme to see my photographs in print, and turned into a head-over-heals love affair. Expect to see more of this in 2018!

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It all started in this little diner run by a lady named Evelyn, who met Elvis before he was a big shot.

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I met a man named Clammerhead, a seventh generation fisherman. When I took this photo I looked up over the camera, to make sure he was okay with a shot of him smoking. He said gleefully, "Oh, you can publish the one of me with a cigarette. I kinda like the idea of ticking someone off!"

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This couple claims to have a ghost staying in their little coastal B&B (a fact they are entirely unbothered by).

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One of my shots working with Clammerhead made the cover, which caused great flurries of excitement around my home. 

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I N - B E T W E E N S

Things that have caught my eye throughout this year.

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Having a mentoring session towards the beginning of the year with Brian Schindler was a 100% good call - it caused me to do a lot of soul-searching and strength-finding (which, for me, always involves lotsa paper).

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This year has been a great one for visiting art museums!

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A series on the ocean last March was one of my favorite projects of the year.

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Wildflowers in the kitchen sink. There's this fragment of a poem that I've really been taking to heart this year, with all of it's ups and downs, sputtering new starts and exciting re-directs.

"With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
You learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers."
 

- Veronica Shoffstall

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I've taken to driving around the backroads in my area, music blaring, snapping whatever I come across. It's highly therapeutic.

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What a year it has been! A huge thank you to my new favorite editor Amanda (for giving a nobody a first shot), to all the creatives who have welcomed me into their space, and to each individual that entrusted me with documenting their lives. The common thread that I am finding in my own work is that collaboration is crucial (a portrait without the trust of the subject is only adequate, not alive), and my favorite thing is to use the lens to look for people doing work they love, or with people they love.