2014: In Review

2014 for us could be summed up by a few words – refining, stepping into the unknown, and adventure.

This has been the year that we’ve done the most refining of our business. What do we want Grain & Compass to be, where do we see ourselves in 5, 10, 20, 50 years, how do we want to leave a lasting impact on each and every one of our couples we work with, how are we different from the other photographers and filmmakers out there, how to we tell stories in a way that is honest and beautiful and honoring to each person’s story? These are all questions we’ve wrestled with and begun to find answers for this year. We’re stoked about where those answers are taking us.

2014 was also the year of stepping into the unknown for us. We thought the day we both stepped into working full time for our business would come with great fanfare and perhaps even a dramatic Tim-standing-on-his-desk-and-giving-a-passionate-speech-to-his-students-about-following-your-dreams scene on his last day of teaching. But it didn’t happen that way. I’ve been full time with our business for a couple years now, and we’ve been praying and waiting ever so impatiently for the day when we could work side-by-side full time, not just on the weekends. We wanted God to give us a big sign that said “it’s time to quit your day job!!!” but for some reason he just doesn’t always work the way we want. He’s a little more subtle, a lot more mysterious, and this year He let us learn through the craziest circumstances. In the end we had to make our own decision about whether we’d trust Him to provide us with a few more weddings to round our our year, or wait in fear, clinging to what we already knew. After some paperwork mixups and a whole lot of frustrating miscommunication from our school system’s county office, it became clear that it was time for Tim to step away from teaching and bid adieu to the school and people that truly supported and loved on him for the last three years. It was a little bittersweet for him to leave, and a grand mix of terrifying and exciting for us to leave the stability of a consistent paycheck. But we can sit here at the end of the busiest fall of our lives, with gratitude and the knowledge that going fully-full-time with our business was the best decision we made this year.

Between shooting weddings and visiting friends and family, we traveled away from home more than 100 days this year – nearly a third of our year. We sat down last night and counted all the adventures we had and the places we visited for the first time this year. This year held our first time to Detroit where we discovered fantastic brews at Great Lakes Coffee and we filmed the most epic dance party ever seen at a wedding reception. A week-long inspirationcation with my best friend – we locked ourselves away in a cabin in Asheville to work on her writing and my photography. Next up was a trip to Arizona to visit friends and take Tim to Sedona and the Grand Canyon for the first time. Tim’s first time in Green Bay where we attended my cousin’s wedding, got to tour Lambeau Field (my family will turn Tim into a Packers fan yet,) and Tim’s first trip to Door County. In September and October we embarked on a three week road trip to attend, photograph, and film Tim’s cousin Mallory’s wedding on Martha’s Vineyard, and two gorgeous weddings outside Chicago. Along the way, we visited New York City for the first time – a day packed with over 12 miles of walking, hitting up a few touristy spots, discovering amazing food throughout the day, stumbling upon the Chelsea Market, and a stroll along the High Line, to name a few. After Mallory’s wedding we had a whole day to explore Martha’s Vineyard, stayed with dear friends in Massachusetts, camped near Niagara Falls – my first trip there, and then hop-skipped our way to Chicago, visiting friends and family along the way. This fall we found ourselves traveling for numerous weddings and engagement sessions across North Carolina, and we took one more trip to Chicago to photograph one of our dear friend’s weddings – it’s always a treasure for us to capture a friend’s wedding day, and I’ll have a hard time putting words to how special it was for us to photograph this one.

We’ve still got so much we’re working on and excited to share from this past year, but for now, here’s a look back at a few of our favorite photos from this year – some you’ve seen and some you haven’t!

Our dates are booking up quickly for 2015 and we’re beginning to book 2016 weddings as well – if you’re getting married or know someone who is, send us an email to inquire about our availability! Along the lines of refining our business and our vision for Grain & Compass, we know that we’re not the photographers and videographers for everyone. And we’re okay with that. We know that the couples whose stories we capture best aren’t just looking for someone to take pictures and video of their day. The couples we want to work with are passionate about storytelling, they’re looking to have beautiful photographs and video of their own day, and they’re not afraid to open up to us and let us into their story. When a couple trusts us, when they let us into their lives, when they are curious and genuinely interested not only in having great photos but in the why behind what we do – that’s when we’re able to capture the most genuine, beautiful images. If this sounds like you, don’t hesitate to contact us. And if it sounds like someone you know, please send them our way! We’re always on the lookout for a good story.