my 2014 retrospective

Sitting here, with my fingers hovering over the keys, I'm gridlocked. I'm struggling to find the words to accompany the images from what has been the most full year of my life. While I realize that these retrospective entries are often just a bunch of claptrap set to pictures, it would be slight to simply relegate these images to storage where the context of their origins will gradually fade away. So here is my best effort to set some meaning to the moments below... 2014 was big. It was full of ups and downs that when charted out on a line would resemble the EKG of a John Candy after some vigorous exercise (apologies for the misplaced medical reference: far too much "Doc Martin" on the 'tele' lately).des.b06XXpork.expo POYlitchfield7429 des.s0427relays.cldes.m0614fieldofdreams I suppose the frequency and amplitude would seem more dramatic when provided the context of how my year started. In March my daughter was born. First child. Talk about a tone-setter. Fast-forward ten months and the good times still far outnumber the, um, well, more challenging moments. Life with a young one has hit a more comfortable cruising altitude.babyjameson3842 The professional side of life has also been big I guess. My passion for video storytelling has continued to grow under what have been mostly favorable conditions for my creativity. In August I started work on a year-long documentary, which to date has been the single most rewarding, fulfilling and enriching project I've ever been part of. In September my video about the basketball team from Des Moines North was recognized with an Upper Midwest Emmy... or as my colleague Rodney would call it: "a baby Emmy." Neat honor but a little uncomfortable for me. Shameful admission: It's still in a box in my closet, much to the chagrin of my father who suggested it take place alongside my 1992 punt, pass and kick trophy. Deservedly so I suppose. In April I found confidence as a silly project I conceived about the wacky people who hunt Morel mushrooms came to be, and in my eyes, was a success. As is the case with most years there have been many truly fulfilling moments that have caught me by surprise. There have been day-in-day-out projects that have served up small lessons or offered creative, personal or even spiritual encouragement in times of great need.des.m0323maharishi Joe Biden POYlitchfield7442 POYlitchfield7444 Every day I'm offered unique access inside the creases of our social tapestry. It's a tired old refrain for photographers waxing poetic about their plight but it's true. I've been in it now for nearly a decade. I've fought through and so far have survived what has been the most difficult chapter in the history of our industry and learned some remarkable lessons along the way. This work still continues to nourish the creative and curious parts of my soul in surprising ways. No one knows what the future holds but looking back at the last year I know that I'm better for having been through it. Now raise your glasses to whatever the future holds for us all.