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  • Writer's pictureBL Gilleon

2023: The Highlight Reel, Pt. 1

Updated: Feb 14

Hey friends! As 2023 comes to a close, I find myself excited for the future, but grateful for the many strides and wins of this year. Though I've only launched my business recently, my journey has been years in the making, and the last twelve months are no exception. So join me, if you will, on a look back at some of the memorable, the fun, and the beautiful highlights of each month - you will see some familiar faces, and if we've worked together, maybe even your own!


The year came in gray and drab, as it tends to do in Ohio, and it usually has me feeling very "slumpy." Right off the bat, I made a conscious effort to get outside and do something active in order to boost my mood, so I took my tripod out to the park one afternoon. Since the parks are fairly empty this time of year, I didn't have to worry about having too many people around, but I do remember one truck driving by slowly, and feeling self-conscious about taking pictures of myself in public. In hindsight: why? Answer: anxiety. But in the end, it was a good time.

a woman on playground equipment, wearing a long winter coat
I feel like this has "album cover" vibes


We all know what holiday comes to mind for February: President's Day! Kidding, kidding. As soon as the Valentine's started hitting store shelves, I had an idea in mind that I wanted to use for a photoshoot, and my friend (& fellow photographer) Laura stepped up to make it happen. This shoot was so much fun, and the results are exactly what I envisioned!


I don't remember if March came in like a lion or not, but holy moly was it busy! Senior sessions, headshots, even a trip to a fox sanctuary to take photos for a fundraising auction! The creativity was ramping up, and I bought a new lens filter that creates both a dreamy haze and starburst effects. You can see it in these pictures from a shimmery studio session with Meghan and Ashley.


With the change in season came even more opportunities for creativity and this birthday shoot with Kasey did not disappoint! Kasey is the little sister I didn't have, we both have a bit of a dark creative soul - so when she told me her vision for the photos was "Sad, Sexy Birthday," I knew exactly what she meant. We had so much fun gathering the props to bring this to life and turning my house into our studio. I would gladly do birthday sessions like this every week, all year long!


Things really kicked into gear in May, with family sessions, a live band, and a birthday shoot with my best friend. However, the real standout in my work this month came from a rainy afternoon with Steffany. I had a concept in mind of a beautiful, witchy woman at water's edge, reveling in nature and playing in the sand. As the vision developed, I knew that Stef, with her boho spirit and gorgeous long, dark hair, would be perfect. She was so excited when I told her what I had in mind, and this became one of my favorite sessions of the entire year. These images are absolute magic, they are a song, a feeling, a mood. Another one that I would do over & over again, so who's next?!


At this point I can't keep pointing out how crazy every month was, because the truth is, I am always creating and the nature of creativity is that it is all over the place! Being a photographer will have you changing directions from one shoot to the next, so in a strong veer from creative portraits, here are a couple of the detail shots from a wedding that I second-shot with a friend that month. Second-shooting means accompanying a lead photographer to catch the photos they don't, and helping them to be in multiple places at one time. In this case, it meant that I was able to create these little bits of beauty while the lead was focused on the main event.

For More...

This post is getting really long! It's been a lot of fun looking back at the first half of 2023, and if you have enjoyed it, please stay tuned for the follow-up with July through December. Thank you so much for joining me!



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