This year has been hard.

Not just for me, but for so many people I know and tons of people I don’t. It seems like we’re all collectively welcoming in the new year with a big sigh of relief and hope for a new beginning as we give a big middle finger to the one behind us. Of course, hurt isn’t restricted to 2017, but it just seemed to come in a big wave for me. Myself, along with so many of my friends are navigating big changes and challenges that will alter the trajectory of their lives moving forward. It’s been painful to walk through it with them, but that’s what we do right? We show up. I certainly don’t have solutions or answers all the time, but I can offer myself, my friendship, and my time. Sometimes, it means bringing my camera and documenting big moments.

I know that we’re used to inviting someone to photograph life’s happiest moments. We see so many photos of weddings and babies, which are great and welcome, but I was thinking about all the life lived in the in between. What about all the big moments that define us in more subtle ways? I’m excited to explore that space creatively, starting now.

Here’s to a new year, a new path, and a new apartment for my friend Sam. We sat in an empty room and talked about the future. The excitement, the fear, and the freedom to be who you are. We talked about parenting our sons and what it means to show them a strong mama who refuses to sit passively on the sidelines of her life. We talked about the symbolism of a new apartment and the possibility of a new year. We burned sage and cast positive intention over her space. Here are some of my favorite captures from some introspective time well spent.