Happy belated New Year, friends. I hope your 2018 has been off to a good start.

I admit I was happy to see 2017 go. It was an incredible year for photography. I met so many amazing people through my business, and I’m so proud of the work I did. But in many ways, it was also a very stressful year. It brought upon some health issues I’m still trying to recover from, and for whatever reason, these issues have been really compounded the past few months. It’s been…frustrating, confusing, and challenging. When I get particularly down about it, I try to focus on the high points; I have my family and Matt and my animals, a roof over my head, and a career I’m proud of.

Another thing I have is thousands of photos from the year that I never got around to editing or sharing. I shot so many beautiful places last year. I can only hope to do it all over again in 2018.

I figured I’d start off with something a little different for me. Back in August, my mother, sister, and I decided to road trip for a long weekend to Maine.

I initially gave my mom and sister a hard time about going. I argued that it was too far, too cold, too centered on a food I don’t like (lobster), and I was too busy. Ultimately, I’m never one to not spend time with my family, so I conceded. I’m so happy I did. I wasn’t expecting it, but I loved it here.

Yes, it was too cold, and too far, and there was too much lobster. But there was also really good ice cream, and yoga overlooking the ocean, and seals. I was also two days into owning my newest camera, and I had the best time playing with it in such a new and unfamiliar (to me) place.

These whale pics…man. I have a fear of the ocean and most of the animals that live in it. I can’t stand fish. People had been seeing a lot of basking sharks around the harbor while I was there, and I was terrified of seeing one when we went out on a boat for a few hours. Luckily the only animals in sight were whales, porpoises, a leatherback turtle, some jellies, and seals (!!!).

I was really surprised by how curious some whales are of boats. A few surfaced almost close enough to pat on the head, and made literal eye contact before diving back down. There’s a word for that “peeking” behavior that I’ve forgotten. As a person with my specific phobia, it was…an interesting experience.

I loved all the colorful lobster buoys everywhere.

Our Lady Queen of Peace in Boothbay Harbor is one of Maine’s most photographed churches. John F. Kennedy’s attendance of Mass here in 1962 popularized the church across the state and many locals hold it close to their hearts.

On the second morning there, a storm rolled in over the harbor and gave me some nice moody shots.

When the rain passed, my mother and sister wanted to go to the state aquarium. It should come as no surprise that aquariums are a hard pass for me, so I sat out back behind the building and watched the boats.

We then drove down to some public beach? Park? I don’t remember what this was? It was so peaceful here, I could have sat on the rocks all day. My only gripe was that it was freezing. I had on jeans, a hoodie, and a North Face jacket — things I don’t like wearing in August. The water was also ice cold. And yet, there were kids swimming. Welcome to New England.

When it was time to leave, I was sad to go. I wish we had planned for a few more days. Maine felt oddly welcoming and homey to me, which I did not anticipate at all.

In retrospect, I grew up on the water. My family cottage is gone now, but the memories I have from playing cards until 2:00am, eating junk food on the dock, and laughing until my face hurt are my most cherished in life. Being able to relive that experience, a little bit, was good for me and much-needed.

On the way home, we stopped at the Portland Head Lamp. It was absolutely gorgeous.

See you at the next one.


  1. Mama Smith

    Absolutely beautiful Amanda! I wish I had a second home to hang some of these! We honeymooned in Bar Harbor Maine and LOVED it!

  2. Seems like a fun trip…especially with a new camera. Glad you took the time off to have some time with the family. yes, glad 2017 is gone and fingers crossed for a better 2018 for everyone.

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