A Year in Review

December 30, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Now that a new year is about to turn the corner it is interesting to look back over the last year and see what images can sum it up. I have always been interested in photographs and the art of photography. As a child, my walls were always covered in photographs, mostly of horses. Over the years I have been drawn toward landscape, wildlife and portraiture photography. During 2016 I started my own photography company, including this blog and my website

I graduated from Washington State University Vancouver in May of this year with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities with concentrations in Fine Art, English and Administrative Studies with a minor in Business Administration. While I was attending the university several of my images were selected for publication in art journals and student art shows. I was also hired, at the recommendation of several of my art instructors, by the university's Marketing and Communications department as a part- time photographer. I photographed faculty head shots, students for featured articles, university events, and stock photos. Many of my images were published in the university's marketing material, website and magazine. Beyond the university, my work has also been published in Cake Magazine. Becoming a published photographer gives a great sense of accomplishment, but also humility.

This year has blessed me with many opportunities for travel and photography. With my husband, Andrew, I have also been able to set out on local photography adventures nearly every weekend, often times joined by our little Aussie dog Lady. Andrew and I love the snow and mountains- any chance we get we are snowshoeing and photographing around Mt Hood. This is a photo from one of those many weekend trips to the mountain at the beginning of 2016 titled Crown of Hood.

Crown of HoodCrown of Hood

Every year for Andrew's birthday in March we go to the Alvord desert for a week to photograph. We are usually joined on these annual trips by Andrew's Dad, who is also an avid photographer and amazing artist & graphic designer. This trip rewarded us with an incredible rain, wind and dust storm on our last day after a week of boring skies. This is image is titled After The Storm Comes A Calm. After the Storm Comes a CalmAfter the Storm Comes a Calm


After graduation, I headed to Florida to visit my Dad for a week. Of course I brought my camera. While on an air boat ride through the Everglades I was able to capture some of the wildlife. If you look closely you will see that there is a dragonfly perched on the branch opposite of the seahawk... a very unexpected surprise I came across while editing the photo!

Flight of The OspreyFlight of The Osprey Lurking in the EvergladesLurking in the Everglades

Soon after coming back from Florida, Andrew and I headed up to the Olympic National Forest. In less than a week I had traveled from the further most points of the United States from Key West to Tatoosh Island off the Olympic Peninsula. My favorite image from this trip was captured while we were waiting for sunset and killing time watching the wildlife at a marina. The fishermen would boat out to an island and dump fish scraps for the sealions, eagles, seahawks, and seagulls to fight over. Many people drove out to the marina just to sit and watch the birds flying overhead and see if they could spot the sealions popping up nearby. I titled this image Wings as Eagles. The two seagulls flying around this eagle seemed to soar, inspired by the company they kept.

Wings as EaglesWings as Eagles

Over the 4th of July weekend Andrew and I went on a 3 day backpacking trip in Mt Hood's wilderness area. Rather than fighting the crowds to watch fireworks, we sought solitude and nature's own display of lights. This image is aptly titled Freedom in celebration of the what our great nation continues to fights for.


Another noteworthy photo trip we took this year was a three day kayak camping trip on Sparks Lake. You can read about the full adventure here. I have not yet titled this image- any suggestions? Sparks KayaksSparks Kayaks


During the summer I was approached to photograph a styled wedding photoshoot at a waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge. I was thrilled at the offer and was amazed at how beautifully this Bohemian wedding photoshoot was. You can see the full story here. The following are a few personal favorites from the session.

Andrew and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in August. We took the top of our wedding cake out of the freezer and embarked on a multi day photography trip up to Mt Rainer. This image is from inside an ice cave we discovered among the melting glaciers. The blue and green hues that came from under the ice were absolutely incredible!

Our biggest photography adventure of the year was a three week trip to the Southwest. We spent a week with master landscape photographer and good friend Mark Metternich. This was our first time photographing in the Southwest and Mark graciously showed us some of his favorite places to photograph and lead photo tours. Mark also introduced us to Dotty Molt, another great photographer who we quickly became good friends with. We had so much fun on this trip thanks to Mark and Dotty! The many laughs and adventures we shared together were the highlight of the trip in my opinion, although we did get some great photos. This is an image titled Rain of Fire captured in Utah as a storm blew over Andrew and I on our way to Zion National Park.  Rain of FireRain of Fire

The next morning we awoke to this beautiful view after pulling off the side of the road to sleep for the night. This image is titled Long Dirt Road. JourneyJourney One of the most amazing places on earth is the Grand Canyon. We witnessed an amazing sunset from the North Rim, this is an intimate shot before the real lightshow began on the horizon. This image is titled Grand Intimate.

Grand IntimateGrand Intimate There are many unedited images from the many weekends spent exploring the Pacific Northwest, but I will leave you with my most recent. Andrew and I got up very early in the morning and drove two hours to make it to this location for sunrise. The clouds were not in our favor, but the recent snow covering the trees and the light of twilight made this moment beautiful. This image has been shared by Oregon's Mt Hood Territory and has received over 2k "likes" on Instagram and Facebook. Not a bad way to end the year if you ask me! The title of this image is Twilight Veil. Twilight VeilTwilight Veil


Thank you for following and supporting my photography over 2016. These images are the ones that stand out the most in my mind over the year and are in the order in which they happened. For me the adventure surrounding capturing a photo is almost as rewarding as the photo itself. Getting a good photo is just the cherry on top. I can not wait to see what adventures 2017 will bring!

Enjoy life's adventures!

Laurie Mitchell








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