My 18 Favorite Photos of 2018
2018 was an amazing year packed with adventure! From Australia to Namibia and everywhere in between, we really never stopped exploring. It was an especially exciting year for me in terms of photography. I feel like I’ve come leaps and bounds in taking pictures and editing them, even developing Lightroom Presets I plan to sell someday soon.
It was a hard task, but I selected my 18 favorite photos I’ve taken this year. Some of them were popular on social media, some of them didn’t get that much love, and a few of them are debuting here; but all of them hold a special place in my heart. They take me back to places and times I’d love to revisit, and I hope they transport you somewhere far away as well. Enjoy!
I only saw a couple koalas during my 18 month stint in Australia, and this was the only one close enough to take a decent picture. I love his action and expression here. I’m also particularly proud of the cozy edit I was able to pull off so early on in my photography journey, as I’m prone to overexposing my pictures now.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I post a lot of photos of myself. Usually Will is behind the lens and although I direct him as much as I can, I’m not in complete control and he definitely ads some creativity to the whole process. This photo however, is totally different. I used a self timer and took about 50 photos, most of which are slightly out of focus, an effect I love. I used one of my Whitsunday Presets to edit this photo and loved the outcome so much that I would dare say this little picture of me without makeup, 3 days without a shower, in the middle of no where South Australia might just be my favorite self portrait of the year.
This is one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken. Mother Nature helped me out a ton with a beautiful sunset over a gorgeous and still river, but I love the way the colors popped in the editing process. I find this image so calming and day dream about selling it to Apple as a screen saver.
I might be biased because adopting this little lamb was one of the best things I’ve ever done, but I love this picture. It embodies Australia so well. I've also used the preset I designed for this photo on a thousand more edits and as a base for dozens of my other presets. So really, this photo was pivotal in the development of my pictures and style this year.
I was SO excited to get this picture. I see so many gorgeous snaps of girls looking fabulous, wandering around crowded market streets, and showcasing their locations exceptionally well. This has never worked for me. I get self conscious in crowds, I sweat (like, a lot) so I don’t always look my best, and I used to feel weird about asking other people (especially my boyfriend) to take 100 pictures of me while I pretend to be browsing the shops. But the stars aligned for this picture and we were alone in the souks of Marrakech! It’s also the first time I started playing with editing different parts of the photo differently with the brush tool. It’s the epitome of Morocco and I feel like this picture puts me in the “cool girl candidly wandering around the market” club.
I can’t take credit for this amazing capture. Will took this photo of me with our GoPro while riding a camel through the Sahara. We were so lucky to have a gorgeous clear day and a beautiful sunset helping with this image. However, I’m not sure I’ve ever been more proud of an edit. I was playing around with the then newly discovered brush tool and shading in the camels’ shadows. What I thought would be a corny edit ended up being a really cool effect, making the picture one of my absolute favorites of all time.
How can I curate a list of my favorite photos of 2018 and not include one of the most iconic sights we visited? Somehow, I was able to get a picture alone directly in front of the Treasury. This is no easy task! I’m pleased with the detail the camera was able to capture, although I’ve never been able to post it since the dimensions aren’t right for Instagram.
This picture gives me chills. The boy dancing is only hours away from a ceremonial circumcision that would take place later that evening. I had a lot of mixed emotions about witnessing this parade, and felt the need to write some of those thoughts down, but because of the action and story behind this picture, it definitely makes my list for favorite photos. It’s raw, it’s colorful, it’s Africa.
I can’t exactly tell you why, but this is one of my favorite pictures from Africa. I love the way the Zebra is framed by the out of focus branches in the foreground and I’m quite fond of the colors, but other than that there’s not much to say other than I love this picture.
This is as intimate as it gets. I love the composition and how it says so much by showing so little. I’m so proud of this picture, it might just be my number one favorite for the year!
Seeing this lion was one of the highlights of my entire safari. He was gorgeous, close to the truck, and actually walking around (which as it turns out, is pretty rare). I loved the lighting here and was really pleased with the edits, desaturating yellow and highlighting the orange.
We were lucky enough to catch this Cheetah doing some afternoon yoga before sprinting after a young gazelle. He was perched on a raised log and posing for the camera perfectly. The contrast of the golden cat against the darker background (done so with the handy dandy brush tool) makes the picture for me.
I love this picture. It feels like a glimpse into the elephant’s world, a little like I’m imposing, but I think that’s what makes it so interesting. I like the texture, the colors, and the composition. This is one of those photos I was so excited to share, because I think it’s pretty spectacular, and yet it wasn’t one of my more popular ones. I guess you can’t please everyone, but this picture sure as hell makes me happy!
I call this one “I Miss the Rains Down In Africa” for obvious reasons. This was a spectacular sunset through a thunderstorm, made even better with the preset I made for the Marley and Me picture listed above!
This picture is the opposite of the one posted above. There wasn’t anything particularly interesting about this sunset, but I liked the silhouette of the tree and the fence (I didn’t even notice the bird until I was editing!). It was one of those magical edits where the picture was completely transformed with a single click.
This isn’t a picture I’d usually include in a photography gallery, but it’s just so fun! These rescued cheetahs were so lovable, a feeling this picture translates beautifully. I hardly ever take pictures on my phone because the difference in quality is shocking, but I’m so glad I snapped this one! It’s better than any of my Nikon photos from this experience.
I love the minimalist vibes of this natural wonder. It was easy to edit, but I’m still really pleased with the way the colors turned out. If you happen to work at Apple, lets talk screensavers. I feel like this could be a contender!
I love this photo because it showcases the teamwork that goes into 90% of the photos I post. I’ve set up the camera and explained, vaguely, how I’d like the image to look. Will very patiently then takes about 1000 photos, deciding on the composition and adjusting the focus. I then upload my favorites to Lightroom and edit away! I absolutely love how these sunrise desert photos turned out. I even designed an entire Preset Package (Cafe Collection) inspired by the lighting and colors from this shoot!