2018 Year In Review


It was an exciting year for me with a lot of new opportunities opened up and working with amazing people! I started 2018 seeing just how hard I can push ETDPhotography, and I wanted give a quick rundown on some highlights for the year, some management and productivity tips, and what exciting things are coming in 2019!

First, A Thank You

Thank you, by reading this blog or being a customer of ETDPhotography you are literally making someone’s dream job a reality. So thank you, and I appreciate you all making this my best and most exciting year yet.

Blogs and Photoshoots and Analytics, Oh My!

I had two personal challenges related to photography this year. One was to have 52 photoshoots during 2019, and the other was a 30-day blogging challenge in January. 2018 will be ending with 49 Photoshoots, and January had a blog post on all but 2 days. While it's tempting to sit around disappointed about getting so close but not reaching my goals, I’m more just impressed that I managed these numbers to begin with, and it means I can retry the challenges next year!


I also wanted to grow the audience of ETDPhotography as well, which largely thanks you and the 30 day blog challenge more than doubled this year! I certainly hope to try and continue the trend in growth in 2019.

I learned that making useful, local-focused posts can really help with website SEO(search engine optimization). ETDPhotography is now the top google search result when searching for photo locations in Erie PA! Metadata is really essential to this as well. Always caption your photos, use tags and keywords, and always fill in the “alt text” on <img> tags. (If you need to learn how to do this, check out w3schools or here if you’re on Squarespace.)

New Looks, New Edits, New Style

I had a major shift in my personal style this year. The website has received a major overhaul with a new dark theme intended for ease of use on mobile and while scrolling through articles late at night. I’ve also changed how I approach photo editing as well. I used to be all about the vintage and styled looks, but that has changed for a greater appreciation for crisp, bold colors. I still flip between the two occasionally, and I think the variety keeps things interesting. If you are curious about how to create either of these looks in lightroom, key an eye out for guides coming in January 2019!

Bigger, Better, Moving Pictures

I previously talked about my style switch in one of my videos, which is also a new focus in 2018! I haven’t just been getting into video for kicks though, in 2019 a very exciting project will be starting which isn’t ready for announcement quite yet!

However, you may have seen articles for The Creative Process of Photography, which will be an in-depth how-to about everything photography! My hope is to eventually compile this series into a book. If there are any particular topics you would like covered, please let me know in the comments! This series is the first in a trend of longer-form articles I wish to have on ETDPhotography.

My first mini-documentary (and first public short film!) was released this year as well. Snowing In June is a short film about the Eastern Cottonwood tree on Presque Isle and the important effects it has on the Peninsula. This film was also entered into the My RØDE Reel Short film competition, which with your votes did well enough to win film equipment I can use to create even more documentaries!

New Places, People, and Things

One of the more exciting things about photography is the places it ends up taking you. In 2018 I’ve traveled to cool cities and photographed amazing people along the way. D.C., St. Petersburg, Annapolis, and even some cool places in my home state of PA.

I particularly enjoyed making short photo-stories about locations. Some of these I detailed on the photo-walks blog like in Washington D.C. and others were more traditional single-location stories like these work portraits at a salon. What do you think would make a cool photo-story? I would love to hear your ideas!

Old-growth New Podcast

2018 debuted a new podcast co hosted by myself and Julia Guerrein talking about the environment! The Old-growth Podcast reviews current events in environmental science and policy and goes in-depth on environmental educational subjects. Although our release schedule has been scattered a bit by busy schedule, we do have more episodes in the pipeline and responses so far have been excellent!

Favorite Photos 2018

While I took a plethora of photos this year, there always some particular ones that catch my eye. I’ll leave 2018 with a gallery of my personal favorite photos that I took this year. See you in 2019!