I knew from the beginning that 2017 would be a year of big personal change. I could feel it.
I moved—twice. My parents moved out of the house they/we had lived in for the past thirteen years. My aunt sold my grandparents’ dacha (summer home) in Kostroma, Russia—a place I had spent my childhood summers. I feel a tremendous sense of loss for the spaces which shaped who I am, but I’m grateful for new spaces to build a life in.
I grew in my photography. I took four classes at MCAD. I applied for and was accepted into a grueling but immensely rewarding photojournalism workshop in Darien, Georgia, run by The Collective Quarterly magazine. There, I was mentored by a star-studded cast of photographers and editors who helped me craft a story I’m very proud of (coming soon!). I exhibited my work five times, two of which were solo shows. And though I’m not actively seeking freelance work, I was commissioned by two good friends for portraits.
I poured myself into two works of writing, telling stories that I think deserve a place in the world: MCAD’s NEXT magazine, focusing on the college’s entrepreneurial studies program, and a piece/photo essay about Quail Springs and the incredible power of permaculture for The Riveter magazine.
I said goodbye to a dear friend and two-time roommate as she headed off to get her MFA in painting in France. I ended an unhealthy relationship of two years and raised my standards of how I deserve to be treated. I expanded my understanding of relationships and what it means to love.
I traveled to and through eleven states. I got to California twice because it was just that good of a year—once to visit another dear friend in LA and the Quail Springs folks in the Cuyama Valley, and again for San Francisco. I hit the American South for the first time on my road trip to the photojournalism workshop and made a new friend who I later visited on the East Coast.
I had a few low-key musical performances and recorded vocals for an EP by some talented friends. And I saw several of my favorite musicians live: Regina Spektor, Laura Marling, and Grizzly Bear.
What else? I turned a quarter of a century. I witnessed a cloudy but total solar eclipse. I had a vicious run-in with some bed bugs on the road. I celebrated my Papa’s 65th birthday and danced the night away with my parents and their friends at a fancy Russian restaurant.
And so, 2017 was an eventful year. But it was a year full of good change, as I’m choosing to see it.
Here are some of my favorite images from the year. This is in no way comprehensive, but it’s a taste of where I’ve been. I’m hoping 2018 brings more memorable moments with my favorite people in my favorite places!