Journals / Quail Springs / Stills

A year of good change

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!

0655939-R1-00-00A.jpgPortraits of Braddon Olson taken on Monday, January 2, 2017.0655939-R1-10-9A.jpgA674521-R1-19-6A.jpgA674521-R1-12-13A.jpgA674521-R1-06-19A.jpgA674521-R1-11-14A_MG_7529-1_small.jpgA674521-R1-07-18AA674521-R1-02-23A_MG_7562.jpg_MG_7534.jpgCalifornia_Rita_KovtunA674521-R1-24-1A.jpg0841890-R1-01-2A0841890-R1-00-1A_MG_85250841890-R1-15-16A0841890-R1-12-13A0841890-R1-20-21A0841890-R1-21-22A0841890-R1-23-24A100840961-R1-12-14A0840961-R1-15-17A2328*_MG_84010840684-R1-15-14A0840684-R1-11-10A0982270-R1-17-20parentslight0840962-R1-15-15A0982270-R1-00-30841889-R1-05-4A0982270-R1-04-72-0982269-R1-08-91-0982271-R1-20-22A1-0982271-R1-13-15Ayanna_demkiewicz_film_portrait_23yanna_demkiewicz_film_portrait_14A674521-R1-01-24A_MG_8159

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