Jessica Holden Photography » My Photo Journal

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15 from ’15!

One of my absolute favorite things to do at the end of a year is look through my photos from the last 12 months to choose my favorites. In doing it, I get to look back at every moment I documented all year, and it just makes me feel so happy and lucky and grateful… (And it gets the littlest bit easier each year, too, because every year I get to choose one more photo than the year before!) This was the first year I have had a few iPhone photos make it into the top—I think partly because in some ways 2015 was a bit of a hard year for me and I haven’t been as inspired to pick up my camera as I usually am, but my iPhone is nearly always nearby so I am finding myself using it more and more often. My iPhone will never replace my DSLR, but at the same time I am so thankful for it because without it I’d have missed so many moments! This year, too, I did two iPhone-only projects (100 Happy Days over summer break and 30 Thankful Things in November) that encouraged me to shoot when I otherwise wouldn’t have. But at the same time, looking back at some of the most joyous moments in our year has reinvigorated my love for my “big-girl” camera, and I am determined to get back into the habit of using it in 2016!

Phi and I spent countless hours in 2015 like this: me icing, and him taking advantage of the down time to snuggle!


One of the rare actual photo shoots I did with Emily this year. I need to do this more often because we both have so much fun doing them!


I spent a day helping a sweet friend learn to shoot in manual with her new camera at Filoli. I am thinking I need to go out more often on little day trips with friends specifically to take pictures. It’s so inspiring to be out with someone else, and having someone to chat with all afternoon makes it even more fun!


I just love it when Trader Joe’s gets peonies in during the spring—it’s one of my favorite times of the year!


An annual tradition for us is to drive up to our alma mater for the Whole Earth Festival at UC Davis on Mother’s Day. We love the people watching and the shopping, and it feels so nostalgic to be on campus again, especially now with our daughter who is starting to investigate potential colleges. It’s bittersweet! And this is my first iPhone photo to make it as an annual favorite.


My favorite photo of Emily just being Emily, also from the Whole Earth Festival:


A rare (for this terrible drought year) spring rain:


More Trader Joe’s peonies. They are so cheerful, and I can always count on them to inspire me!


Playing with flare and my iPhone:


This trip to Disneyland I played a lot with more unusual settings on my camera, like slow shutter speeds. I love how this one came out!


This iPhone photo isn’t the greatest, but the memory absolutely is, so I had to include it. We took a selfie with Sulley in one of those spontaneous magical moments that so often happen in Disneyland!

Photo Jun 12, 11 10 25 AM-EditBlog

And from the second half of that same trip, another moment that made my heart happy:


Another iPhone photo that I love, playing with a little macro adapter:

Photo Jul 31, 6 28 20 PM (1)-2Blog

I can’t resist pretty light, even when I only have my iPhone:

Photo Aug 01, 7 22 28 PM-2Blog

And our annual cookies! We make these with my childhood friend Karen every year. I was tempted to skip this year altogether since I’d just had surgery in late October, but Emily couldn’t bear to miss the tradition that she loves so much, so we went ahead. And I am so glad we did!


You can see my earlier ___ from ‘___ photos here: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011