I never intended to drop the ball on my blog, but I guess that’s how most players feel when they miss a shot or a pass goes awry. With so many balls in the air during the second half of the year, my timing just wasn’t in sync with, well, myself, and I put my blog on hold while I fed those balls to others.
This blog, which was started almost six years ago, has been a wonderful way to keep in touch with relatives and friends, meet new people and connect with those who share similar interests. I’ve missed spending time here, sharing my adventures, thoughts and images, and I do intend to change my routine in 2017 so I don’t lose my creative self as much as I did this year.
As I look back upon the latter half of 2016, I miss reading the day-to-day and week-to-week posts that would have documented some of the important or inspirational times that shaped my year. While I chose to blog years ago to primarily share and document my photography, I’ve discovered that in looking back my posts often became a personal journal that were my way of remembering those moments that meant a lot at the time but may be forgotten later in the fast-paced world we live in now.
One achievement that stood out during the second half of 2016 was my return to the show ring after a four-year absence. I traveled out to the West Coast to show with my friend, mentor and client Julie Winkel of Maplewood Stables, based in Reno, Nevada, and it was so much fun that I plan to continue showing with her in 2017. With many talented homebreds coming up the ranks through her successful breeding program and a busy sales business, there’s always a hunter or jumper for me to ride and show, and right now that’s ideal as I don’t own my own horse. A highlight was showing the sale horse Dardam Q, pictured above, to the Children’s/Adult Jumper Championship at the Central California Classic Horse Show in Paso Robles in November.
My business, Cameron Green LLC, continued to thrive and grow, and I added several new clients to the roster and have others on the horizon to begin in 2017. I’ve even taken that huge next step and hired an independent contractor, allowing me to share the workload and expand my offerings into new areas. I really look forward to seeing where this new path takes the business in the coming year.
After focusing on nature and wildlife photography for the past several years, those subjects have taken a backseat recently to other, work-related commitments, and my camera lenses have been filled with horses again. Despite missing the birds and landscapes, I’ve enjoyed seeing some of my equine photography return to the spotlight, with published images not just in my own magazine (USHJA In Stride), but also on the covers and within the pages of many others. I also explored different types of equine photo shoots this year, from documenting educational clinics, seminars and camps, to working on projects for specialty magazines and even playing with light during portrait sessions (with horses, of course!).
I’ve retained my connection to nature and wildlife this year through my continued volunteer work for the Virginia Working Landscapes, a program of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute that promotes the conservation of native biodiversity and sustainable land use. My role as a citizen scientist and bird surveyor began in 2010, and I’ve learned so much through the opportunity and met so many wonderful people that it’s become one of the most rewarding volunteer experiences I’ve ever had.
Similarly, I was proud this summer to join the Board of Directors of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, a wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, research and educational center near my home in Clarke County, Virginia. I’ve been a fan and supporter for many years, and to become more involved as the center expands its footprint (unveiling a new 10,000-square-foot building with state-of-the-art hospital at the end of 2016) and mission within our Commonwealth is exciting and gratifying.
Although, overall, I’ll remember 2016 with fondness for the many great experiences I had and achievements accomplished, it hasn’t been perfect. The year also had its share of setbacks and disappointments. Being an optimist by nature, though, I tend to see the glass as half full most of the time. In fact, when I had a bad day not long ago, I remember reading a post on Facebook that made me laugh out loud and set me back on track: “If the glass is half empty, pour it into a smaller glass!”
I’m thankful for the year 2016, to have enjoyed spending time with family, friends and living a wonderful life here in the United States. I look forward to seeing where 2017 takes me, and I wish the best to you all and a Happy New Year! Talk to you again soon!
I always love your photos, engagement in your community, and your attitude about life. When things look a bit bleak, I love the idea of finding a smaller glass! Happy New Year!
Thank you, Patti! As always, so great to hear from you, and I wish you a Happy New Year, too!
I figured you were having fun after returning to the saddle. Our paths, hopefully, will cross one day at a show. My daughters, their riding has been going very well for them which included a cameo on the FEI World Cup stage in Las Vegas (in Nov). It was a good ride, good experience for them to have. But, with them graduating from college in the spring, they don’t know about riding past the 2017 season. They are looking forward to the ranch project and understand the first few years will be tough in getting the business side going. Our tentative move-in date to the ranch is spring 2018.
I have been saving one post for you, and that is the one on environmental data analysis – the part on what I do for a living and assembling a report that meets both federal and state requirements. I hope to post that in the Feb/Mar/Apr time frame.
Looking forward to reconnecting. 🙂
Hi David! So wonderful to hear from you and congratulations on your daughters’ successes! I almost crossed paths with you in Vegas–I had wanted to attend the show to apprentice judge with Julie, but it didn’t quite fit into my schedule. One of these days we will meet in person!
Thank you for saving your post for me–I look forward to reading it and seeing your data as well as hearing more about your ranch plans! I do intend to spend more time here and look forward to reconnecting more often. I will be traveling to West Coast shows again this year, so I will keep you posted. 🙂
Too bad you couldn’t make it to Vegas. The Nationals, that is one electric show. Throw in being a stop on the FEI World Cup tour, even more so. Can’t help to meet some interesting horse people, especially the professional riders. The riders come from varied backgrounds and have opted to ride for a career. The only part of the show schedule that has been determined is the National Western in 10 days and opening in Texas, in May.
How’s your son, Cam? He is becoming quite a golfer. Combined with soccer, a very versatile athlete.
Yes, it was disappointing not to visit Vegas this year, but I just wasn’t able to fit everything in this fall 😦 I’m glad they had a great experience there and it was inspirational for you all.
Thanks for asking about Cam! He had a successful fall season in golf (he finished the season named as one of the Area’s Top High School Golfers), and indoor soccer season begins next weekend. He actually had a golf lesson on Saturday (it was 40 degrees!) and then played on the course. Brrrr.