BEST OF 2015- YEAR IN REVIEW / by Jordan Hefler

Okay y'all. 2015 has been a wild one.

A lot of people online are picking their "top 15" things or photos to highlight on social media about their year. I just feel like highlighting the whole year in general, because it was awesome. So get ready. This is a megapost.

Here are some really big things that have happened since January:

I started seriously pursuing Music Photography

I've always loved old photos of my favorite bands (The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, to be specific) and my Tumblr in high school was basically just reblogged photos of my favorite pop-punk bands. I always admired music photography, but it never occurred to me that it was something that I could do. My boyfriend got me Jimmy Page's beautiful book for Christmas last year, and I spent all of January admiring the amazing photographs of Led Zeppelin from the 70's.

Flash forward to February when I was like, you know what I'm going to be a music photographer. So I posted this status (that got 0 likes or comments, so I figured it was a bust.)

Looking to do a collaborative shoot with a band. If you know anybody who may be interested in live performance/ promo shots, have them contact me!

Posted by Jordan Hefler Photography on Thursday, February 5, 2015

I started networking, and since February 5th I have photographed the following bands/artists (forgive me if I leave any out):

Young The Giant, Mayday Parade, Future, August Burns Red, Bowling For Soup, Pianos Become the Teeth, mewithoutYou, 35 PSI, Wage War, Parachute, Polyphia, Stick To Your Guns, Every Time I Die, As It Is, This Wild Life, Real Friends, Burris, Cafe Au Lait, Darlingside, Defeater, Forged By Hate, August Alsina, Grace Albritton, IHeartMemphis, Rocko, Glamour Profession, Coin, Dulac Smack, Heritage Blues Orchestra, Honeyvibe, The Mavericks, Megafauna, Michael McDowell, Modern Language, The Bandicoots, Motel Radio (formerly Palmyra), The Menzingers, See Schaff Run, Swamps, Daggers, Mara, The Noise Complaints, Variants, Lazy Lester, Waterseed, ZOSO, JP Soars and the Red Hots, Nick Black, Sean Carney, Billy The Kid, Victor Wainright, Son Little, Louisiana Blues Revisited, Kenny Neal

If I counted correctly, that's 54 bands/musicians I've photographed. HOW ??!!?

I've always been a creative person and I've always enjoyed photography. That's why I went to college for it, that's why I do it in my free time when I already have a full time job. But it wasn't until music photography that I really felt like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. 

I have contributed photographs to Jive Flamingo, Stitched Sound, Alternative Press,and Max 94.1, and in some cases I have photographed on behalf of the band themselves. I don't plan on slowing down anytime soon! Hopefully it's just up from here!

I stayed busy all year long!

I spent the year staying super busy (mind you I'm still working full time the whole year, freelance is all in my free time....seriously) trying to save up for a new camera... which I just bought last month!

I photographed 86 portrait sessions this year. I don't even know how that happened. Some of those were surprise proposals, engagement sessions, senior portraits, family portraits, christmas cards, fashion shoots... you name it. Below are some of my favorite shots from the year:

I also photographed 3 fashion shows, 1 Brahmin handbag event, 1 look book for Emmeline Boutique, and 6 Kendra Scott events. You know Kendra Scott pays me in jewelry right? Now you know why I'm always wearing it...

A photo posted by Jordan Hefler (@jordan.hefler) on

I haven't blogged about this yet either, but recently I began photographic relationships with popular fashion blogs A Pinch of Lovely and Haute Off the Rack. That's super exciting, since I have been a fan of their blogs for a while. Now it's cool to check out their posts because some of the photographs are mine!

A photo posted by Jordan Hefler (@jordan.hefler) on

I INCORPORATED A PRINT STORE INTO MY WEBSITE

Yeah!!! And now you can order prints from me!

I moved. Again. And got a new job!

I've moved to a new place in Baton Rouge almost every year since I've lived here. I've been here for 5 years. You do the math. I also had a career change! I went from working in a photography office to working full time in Graphic Design at Manship Theatre. It's been a really exciting change and I love my job. All of this photography stuff happens around that 9-5 workday though, so my free time is pretty scarce!

Instagram became my BFF

Instagram has proven to be my main source of engagement. Facebook sucks because you have to pay for your posts to be seen by your followers. That's lame. I also am not near as active on Twitter or Tumblr as I used to be... so Instagram has become my best friend. I have gained a lot of new followers in 2015, which is great. More people to expose my work to! More opportunities to make art! More opportunities to shoot cool people!

I also attended my first Instameet this year. Well actually I went to two. It has been really exciting to get to connect with people from all over the world on Instagram, and with Instameets you finally get to see their faces in person. There are so many talented people out there and Instagram remains a daily source of inspiration for me. I am 100% more active on Instagram than anything else. So if you're going to follow me anywhere.. you should definitely follow there: @jordan.hefler

#Occupiedvacant HAPPENED

Speaking of Instagram, I finally launched a project I had been inadvertently part of for a long time. #OccupiedVacant kind of started as a photo series showcasing aesthetics of bathrooms that I found interesting. As it has grown, it has kind of become this commentary on the juxtaposition of private and public places. I'm not sure where it's going still, but I do know that I have photos for dayysssss of bathrooms, just waiting to be posted. Who knows, maybe it'll be a book someday?

I shot some weddings. then quit.

I'm just going to be honest. The wedding industry is not for me. I have helped photograph many weddings, and this year I photographed 3 on my own. I'm just going to throw it out there that it's not my cup of tea. I don't think I'm bad at it.. I just don't enjoy it. It's great money. But it doesn't make me happy (as cliche as that sounds.) I also have a TERRIBLE back and photographing anything more than 2 hours kills me. Days after I photograph weddings I feel like I'm dying. I woke up one day and was like I don't have to do this so why am I? I still have one more wedding booked for next summer (don't worry Heather I'll still be there!) but I am no longer accepting inquiries. Here are some shots from the weddings I did do.. this will probably be the only time you see them, since it doesn't really make sense to promote them if I'm not booking them. Call me for your bridals or engagements beforehand, I'd still love to do those!

I jammed out to Awesome music

2015albums.png

I think I like photographing music so much because I just like music so much. I am always looking for something new to listen to and this year in particular was a great year for the bands that I like. Here are my top 10 favorite albums of the year, in no particular order:

Knuckle Puck- Copacetic

Hit The Lights- Summer Bones

The Maine- American Candy

Bring Me The Horizon- That's The Spirit

The Story So Far (Self Titled)

Mayday Parade- Black Lines

Sleeping With Sirens- Madness

Neck Deep- Life's Not Out To Get You

Modern Language (Self Titled EP)

Pianos Become the Teeth- Keep You

P.S. I'm ALLLL up on Spotify, so if you have an account let's connect!

I love to follow new playlists and see what my friends are listening to.

Here's a playlist I've been listening to a lot at my desk at work lately. Maybe you'll like it too!

----------------------------------------------------------->

OTHER GOOD STUFF THAT HAPPENED

All in all, I feel like it was a pretty solid year. I'm only a year and a half out of college at this moment, and some days I feel really lost. Looking back at everything to make this blog post has given me a boost of confidence. I guess you don't know how much you have really accomplished until it's actually done.

So what am I excited for in 2016?

UPDATING THIS BLOG MORE OFTEN SO POSTS LIKE THIS AREN'T SO LONG! Well hopefully.

Also the Pierce the Veil album!!!!!

Hopefully photographing more music festivals (ahem WARPED TOUR) and for more publications!

Maybe I'll lose weight? That's such a cliche resolution.

So long friends, see you next year.