My (Mostly) 2012: Year in Review

Goodbye 2012! You were fantastic. It felt like a long year, simply because I saw so much change and excitement. When I looked back at the beginning, I couldn’t believe that stuff had happened just one year ago.

I like it better that way. Simple lives are fantastic, eventually, but with complex ones it feels like you just get … more of it.

It’s the end of the year, so here is my “Best of 2012 Weddings” post.

Except that it’s not about 2012, or weddings, or about which photos are best.

You see, there’s a good reason that I haven’t done a Year in Review post since 2006 or so. When you have a busy shooting schedule, your year doesn’t really end on Dec. 31. You’re still processing away, crafting the stories that you recently documented, and you never know where the next photos are coming from. Heck, I have a fantastic wedding to shoot today, and I’d want to include it in any sort of year-end wrap-up. But the problem is, that means I can either do a year-end wrap-up that doesn’t have the full year … or I can do it some time in February. Neither option works for me, so I’m telling a slightly off-kilter story of a year. From 11/1/11 to 10/31/12. And I’ll do the same next year, so that my fantastic November and December weddings get their due.

But along the way, I realized it’s not about weddings either, or just picking out the “best” photos. I’ve said before in workshops that any individual wedding photo should be about the subjects and content, but if you place a whole portfolio together, then it starts to coalesce into a self-portrait. Wedding photography demands so much of our personal vision that the way we see the world is writ large, and ever part of our personality and experience is part of the story. So this is my self-portrait.

Best photos? Best weddings? Nah, trying to make those sort of choices would have ended my year with a breakdown. But I can tell you how I felt when I took every photo. I am not an impartial observer — I try to take photos that evoke emotions in the viewer, and as that shutter is clicking, all I am is the first viewer. My joy is reflected on my subjects’ smiles, my heart breaks at tears. I can tell you if I was excited, frenetic or calm. I can tell you what the temperature was, and everything that was going through my head for each one of these. And this is from someone who can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday. When I make memories, I’m also making mine. This is my year — presented in a random order that isn’t random.


This post is quite long, and some of the images are fairly big, so I’m putting it behind a cut so it won’t drown the rest of my site with its mass. Also, unless WordPress have fixed the bug, iPads might not load most of it at all. Click on the image for the review.

Andy Gaines - …aaaaand we have a winner!

Awesome as ever – here’s to a great 2103 – Look forward to seeing more inspiring work Ryan!

Kat Braman - love what you said about the self-portrait. congrats on another awesome year!

sarah der - Whoa….just, whoa.

Sam hurd - Most excellent. Can’t imagine how you’ll top yourself next year, but I’ll sure be looking forward to it.

David Stubbs - Awesome and Inspiring, every single one of them! Thank you Ryan!

Elissa - Seriously, you’re like one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Awesome year, Ryan! Can’t wait to see what you produce for 2013.

Neil van Niekerk - Ryan, you’re in a league of your own!

Tina Carr - I loved all of them. Awesome selections of your incredible talent!

Allen Venables - Speechless! Happy New Year

newton - Happy New Year, Great pictures, and wish you a great journey ahead.

Joachim Kolender - Wow, Wow, Wow you are one of the best wedding All Stars!!! I love these pictures! Liebe Grüße from Germany :-)

Jeff Adair - You’re so frickin’ talented…

Brandyn Fidel - Ryan, add CDN (Content Delivery Network) to wordpress. It’ll speed up your image download speeds worldwide and its fairly cheap.

ayesha - so much win. a really inspiring post <3
but… that last shot is the best!!!!

Craig Cacchioli - 2013 is going to be a great year. Don’t know why exactly, but I’m sure you are going to help inspire us Ryan. Happy New Year to you.

Emilie - This is pretty rad!

Vitaliy Piltser Photography - This was quite a journey. Something to aspire to in 2013.
Have a happy and healthy new year!

Steven Miskovich - WOW Ryan, just wow.

Michael Martin - As always, fantastic! I don’t agree with all of the shots, but that’s what’s wonderful! That means we both have our visions and that’s ok.

Truly inspirational work, Mr. B. Fantastic, fantastic stuff. Well done! All the best for 2013 and beyond!

Cordula Ziemann - That’s an incredible post with so many amazing little moments captured. All the shots are just beautiful and inspiring!

Preston Davis - You are truly the only photographer in the wedding biz where the word “epic” applies. Always a pleasure viewing your work.

Happy New Year!

Ademir Ribeiro - Great post, I also believe that our pictures reveal a lot about us, agreed about your self-portrait, have a great new year, and amazing photos! All the best, cheers!

Aamer Kapadia - Just bookmarked this post. Amazing stuff man!

Richard Sercombe - Great portfolio… one heck of a year!

Rocco Staino - Great post but you forgot your 2012 photo of the literary trio Toni Morriosn, E.L. Doctorow & Pete Hamill.

Brian Kraft - Holy wow! I thought I had a grasp on your level of incredible work, but you’ve gone ahead and surprised me- again! Cheers to you and here’s to a happy and healthy 2013!

Lindsay Taryn - not that we needed a reminder, but this post is screaming LOOK AT HOW UNBELIEVABLY TALENTED I AM. thank you for sharing your talent with us!

Lukas Gisbert-Mora - Ryan, first of all thank you for this post, it has reminded me a lot of this year as I have followed each of your post. I think it’s a good time to tell you what I think of you! Ever since I followed your work and you as a person, I have been inspired and this has made a lot of changes in my own work but also the way I see things and put them together. I don’t know if I’ll ever get as good as you but the portfolio review you did for me has been such a good help. You are not just a talented photographer but also a great mentor. I’m looking forward to another 12 months of incredible work to watch and get inspired by. By thanks to you Ryan and Happy new Year :)

Judy McClure Serritella - Wow. Gorgeous work.

Miriam Gilbert - I believe in magic after seeing these. Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for seeing and sharing such exquisite beauty.

Martin Hambleton - You so put it into perspective. We mere mortals think we’re doing a good job. Then you post this and truly put us in our place.

Monica Justesen Photography - Damn, you had a great year! Cannot WAIT to see what 2013 brings you, Ryan!

Lara - shit be cray.

real cray.

Haouzi Franck - very good work Ryan… happy New year.

Kat Forsyth - Awesome, Ryan. Just…epic.

Vi-Chi Tran - So many amazing and inspiring images in one post! Looking forward to seeing more in 2013!

Ned Mansour - Just wonderful Ryan. Great work as usual!

Trent Gillespie - Awesome shots. That was definitely more than I expected too, but all of them, deserve the recognition. Congrats on a solid year, and here is to 2013.

Neil Redfern - Words fail me. Confirmation of why I think you are the best wedding photographer in the world.

Jashim - This set is just phenomenal! Looking forward to how you’ll top this next year.

roland hale - Looks like an awesome year!

mckenzi - holy amazing-ness! wow! such an inspiration. thank you for sharing!

matt haines - Ryan don’t you get tired of the word “awesome”? :) So many good images packed into a single year, all shot by a single person. Really unbelievable. I hope your 2013 is almost as good. ;)

Kirsten Doukas - Wow, Ryan…your work easily competes with the best photography out there…better than most mainstream photographers. Congrats :)

Michael Jurick - Awe-inspiring work. Thank you for having the burning desire and passion to continuously push the boundary of what is possible with event photography. Congratulations on an incredible year – and for the recognition in Rangefinder magazine as one of the most in-demand photographers of the year. Truly deserved – epic work indeed. Thank you for sharing photographs on your blog and doing your part to help educate along the way. Have a fantastic 2013!

Tim - Indeed a good year!

Adam Cavanagh - Epic year!!

Dale Lempa - Fantastic work, as always! Thanks for sharing.

Adam Johnson - Wowsers. Inspirational. Keep doing it!

Kumar Dosi - Absolutely stunning work Ryan! You are one of the most beautiful wedding photographers out there! Love your wide angle and bokeh panorama images the most.

tim riddick - one of my favorite best of sets.. ryan your amazing

Luis Godinez - The first fram, I want it on my wall. Such an epic photo.

Anil - Learned so many things from you this entire year. A true inspiration for me. I wish your workshops were here in India. :)

Az - Completely blown away!

Hugh - Speechless!!!!!

Now THAT is being a wedding photographer!

Navin Sarma - amazing set of photos. great 2012!

aFeinbergPhotography - I think the one word to describe this collection would be… BOOM!

Neha - Stunning..your work alwys awes me..

cambrie - holy efffff. you are RIDICULOUSLY talented.

C’est reparti pour un tour ! | Photographe Lyon Architecture - Brice Robert - Freelance - […] Au début, je voulais faire un post sur cette année 2012 qui a été assez bonne avec moi et puis je suis tombé sur ce post de Ryan Brenizer. […]

stefan - hochzeitsfotograf schweiz - what a ride! Congrats on your awesome 2012!

V. - An amazing selection of images, amazing! V.

Ben Kiruthi - Very very beautiful keep it up, best post ever.

SasaTina Zdrunkovic - aaaahhhhh!

2013 in review » Ryan Brenizer — NYC Wedding Photographer. Problem solver, storyteller. - […] I said last year, a funny thing happens over the course of taking a few hundred thousand photos. Each individual […]