Top 10 Photographs of 2013.

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In between visiting with family and friends during the holidays, working, and preparing for New Years- I’ve been drafting my “2013: In a Nutshell” post in my free time. For those who may not know, at the end of every month, I like to summarize said month, talk about any major events/turning points that took place, post any pictures that may not have initially made the cut when I blogged, write about the days to come, etc. My 2013 summary is a lot like that- but for the entire year, of course- including an assortment of news, pop culture, random tidbits and nonsense, etc.

I digress, to prepare- I’ve re-visited some of the photographs I snapped during 2013 (and there were a lot!) and wanted to create a post highlighting my Top 10 of the year and the stories behind them.

So without further ado,

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# 10: Dropkick Murphys, TD Garden (March 15th)

I took a shot of the heavily illuminated stage- and an enthusiastic fan- during the band’s annual series of Saint Patrick’s Day shows in March. The timing of this shot couldn’t have been any better, thanks in part to the guy in front of me who threw his arms up as I was snapping away while the band prepared to launch into a cover of AC/DC’s “TNT.”

This wasn’t my first Dropkick Murphys show of 2013, and it also wouldn’t be my last. I’d go on to see them perform a couple more times over the next few months- one concert in particular being especially poignant as it was a benefit for “The One Fund” to help those directly affected in the Boston Marathon Bombing.

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# 9: Ocean Beach, San Diego (September 27th)

This may not be the most complex photograph I’ve ever taken (I took it sitting down in the sand, after all,) but it’s one of my favorites from the year because it was taken during one of the most relaxing afternoons during one of my most relaxing vacations in recent memory. I was sitting in a small sliver of shade underneath the pier at Ocean Beach waiting for my friend Duncan to arrive while I listened to music and watched the surfers paddle out as the waves crashed in.

I could have stayed like that for hours. It was truly a little piece of paradise.

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# 8: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting (January 22nd)

If there was ever a photograph I wanted to eat, the above shot of surprise cupcakes, a combination of two of my favorite flavors, that my family concocted and made for my birthday would be it. This picture apparently received a lot of attention on Pinterest among foodies and dessert-enthusiasts, which is pretty cool- but I especially liked it because it was a (delicious) reminder of how wonderful my relatives are and the effort they put into giving me a fun (and again, delicious,) surprise.

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# 7: Photobombing Norman Reedus in NYC (June 29th)

I can’t take credit for this photo, since I simply posed and a woman at Wizard World NYC caught the moment with her camera- but it’s still one of the best pictures I have from the event, and the year- although definitely not the most flattering. Norman Reedus, of “The Walking Dead” and “Boondock Saints” fame, is also a notorious photobomber. Having seen countless photos of fans simply standing beside him and looking timid or giddy, I decided to liven things up.

I gave Norman a heads up when we got ready to pose in front of the hilariously awkward K-Mart style backdrop, and he was an incredibly good sport and enthusiastic participant to the shenanigans. He’s a genuinely cool guy.

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# 6: Mick Jagger, TD Garden (June 14th)

Winning Rolling Stones tickets was a dream come true that I’m still pinching myself about since I can’t believe it actually happened. To be able to see the man, the myth, the legend- Mick Jagger- sashay, dance, and kick his way around the stage- performing all the songs I grew up with and love so, so much- was beyond surreal. I took this shot in between cheering myself hoarse and singing along at the top of my lungs- and it’s an incredible memento to have in my collection of concert pictures from throughout the years.

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# 5: Autumn Shade, Winsor Dam (October 5th)

During one of my countless weekend drives, I had stopped in Western Massachusetts to take in the fresh air and beautiful fall foliage. It was during a long walk over the Winsor Dam in Ware/Belchertown when I saw the sun shining through this tree, in the midst of the transition from Summer to Fall- hanging over and shedding it’s leaves onto an unoccupied picnic table. I grabbed my camera, and the result is something I am really quite pleased with.

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# 4: Great Gatsby Lawn Party at the Crane Estate (July 21st)

This is another photo I didn’t take myself (Sean helped!) but I loved it, even if it’s considered a “selfie.” We had considered taking this picture in black & white or sepia, to give it a more authentic “old time” feel, but in the end I’m glad we decided to keep the photo in it’s full color. The bright red of my hair and lipstick pales in comparison to the Crane Estate, surrounded by other attendees and the greenest grass I’d ever seen, looming in the background.

It was a beautiful party, and I’m glad I have this photo to remember it by.

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# 3: Cliff Walk, Newport (December 22nd)

This is one of the most recent photographs I’ve taken (from a day trip this past Sunday,) but it’s one of the most beautiful, in my opinion. The ocean has always been a place of refuge for me. It can be calming or exciting, perfect to sit and watch in any mood or mind set. On this particular day, it was wild- with waves crashing against the rocks while I strolled Cliff Walk. I took this photo of the water breaking against and inside a small cave within the cliff while some of the Newport Mansions are peeking through the fog in the background.

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# 2: The Day After, Boston (April 20th)

At a glance, this photo isn’t anything extraordinary- there’s probably hundreds out there just like this- but to me- the date it was taken and the frame of mind myself and many others were in is what makes this photo so important to me. Shot hours afterย Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two Boston Marathon Bombers, was taken into custody- I snapped this photo by the reflecting pool while heading out to brunch with a friend. The sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and everyone I saw or spoke to that day seemed to be in good spirits.

The city of Boston has never looked more beautiful to me than it did that day, and in this photograph.

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# 1: Medfield State Hospital (January 26th)

And finally, my favorite photograph. Something I captured that I am still, and will remain, very fond of. Taken on one of the coldest days of the year at the abandoned Medfield State Hospital, I was rounding one of the wards when I spotted this dilapidated bench with a tree growing through it. Although I am very pleased with every shot I took that day- this one is my favorite. I know there’s a metaphor in it somewhere, like “life continues through destruction and decay,” or something poetic like that- but I just thought this picture was neat. The snow, the boarded up building in the background, the fence. Every part of it.

I hope to go back someday in warmer weather and see the tree in bloom- still growing through the bench.

And there they are, my top 10 photographs from 2013. It was a hard decision to make, limiting all of my pictures I took down to just ten- but I think it’s a good compilation. All of the photos posted have fun or meaningfulness to them.

I hope to be even more of a shutterbug in 2014 (and who knows- maybe double my list to a “top 20” this time next year?)

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