Best of 2016

2016 began with a word: Avaunt. To advance / elevate / move forward. Shakespeare liked to use it as an interjection—"Get thee gone" if you will. (Which seems mildly appropriate in the context of my year.) But Kurt Vonnegut says it best, “I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”

I chose the word Avaunt because I wanted a perspective change.

More than stepping into the unknown—it was an intentional decision to press into new places, new experiences with a posture of learning and a desire to grow. At best, an adventure. At worst, a series of failures, lessons learned.

Funny. When I picked that word early in the year, I never imagined how fully (and I mean to the utmost extent) I’d live into it. 2016 was an adventure. A year spent advancing into new territories—literally (Nepal and London and Paris to name a few) and metaphorically (part-time to full-time at Open Book was a big one). It was a year of struggle (by nature, moving forward requires pushing the limit, stretching and reaching and striving for what's next.) And it was a lot of standing “as close to the edge as I can without going over.” 

I shot more this year than I have in all of 2013, 2014, and 2015 combined. (I’m talking tens of thousands of photos.) I grew because of it. So much so, that what I shot at the beginning of the year doesn’t even feel worthy of sharing here. Cut and dry, these photos are the “best of [my] 2016.” The ones that make my heart flutter. Photos that hold weight and tell stories and embody a year of avaunt. 

I’m grateful for a full year (and thankful for everyone who was a part of it). And I’m eversocurious for what 2017 will bring. Cheers!!

Alex Ry