2018 Year in Review Oh what a year it was!

2018 was a big year for me. So big really, that I have struggled to create this year in review. Where and how should I start? In 2018 I achieved bucket list milestones both personally and professionally, and it’s difficult to wrap my mind around all of it.

In most respects time flies by so fast. I spend too much time obsessing about this. Wasn’t I writing my 2017 review just a few weeks ago? Then I pause to look at the totality of the past year, and January 2018 feels like ages ago.

January 1, 2018

Sanford, Blaise and Brendan (and unknown child in pink)

The year started like most every year, on the coast with my guys to celebrate my birthday. I love my family and the ocean, and it’s the best way I know of to start a new year.


Years ago I set a goal to make my living by sharing what I know, not by what I do. I love to teach. This is the first year that I did more teaching, training and presenting than designing. I’m still working towards fully, financially realizing this goal, but feel great about the path I am on.

New orchard view color Website

A big step was the creation of a new Orchard View Color website dedicated to training. Visitors can purchase coaching time, or one-on-one course training, with a calendaring system to book sessions without my interaction. Meetings are held virtually, with Zoom conferencing, which has proved user-friendly for my students and I. So far the system works great. I hope to build a good size clientele this coming year.

miracosta college

Campus Clock Tower

Late summer I received an offer at MiraCosta college to teach an Illustrator class in addition to the Photoshop class I was already teaching. The offer was made just a couple of weeks before leaving on vacation. This left me very little time to prepare for a new class. I knew it would be a big challenge, but I said yes anyway. I’d been wanting to teach this class for awhile.

MAT 170 Illustrator Student Projects

My students created logos, package designs and movie posters. I couldn’t have been happier with the results. Their projects made me proud. It was the best class, and best group of students I have taught yet, definitely going a long way to confirm my love of teaching.


Russel Sculpture

After 7 years teaching for UCSD Extension I made the tough decision to end my tenure. I taught my final class this past Fall. I’m thankful for the opportunity, experience and friends I gained at UCSD. It’s there that I discovered my love for teaching.

I made it a routine to photograph the Russell sculpture out front of the building before the start of each quarter. Over the years I captured it about 1000 times. Here are a few from 2018.

Sculpture by James T. Russell

Professional Achievements

This year I achieved two very big professional goals. I became a Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning author, and an Adobe MAX speaker. I am proud of both of these accomplishments, but accomplishments alone are not the best part. I have enjoyed every step of the journey. Best of all are the wonderful people I have met, and the new friends I’ve made along the way.

This is only a small handful of the impressive people I spent time with this year. I need to do a much better job photographing my friends in 2019.

linkedin learning / lynda.com

Recording Campus

My first course is an Illustrator techniques course titled Coloring Artwork. I worked hard on this, and had significant anxiety in the preparing stages. I learned a lot about what it takes to create a course, and my own fortitude to see it through.

The LinkedIn studio is first-rate. I felt like such a pro with my own recording booth, and dedicated producer. Then midway through the second day of recording, the campus was closed due to possible flooding. All of the authors and production staff moved to a hotel in Ventura to finish out the week. I literally recorded the majority of my first course by myself, in a padded hotel room. It was stressful, but ultimately manageable. Upon finishing I instantly knew that any future recording opportunity would be markedly easier.

First impressions at the LinkedIn studios, and my first recording booth, lucky #7.
Padded hotel room recording booth.

My second course is a beginner essential training course for the 3D app Dimension. I recorded this in the Fall. I had very little time to prepare for this course, but the experience from the first one gave me the strength and confidence to know I could get it done.

Before, during and after the recording. I celebrated completion by taking a swim in the ocean.

adobe max speaker

Telling Compelling Stories with Lightroom and Adobe Spark

I taught three sessions of the same hands on lab, Telling Compelling Stories with Lightroom and Adobe Spark. It's the same workflow that I am using here to create this year in review story. Images are organized and edited in Lightroom, and then placed in a web page using Adobe Spark.

My lab was BYOD, (bring your own device), which created challenges beyond a typical lab with provided computers and files. All attendees needed to come prepared with images already imported into their Lightroom account. Adding to the challenge was the option for them to use a phone, tablet or computer. I’m thankful for my TAs who managed the multiple platform challenges effectively. Most of the reviews I received were positive. I look forward to a chance to do it again.

Big thanks to my friend Jim Babbage for taking professional photos of me speaking.

workshops, presentations, judging

AME Conference

In April I taught a similar hands on lab at the AME Leadership Conference. The conference is attended by secondary school teachers. I was hired by Adobe to teach the teachers about Lightroom and Spark.

We went outside for a Lightroom mobile photoshoot. Everyone had fun.

Los Angeles InDesign User Group

In May I gave a presentation about color in InDesign for the LA InDesign User Group. This is a very active and engaged user group, so it was very rewarding to speak at their meeting.

I pulled these images off of their website, because I didn't think to capture any of my own.

San Diego County Fair

In June I had the honor of judging for the San Diego International Photography exhibit at the San Diego Fair. I also taught a Lightroom workshop for fair attendees.

George's Camera Store Workshop

The following week I taught a hands-on Lightroom mobile workshop at George's Camera. Attendees learned how to capture mobile images using Lightroom. The store provided lights and a professional backdrop, and I set up still life scenes for the attendees to photograph. Some really nice images were created.

All images were capture with Lightroom on an iPhone.

San Diego Photo Club

The final presentation of the year was held in November for the San Diego Photo Club. What do you think I spoke about?...... Lightroom mobile of course.


Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society

I don't do a lot of portrait photography, but when the Victorian Roses asked me to photograph their club, how could I say no? I spent a long day on rural private property in East San Diego County photographing the women, horses and carts. The experience was rewarding. I'm honored that they trusted me to capture their beauty.

Victorian Roses Ladies


In 2018 I set a personal record for trips taken in one year. I love traveling to new destinations near and far. Travel feeds my soul.

sedona, Arizona

Snowy Red Rocks of Sedona

Sedona was the first trip of the year. We went in February to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. Sedona is drivable from San Diego, and an amazing place to visit. Somehow we had never been there before. It was the perfect location for a long getaway, romantic weekend. We were treated to snow on day 1, followed by sunshine on day 2. Sedona is gorgeous. I'd like to return soon.

Cold snowy day and the morning after.

Santa Barbara, ventura, carpinteria

Santa Barbara Train Station
Ventura sunrise from hotel balcony

The LinkedIn recording studios are in Carpinteria, Ca. about 30 miles south of Santa Barbara. I traveled by train from Oceanside for both trips. In March I rode all the way to Santa Barbara and rented a car there. When I returned in September, I rode the train to Carpinteria and walked to my nearby hotel. Both trips gave me an opportunity to explore the surrounding areas in different ways. I absolutely love it there.

Santa Barbara Mission and Botanic Gardens

New Orleans

New Orleans French Quarter

I traveled to New Orleans in June for the CreativePro Week conference. I’ll admit to spending as much time exploring the town as I did sitting in conference sessions. For me the week was a perfect balance of networking, spending time with friends, making new friends, learning, and exploring with my camera. I’m glad I got to see New Orleans. There were things about it I loved, but a week was more than enough time to spend there.

This is just a few of the things I saw in New Orleans.

New York City

Empire State Building Viewed From the Top of the Rock
New York skyline from the Hudson

We stopped off in NYC on our way to Italy at the end of July. It was a fantastic two days spent exploring areas that were new to us. It’s funny how the time spent in Italy pretty much overshadowed the time we had in New York. I almost forgot all the fun we had in NYC and the things we saw.

I can’t remember why we thought it would be a good idea to fly a “red eye” to NYC. Maybe we forgot our ages, which is something we try to do frequently. Our room wasn’t yet ready when we arrived, so we headed out on foot to see what we could see. We visited Saint Patrick’s and MOMA, before checking in to our room for a nap. Later that night we saw Wicked on Broadway.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Van Gogh’s Starry Night is the main draw at MOMA, but there is so much more to see there. I need to go back when I am not so tired. I'd like to linger for awhile to appreciate the masters.

Appreciating art at MOMA

We took an amazing architecture tour/yacht cruise with Classic Harbor Line. The cruise lasted almost three hours and circumnavigated Manhattan. Drinks and appetizers were included inside of the air-conditioned cabin, but I opted to spend most of my time standing outside on the deck with my camera. This was a great experience. I would do again, and recommend to anyone.

Classic Harbor Line cruise around Manhattan

The final day in NYC was packed with a quick trip up to the Top Of The Rock, followed by a visit to the lower east side. Both were new experiences for us.

Sightseeing at the Top Of The Rock

We met up with my ACP friend Sandee, a life long local of the area. She graciously showed us the sites after an excellent breakfast at Katz’s Deli.

Lower East Side

New York wasn’t the same with the absence our son Sanford, who moved back to California just two weeks before our arrival. We did our best to pack in new adventures, but he was on our mind the entire time. We mostly walked to our destinations, as we had done with him on our last visit. Walking gave me an opportunity to photograph a wide variety of scenes.

A few more views of NYC


Venice Grand Canal

Italy was the biggest trip of the year, and a destination bucket list for as long as I can remember. The experience lived up to all expectations. While there, Blaise and I created travel journals for each day, so there is no reason to recap it here. Stories and photos from Italy can be viewed on my website.

Personal Enrichment and Growth

WiCP Photo shoot

Women in Creative Photography

The Women in Creative Photography group meet monthly, but because of my teaching schedule I missed most of the meetings for 2018. Fortunately I was able to make it to the photoshoot held at Border State Field beach. Horses + beautiful model + ocean = spectacular day of photography.

A small handful of the 1600 photos I captured at the beach shoot.

Audio books on audible

2018 was my second full year with an Audible account. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made for myself. I listen when I walk the dog, do household chores, or drive my car. I go back and forth each month between fiction and non-fiction to ensure I consume a good mix of content. These are the books I listened to in 2018. All of them were worth my time.

  • Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate
  • Mating in Captivity - Esther Perel
  • A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
  • Enlightenment Now - Steven Pinker
  • Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng
  • A Higher Loyalty - James Comey
  • The Art Forger - B.A. Shapiro
  • Lost Connections - Johann Hari
  • Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Turtles All The Way Down - John Green
  • Becoming Supernatural - Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeymoon
  • The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
  • Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
  • The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
  • Educated - Tara Westover
  • Out of My Mind - Alan Arkin


Lake Hodges Morning

It seems that every non-fiction book I listened to mentions meditation at least once. I don’t having any experience with meditation other than taking a few yoga classes, but reading got me curious. Somewhere in the air between Venice Italy and the US (while listening to Eat, Pray, Love), I made it a goal to give daily meditation a try.

I haven’t made time for meditation every day, but it has become somewhat of a routine. I still don’t feel like I know what I am doing, or even exactly why I am doing it. But I can say that I always enjoy the time spent in my personal time out. I've never once felt like it was time wasted. I’m going to keep at it.


Beck at MAX Bash 2018

Live music energizes me. It almost doesn’t matter what genre of music it is. If it’s live, it’s great. On December 29th we saw a show with three 80's bands. Sure, everyone around me looked old, but I felt young while I danced without care for the entire three hours. I need to make it a priority to see more concerts in 2019. These are the shows I saw in 2018.

  • Hamilton (it's all music so it counts)
  • Los Lobos
  • Berkely Hart
  • Bare Naked Ladies
  • Nick Lowe
  • Beck
  • Beatles vs Stones
  • Blasters, Los Lobos, X

Tell your own storY...

My website, orchardviewcolor.com

This story was made with the Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC Mobile, Photoshop and Adobe Spark Page. I can teach you how to create your own. Visit my website for more info.

Created By
Theresa Jackson


Theresa Jackson

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