2013 in Review / by Kate Lord

2013 was a truly significant year for my business, and for me personally. This year, I took a giant leap and left my job as a photo editor at The Wall Street Journal to follow my dream of telling positive and uplifting stories full-time. I traveled to Africa for the first time with She's the First, the nonprofit closest to my heart. I was chosen as the Wild Sister of the Year. I continued to shoot for The Wall Street Journal as a freelancer. My short film was chosen for three film festivals. I started working with exciting new clients. And I got engaged to my best friend!

I've been surrounded by such supportive friends and family, been boosted by my freelance community, and received so much positivity from my clients. THANK YOU to everyone who has helped and rallied for me this year. I can't wait to tell more stories of inspiring people in 2014!

Magho (Daughter), the short film I shot and co-directed with Christen Brandt, premiered in NYC on March 21. The film was presented by She's the First. It's since been accepted to three film festivals. We'll be releasing the film to the public in 2014!

Aditi dances at her Raas Garba in Princeton, NJ in May.

created my second gala video for Coro New York Leadership Center in May, celebrating the impact the organization has on the city.

Charity listens to her mentor during Kisa class in Tanzania. Charity is a She's the First Scholar; I traveled with She's the First to East Africa in September and October to document the lives of their students.

Eli is a She's the First Scholar and recent high school graduate; she hopes to attend college in the US! We shot a video profile of Eli which will be released early 2014; stay tuned!

We made a quick safari stop in Tanzania - so beautiful!

Vianca, left, makes "angry kitten faces" with her fellow first-graders at the Kibera School for Girls in Nairobi, Kenya. Vianca is also a She's the First Scholar.

Jesca, a She's the First Scholar and third-grader at Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda, presents to her class. 

Arlington Academy of Hope in Uganda is a partner of She's the First.

Bess, a She's the First Scholar in Eastern Uganda, with her step-mom and dad. She has the brightest and best smile I've ever seen!!

In Ethiopia, I met Sintayehu, an incredibly inspiring 18-year-old who lives and studies with the Selamta Family Project, and is a She's the First Scholar. 

Emuye (right), a She's the First Scholar, poses with her house brother in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Amateur boxers Christina Nicodema v. Stephanie Kent duke it out on Nov. 14 in NYC for Haymakers for Hope, a nonprofit that raises funding for cancer research. 

I was chosen to shoot the 2013 New York Community Trust-New York Magazine Nonprofit Excellence Awards in November. The Children's Village, a nonprofit that supports vulnerable children and their families, won top honors.

My friend Rachel Hofstetter launched her book, "Cooking Up a Business: Lessons from Food Lovers Who Turned Their Passion into a Career -- and How You Can, Too."

I met some amazing ladies (and gents!) this year shooting head shots!

Amy Dixon, a visually impaired sommelier and triathlete, gets kisses from her guide dog Elvis at the YMCA at Greenwich in Connecticut in December. This was my favorite freelance editorial assignment of the year, shot for The Wall Street Journal; Amy is training for several championship competitions next year, including the USA Paratriathlon National Championship and the PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships.

Happy New Year! Bring on a bright 2014!