I so wanted to get this blog post up before the end of the year; the year of changes, breakthroughs, successes and enormous privilege. Privilege because being invited along to the best parties of their lives by all these lovely and friendly people we have worked with this year IS a privilege and a sign of ultimate trust. Photographing people who are so deeply in love is rewarding and inspiring – the energy, the kindness and joy get passed on. It seems I feed on it and I really miss it now after having completed my last wedding of 2016. Going through 1000s of photos to pick some of my favourites from this year allowed me to re-live the moments of happiness, happiness and love, that filled the air on our couples’ wedding days. I am incredibly grateful for the job I have. I get to photograph suchbeautiful and lovely people on the most important day of their life – the day that is all about love. I get to hear the most emotional words, witness intimate moments when two people promise to be together forever, and capture the ephemeral, split second expressions on their faces (I do fair share of crying too!). And my experience with these wonderful people does not start or end there – we have already met, shot some cool engagement pics, and after the wedding we usually work together on producing the most beautiful fine art album. Many of my couples invite me later to photograph their expanding family, memorise anniversaries or just hang out. Life could not be better! Thank you to you all!
2016 has not been a year of just successes and happy moments of course. I had a couple of darker moments when I struggled with balancing family life and work, had tough times finding flexible childcare that works with my hours, and I have definitely neglected my health by working long evenings into nights and not getting enough sleep. I am guilty of putting myself second. I promised myself last year that this year would be different, and in a way it was better and I have taken care of myself a bit more; still I wish I could switch the perfectionist mode off from time to time and just relax.
There are many things I am proud of too – I have re-organised and reverse engineered my business model by adapting it to my life and my family needs. I now only take a limited number of bookings, both weddings and other photo assignments, and I choose quality over quantity every single time. And it is paying off. My calendar is now nearly full for the peak months of 2017 season – I will be shooting at a number of very cool London wedding venues, a castle in Wales, a destination wedding in Italy, outdoor weddings in Kent and Surrey. I can’t wait to fill the remaining dates with some kick-ass stylish weddings and get to photograph more destination weddings.
Oh, and I have recently received Silver Certificate of Excellence in Bridebook in a category of Best Wedding Photographer 2016.
This year I have also overcome a bit of my shyness by joining a couple of fab photo groups, got some kick-ass photo and business mentoring from two photographers I admire and get inspired by, and started meeting industry folk offline. Being a wedding photographer can be a bit of a lonely job at times as, apart from shooting weddings, most of the job involves sitting at a desk for long hours. And that was one of the best things that has happened to me this year. Sharing some of the frustrations of running a business, exchanging advice, creating a solid network for support and motivation with like minded people has contributed to the progress I have made this year. Having a drink or two and just having a bit of fun is definitely something I need in my life more often!
I am ending this year with an enormous dose of gratitude that fills my heart. I would not be where I am without a rock solid support from my beloved partner, Raf. To have somebody who truly believes in me and is always on my side (even when I am not) is a blessing; somebody who puts up with my unsociable working hours and deadline-approaching-moods; somebody who prepares the best breakfast ever and lets me snooze in the mornings after late night editing; somebody that is the coolest dad I know. Thank you Raf.
I am looking forward to the new year, meeting new people and creating super cool wedding photography for my couples. I am full of certainty that it will be an awesome year!
So here it is – my selection of best wedding photographs from this year mixed up with my favourite engagement and private photos too – these are equally important for me!
I am starting 2017 with a holiday – a short but so needed ski trip – watching my 4 year old learning to ski is priceless. She loves snow.
What do you have in plans for 2017?
Hey, you’ve come this far, may as well drop me a line. If you’ve got a date in mind, do get in touch swiftly. I only book in around 25 weddings a year and the popular dates (May - October) go FAST. So the sooner we get you booked in, the better!