Woah, so 2015 is coming to a close. It's one of my favourites times of the year for snooping on other photographer's blogs and seeing their best images from the year - I find it incredibly inspiring & motivating. Every year most people comment on how quick it's gone, but for me this year has been just about the right length. I've learnt a hell of a lot, had some fantastic weddings, and really feel I've grown as a person and photographer. It's so good to reflect on how far you've come in a year - I'm always guilty of thinking I'm not moving fast enough, or I'm not good enough but I've been working hard this year to look inwards, and not comparing myself to others.
So what were the best bits?
I feel pretty proud of what I've achieved this year, and a lot of those things have come from me just GOING for it, and not being afraid. There can sometimes be so much holding you back from achieving what you want - doubts, reasoning of it not being the 'sensible' thing, risks... and I've been kicking all that where it hurts and doing it anyway. And I feel it's paid off!
An example of this is being a finalist in the Snap competition. Once upon a time I wouldn't have dreamt of entering as the competition is fierce and there's so many great photographers that go for it, but I really REALLY wanted to go next year and I just thought - what's the worst that could happen? And in fact, I was a runner up so I'm pretty damn happy. You can see my slightly out of the box cake entry here (posted to the judge Laura so she could sample my hard work!)
I attended the Emma Case Welcome Home workshop in October which has been a dream pretty much since I started wedding photography, and it was inspiring, and brilliant, and friendly and lovely and so, so good. I still need to sit down for a whole afternoon and review my notes and put them into action - something I'm hoping to do over a mince pie and a cup of tea between christmas and new year.
I shot my first double wedding on August bank holiday, one if Cardiff and one in Leicester and had an absolute low point of arriving at my hotel at 2am to find they had locked me out and I couldn't get into my room. Que a very late, hysterical call to nearby hotels to see if anyone had any space (whilst trying to convince them I wasn't a drunk bank holiday partier).
On a personal level, I took an incredible trip to Bali in the summer and got engaged myself which I'm not going to lie is pretty damn amazing. Perks of being a wedding photographer is seeing so many weddings first hand you really know what you want, and what you definitely don't. We're going to be tying the knot ourselves next September and I am beyond excited. I also became an auntie for the first time! I am going to be taking some photos of the few week old cutie this weekend and I can't wait.
Okay, so what about 2016?
My plans are to keep developing my style, hone my client base and improve my technical knowledge. The photos that are making me most happy as I look through my work is the really small things, the things that can be overlooked, or missed, or forgotten. And above all I just want to grow at my job and keep delivering the absolute best I can.
In a less general sense I'm aiming to do 25 weddings. My goal this year was 15 and I smashed that totalling 19 all together this year, so I'm hoping to do some progressive growth to 25. Given that we're getting married and hopefully buying our first home I'm pretty keen not to overface myself and continue to give as much time to each couple who books me as they need.
So finally (sorry this was just a tad wordier than I would have liked!) to just a big T H A N K Y O U. Thank you to my lovely couples, for trusting me to capture one of the biggest days of your life and making my job the best job ever. To my wonderful other half (stiiiill can't say fiancé without cringing) for unmeasured amounts love and encouragement, to my wonderful family who always believe in me, and my ridiculously fun and supportive friends. You all make my life bloody amazing.
Now enough wittering, here are my absolute favourite shots from all my weddings this year...