Living the Dream...
Dreaming the dream, I have found, is very different to living the dream! 2019 was a funny year, not what I expected: there were highs and there were unexpected lows. Although there was the initial excitement, there was definitely an inward anxiety of real worry.
After spending four years building my business up to a place where I felt confident enough in myself to just go out there and be a full-time family/wedding photographer, I finally handed in my notice at the day job to leave at Christmas 2018. So from January last year, I was a photographer, no more hiding behind the day job: when people asked what I did, I had to say a photographer, which in itself felt really weird. I’m really not sure why. I'm pleased to say now it feels really normal; but losing a regular wage puts pressure on you. How many jobs I had booked in the diary never used to be an issue but it soon became my obsession.
During January, February, March and April I spent my time delving in to my website, revamping it by pulling it to pieces and totally restructuring it. I learnt so, so much about headings, titles and SEO. I gave it the ultimate makeover and I was super proud, I loved the way it worked and how it looked-I still do by all accounts. When all was done I launched it. I waited and waited; I stressed and stressed. Why weren’t the bookings coming flooding in like I’d expected them to? Self doubt - it’s the worst! Looking back now I realise things take time and finally, when wedding season began and my work was all over social media again, the bookings began to come in. Thank goodness! This is the power of sharing work in different places, it’s incredible. So thanks to you lovely couples and families for agreeing for me to do just that, you’re empowering a local girl’s business. You’re all amazing.
From January to December last year, I was lucky enough to have met and captured 18 couples’ love stories, each one of them moving, beautiful and perfect in their own way. I love people; they’re rather fascinating, so getting to do this as my full-time job has been extremely precious. Along with the weddings, I’ve been part of documenting families at each and every stage. From birth, all the way through childhood to the teen years and beyond - to being happily married for 50 years and more, with several generations alongside them. That’s special isn’t it! I’ve honestly loved every minute I spent with you all. I’m not sure how many photos I’ve taken altogether but I’ve know I’ve edited and presented around 20,000 images to couples, families and local businesses. I’ve also travelled too: from literally my doorstep (there’s so many beautiful places to capture people in my village) to the rolling, sun-dappled Tuscan hills, in Italy. It’s been quite a year.
I’d have to say my highlights of the year have definitely been watching two close friends become one with their partners. Along with a childhood friend too, I grew up with Richard, so when he and Katie asked me to capture their day I was so chuffed! I always say my favourite part of capturing any wedding is the part when the Bride walks down the aisle, linked by the arm, to the person they’ve chosen to give them away. It doesn’t matter how close you are to that Bride she always looks at you from that brief moment in time, with a nervous smile. Ah, I love that moment and it never tires!
Here’s some of those moments from their weddings. I know, I got a little carried away!