Every year since I started my photography business, I’ve wanted to do a year end review. I did one at the end of 2013, thinking it was all that – because in all honesty 2013 rocked for me. Steve and I had spent a whole 18 months in a flat together without needing to move, we’d been to South Africa and a few other holidays, we were both at our healthiest, looking to buy a place together – and our lives just seemed pretty put together. If I remember correctly, it was quite a boring post. It followed the usual “Here’s everything amazing that happened to me this year” structure – and I was so focused on my “online appearance ” and how white-pickett-fence our life seemed, it was a pretty fake round up.
So without beating around the bush, 2015 has been a very strange mix. Straight up, no fake “my life is perfect” here. Without getting off track too much, 2014 was rough – but thankfully the craziness has just about ended! I didn’t even bother doing a year end then, because I was too busy. Too busy trying to keep my head and my business afloat. We moved to the Midlands, which was 1000 times harder than I could’ve ever anticipated. Photographing 30 odd weddings in Scotland, whilst moving, needing to travel back and forth – and edit them all, without having expected it. The move was sudden.
Early 2015 I was still sorting albums and other bits and pieces from 2014 that myself nor my couples got ’round too – and I was so busy with my relocation marketing plan, getting afloat with my workload – and somehow paying the business outgoings, that I worked myself sick without actually making any money. I lost the love for photography so much I made a very rash decision to go back into full time employment, and let photography take a temporary back seat & only focus on the bookings I had booked. It’s a decision I NEVER thought I would come too. It’s funny, leaving a job many years ago to go full time. You think you’ll never need to submit a CV again… but you never really know what lies around the corner and you may actually need it.
The decision didn’t make me any less of a photographer, despite having felt like it. Looking back now, it’s such a wise and mature decision to have made. I quickly rekindled my love with it, photographing the 1/3rd of weddings this year compared to last, whilst working a full time job. My bills were paid, there was food on the table, I felt like a normal person again.
We went on a holiday in February to Tunisia, as a surprise for Steve’s 30th birthday. We both spent the whole holiday cooped up in bed with paracetamol and ibuprofen! There was some horrible flu/cold bug going around the resort which we managed to catch. We managed to go on a few excursions though. Although we only managed to see a little bit of it, it’s not somewhere I’d rush back to visit sadly. It was a nice break to the start of the year though.
In April we moved into our first owned-house! We’re pretty much settled in it now, and are so relived to have finally reached this stage in our lives. It’s seemed to have brought an amazing sense of calm to our lives recently that things have settled down. Knowing we’ve got 4 walls that is ours.
In May I suddenly lost my mother to heart failure. After not being on speaking terms really for a few years, losing a parent you’re on bad terms with after a rocky childhood is something I can’t quite explain. It’s something you’re judged for so harshly – but no one ever really takes the time to understand. We lived on completely different continents for the past few years, and despite having tried to have a normal mother/daughter relationship, we never did really get there in the end.
It all happened bang in the middle of wedding season – I was just fortunate enough to have had a month in-between weddings so going to the funeral, and sorting things out didn’t actually affect my booked weddings. Really weird how it all happened. I was also incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful group of photographers that were there for me if I needed them. That was in May, and I don’t think I’ve quite processed it all… I really threw myself into my work – and I’ve worked HARD this year. I’m sure it’ll bite me in the bum one day and I’ll suddenly start crying whilst doing dishes. But until then, I’m making the most of family and friends and doing my best to console those who are able to process it, and just make the most of my business too. It’s needed so much nourishment this year, and I can definitely say it’s finally paying off.
In August we visited France for the first time together, with Steve’s wonderful parents. Before heading off on holiday, Steve got down on one knee! So, it’s now time for me to tie the knot! 🙂
We got an adorable Whippet named Riley, who just lit up our life with her muddy paws – and we couldn’t be happier. We also got engaged this year – so I too now have the joy of wedding planning to look forward too!
After the craziness of 2015, I’m glad to put it behind me – taking all the positives forward into 2016. It’s like, all the fun stuff came with really stressful baggage, which is now in the past. The pressure of getting engaged, the stress of scraping together our deposit, the late nights and early mornings of puppy training… It’s all done, and now the fun stuff can begin! 2016 is going to be a good one I’m sure.
I am always a positive and upbeat person. If you’ve got me as a friend on Facebook – or follow any of my online presence, you’ll be aware that I’m always sharing funny things, happy things, focusing on the positive. It’s not like me to blurt out the negative – but my reasoning behind this post was to show you that I too am a real person, with real things that happen. My life isn’t perfect, and I don’t judge you because yours isn’t either. I’ve experienced heart ache, confusion, love, bitterness and failure. But I’ve also experienced happiness and success, which is something I’m celebrating.
Although 2015 was a rocky year… I left the employment I went into, in August this year. I had 1 almost-booking. I now have 9 weddings for 2016 which is a lot more than I had booked in the diary in early 2014, and 2014 was my busiest year yet… After not knowing if I was going to make my car payment – to now needing to turn the odd booking away. It’s definitely something worth celebrating. I can also say that each and every one of my 2015 clients have been amazing. You’ve had hearts of gold, your weddings have been amazing – and I’m just so glad that we worked together to create your wedding memories. I would feel an utter fraud if I didn’t thank my fellow photographer friends. You’ve been an inspiration, a shoulder to cry on – and a wonderful source of enquiries when you’ve referred work on. You’re so loved and appreciated, and I am so lucky to have such a wonderful community of fellow artists all out for the same thing – but willing to help one another along the way. And for my 2014/2015 Brides and Grooms.. Thank you! Thank you for being so wonderful and patient. For understanding how hard a blow uprooting everything and still keeping on top of my wedding was for me. Thank you for supporting me, and continuing to refer work on to me. Thank you for your christmas wishes, congratulations on my engagement and general well wishes throughout the year. I can honestly say I’ve made incredible friends with some of you – and I’m so honoured to have worked with each of you at your weddings.
Wishing each of you who read this, a very happy new year. May there be no illness for you or your families, may you enjoy your time spent together, and may you have plenty of success.