What a year. My first year as a freelance photographer, and what a roller coaster it has been. It’s been a year of learning, experimenting and new experiences. Not only have I learnt more about the industry of photography and weddings, but I have learnt more about myself and what I’m capable of. I’ll be honest, running a business by yourself is bloody scary. But you know what? It’s also exciting! I love waking up in the morning and thinking to myself “Right, let’s get to it!”, I love planning what to do for my time now and what I can do in the months up ahead. It’s also exciting when I plan where I want to be and what I want to achieve in the coming years, and having those targets to aim for is so motivating. Yes there have been bumps in the road along the way, but it’s all experience you learn from and what makes you better at what you do.
So without further ado, here are my highlights of 2016…
The year started with a list of things to do in the year, and meetings. It’s so satisfying looking back on that to do list and finding I have ticked off everything, or the things I haven’t ticked off are things I attempted and they didn’t work out as I thought. Trial and error! When it comes to the meetings I’ve had throughout the year, I’ve met some fantastic people. Clients who have booked me for their wedding, fellow entrepenuers to work with, and talented photographers!
Little snippets of my workspace – the dining room table and a corkboard with my older business cards leading up to today. And of course, cheesy motivational words of wisdom, because everyone needs to give themselves a pep talk every now and then.
I met the lovely Donna Jones and photographed her beautiful work! Aside from experiments with my camera, this was my first photo shoot of 2016.
Receiving “thank you” flowers always brightens my day!
Earlier this year, I had been planning my first styled bridal photo shoot. I’m still proud of myself for organising this photo shoot even if it didn’t get onto any wedding blogs like I had hoped. I stepped way out of my comfort zone to put it together, got to know more wedding vendors around Wales- from the little town of Ruthin to the busy city of Cardiff, and wedding vendors who hadn’t met before were introduced and swapped cards. All of our efforts put this shoot together and it still brings me joy looking at these photographs as it’s a reflection of such a good day and hard work paying off!
Following this photo shoot, I had an enquriy from Simon and Anita from Simply Luscious Cakes to photograph one of their fantastic creations…
Precariously balancing on a step ladder to get that angle. Needs must!
A test shoot I did with the lovely Helena from my first styled bridal shoot, and the talented Cara Slater from Coco Belle Makeup in Llyn Brenig, such a beautiful place, and a very blustery day! I love doing shoots like this as you get to know creative people like MUAs and models more, it’s great to do a test shoot with no specific plan or
theme and just go with the flow. Test shoots for me are what keep the creative vibes flowing!
I experimented with film, and I intend to do more of that in 2017!
I photographed a beautiful wedding with a lovely couple! Nothing makes me happier than capturing images like the one above of Ryan looking so happy with his beautiful bride, Daniella.
I got to make a photo book with Saal Digital and review it, this photo book has been so great to show to potential clients, I was blown away by the quality and it’s a great throwback to my first year as a freelance photographer.
I did a photo shoot in one of my happy places and met Lilly Von Pink, a fun and hilarious model who I had such a giggle with!
A little sneaky peak of my sketch book for photo shoot ideas. Everyone has different ways of working, I like to have something I can write and sketch in. It’s a little messy, but it’s the way I like to work and visualise my photo shoots. Plus it also helps me show others what I’m visualising, and helps them see it for themselves, they get more of an understanding of what I want to create.
I did an engagement session with a lovely couple, they also happen to be the first couple of my wedding season in 2017 and I cannot wait for their big day!
I put together my first competition with Coco Belle and was blown away by the number of entries. I was expecting to get maybe 20 entries if I was lucky, but nearly 80 is awesome for my first competition! I’m excited to get together with the winner and Cara to put this photo shoot together in the new year.
To end the year, I’ve been working on some exciting projects, some I can’t reveal for now but I can show you a preview of a styled bridal photo shoot myself and Debbie from Lace & Forever Ltd organised. Debbie is a wedding planner and we put this shoot together, and we are so excited to reveal the final photographs! A behind the scenes blog post is on its way.
This was another chance to meet more wedding vendors, and to create a body of work we would all be proud of. This wouldn’t have been the shoot it was without the amazing suppliers that have been a part of it.
This may not look like much of a year, but to me it’s been a great year. It’s been a year of learning and experience. There’s been more to it than what I’ve documented through photographs and instagram, what I haven’t shown you are the hours of editing, experimenting with test shoots, updating my website, emailing wedding blogs, wedding magazines, wedding suppliers to work
with, and future possible clients, attending business support groups, constantly thinking and planning of what I can do to better myself and my photography, moments of self doubt followed by moments of “get it together! You got this!”. It’s been a good year and I feel like I am on the right track, I have weddings booked for next year, some commercial work on the horizon and some targets to aim for. I’m quite sad to wave goodbye to 2016, but I’m so ready for a fresh start, to keep moving forward and for new opportunities. If it’s one thing I’ve learnt this year, it is to fully believe in myself and know what I’m capable of, as Audrey Hepburn once said “nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible!'”
1 year = 365 opportunities!
I have many moments from this year that make me happy, I found a new hobby in aerial hoop, went on my first girls holiday, achieved some goals with health and fitness, and have had brilliant times with people when I haven’t been working hard. So to finish I would like to wish you, reader, a happy new year and all the best for 2017! I hope 2017 brings you happiness, moments of pure joy and fond memories you will look back on and smile.
See you in the new year!