I sit daydreaming on my soft, sinking velvet sofa, warm and content. The wedding civil twilight is here, the sun is soon upon us, bright and exciting. Rising from a self-induced hibernation, I feel rested and supercharged for the coming season. I take a sip of my coffee and feel reassured that I have used my downtime wisely. I have given back the time to my family, and I list all the things that I have done to educate and inspire myself so that my 2020 couples get the best me and I feel proud.
Acutely aware that time is flying by and precious I have sought out ways to be more present with the family and spend less time in the editing cave. For those that aren’t aware, taking the photos is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to covering a wedding. There is a lot of time spent after the big day choosing each image from a vast pool of 7 to 10 thousand. Once hand-picked each one is edited with personal care, unique in how it’s exposed, cropped and manipulated to ensure that the couple gets the absolute best. I’m confident that I’ve found a process that will deliver the best and will ensure that my wife and kids don’t just see the back of my head when I’m editing. I also sought feedback from my couples of 2019 with a quick feedback survey. I’m delighted to report that it was all positive and any adjustments to give the best customer experience are in place for 2020. Here are some of my questions and responses:
What is something that I’m great at? This could be left blank… hopefully not.
“You have such amazing vision and drive! You made us feel absolutely comfortable (which is hard to feel in front of a camera) and we had fun with you! Which is something I didn’t realize I wanted in a photographer but am forever grateful. Honestly I cannot sing your praises enough. You worked SO incredibly hard all day and appeared to never tire, always getting one more, each better than the next. I think you were literally the best part of the wedding! Getting a good photographer was so important to me and you were just so much more than we could have imagined! 🙏❤️”
“Making us feel comfortable! Neither of us love being in front of a camera but you helped us feel relaxed. Also love the way you mingled and got on with all our family and friends!”
“Making people feel at ease, taking photos without people really noticing. Taking great photos!”
“Capturing the important moment and making people feel at ease.”“Ha ha…so many things! Putting us at ease, listening to our wishes, blending in with guests, being nice and normal, having a great style of photography, excellent communication.”
This is the most important one! What’s something I could improve on or add to my game?
“I’m sorry to disappoint, but I cannot think of anything (other than hanging out more) 😂”
“I can not think of anything!”
“I honestly can’t think of anything, I’m not just being nice.”
As I continue to sit by my living room window, I feel the warm sun on my face. I assiduously run through the steps I have taken to prepare myself for the coming season. In this industry, you can’t rest for too long as trends are fleeting. To fuel my natural drive and thirst for knowledge workshops are essential for me. What have I done..? Attended a three-day epic learning, utterly inspirational wedding conference that is full to brim with supportive and like-minded wedding photographers. Headlining each day of the NineDots Gathering were keynote presentations and mini-masterclasses given by the cream of the crop and world-renowned wedding photographers.
I was very fortunate to have a full day With two times Fearless Wedding Photographer of the year winner and wedding photography heavyweight, Victor Lax. A genuinely fantastic photographer, I tried to soak up as much of his mindset and techniques as I could. Over the following days, Isabella Hattink, Erika and Lanny Mann’s words resonated with me. With no real physical technique, it was their mindset and attitude that forced a penny to drop. It was emotionally exhausting, but I realised that I was struggling and it made me seek help. After I gained control of the mental loose ends and was made more self-aware. My mental wellbeing is fundamental to being happy and forced me to create positive habits. I enhanced my empathy, tried to do more of what makes me happy and realised it’s okay not to be okay. Here’s to collectively tackling the mental health monster and boycotting social negativity.
Each year this is reinforced when my wife and I look back at all the moments we’ve captured. We feel so wonderfully lucky to have each other and privileged to have two amazing children and one barmy dog. It’s a humbling and nostalgic experience running through the hundreds of photos, emotionally reliving each beaming smile and tear frozen in time. The result is squeezed into a 3-minute personal slideshow and again reminds me who lucky I am and will endeavour not to take it for granted.