As I sit down to write this, I am already emotional and I don’t for the life of me know how I am going to make it through a single wedding in 2023 without crying my eyes out, or in fact the story based up date that I have planned on Instagram. But here we go…
This may come as a shock to a lot of people, but I’m announcing my intention to press pause on wedding photography at the end of 2023 in order to take stock and look after my health. A couple of months ago I had a meeting with my surgeon about how best to proceed following a few issues that are as yet unresolved. I can continue as I am for now but I cannot be on the medication I have for the rest of my life and we have now decided that surgery at the end of 2023 is the way to go. However, the results of that surgery are largely unknown and I can’t responsibly take on further bookings in 2024 until I know how my life will look. I’m already crying because it’s a decision that has been made for me and the reality of leaving behind something that I love so dearly is really hard to swallow. It’s so much more than a job and I have it given it everything I can for almost 14 years now. I won’t say that I will never return as my brain is already full of plans, but for now, things are on hold. I am sorry to those people that I have had to let down, but I am so grateful for everyones unfaltering support.
This is not the end of me as a photographer by any means, but the weight of weddings may just be too much of a stretch. They are intense days, sometimes ten or twelve hours on the go without knowing when the next break might come and they are oh so hard to do if you are not 100%. They deserve 100% and as I’m not sure if that is something that I can offer, I have to step back. I will be pursuing other avenues of photography, a lot more family stuff, commercial, small business promotion etc but for now I’d like to talk about how fucking wonderful this world has been and how much joy I owe to having done it for so long. BIG HUGS TO ALL INVOLVED.
This blog post is a whistle stop tour of the past 14 years! Images are mostly from the last year alone as I wouldn’t even know where to start if I delved even deeper!
How it Began
All those years ago, I surprised my family by returning from a sabbatical in Italy and photographing my cousins wedding, followed closely by my brother’s and then moving on to friends who started to pay me for the privilege. There were shameful moments of spot colour, awful composition and plenty of times when I had all the gear and no idea but I slogged away and slowly but surely I navigated weddings and improved with every one. I joined groups and networks that helped me more than I can ever say, including the Snap Photo Community that has gifted me some of the best friends and peers that i could ever ask for. They have taught me more about myself and what’s important than anyone else ever has and I love them dearly. I still really, really want to be invited to all the parties too so don’t forget to add me to the invite to the list!!
Wedding photography has allowed me to travel, shooting weddings in Italy, France, Ibiza and even Antigua. I’ve met up with old friends and made new friends for life. On shoots I’ve seen numerous new babies and families grow, sometimes shooting every wedding in the family. We’ve laughed until we’ve cried and cried again when we realise there’s no one left to hitch. Couples have sent words of kindness, gifts, jokes and love for not only me but my daughter, there has been SO MUCH LOVE for Elsie that it’s completely overwhelming. The raccoon content I get gives me life, I have decorations from couples on my Christmas tree every year and the memories are endless. I am so grateful for every intimate moment you have invited me to be a part of.
‘PARTY STARTER, DRESS FIXER, NERVE CALMER, ERRAND RUNNER, ALL-DAY SMILER, LISTENER AND ALL ROUND AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER.’
Not Just a Photographer
It’s also fair to say that I’ve rarely just been the wedding photographer! From delivering flowers, driving bridesmaids, painting toenails, fetching drinks, being MC, sewing the mother of the bride into her dress, fixing outfits, healing wounds (adding plate smashing to this in 2023) and lifting up grooms when everyone said it couldn’t be done… you’ll find me doing all sorts on a wedding day. And how can we forget when I arrived at a couples big day only for the bride to be without a dress? Local suppliers pulled it all together and we ended up being on the news and in a few trashy magazines too…
There’s also a few rather amusing memories of being a wedding photographer that I probably shouldn’t share on here although if you catch me after a few wines in the pub I might share them with you, anonymously of course!
The thing I can’t deny and what I love the most is the trust that all of my couples have put in me. To be asked back by friends, bridesmaids and family members is the highest form of flattery a wedding photographer can receive and I don’t take a single bit of it for granted.
Because I drive thousands upon thousands of miles to opposite ends of the country, I’ve had numerous breakdowns (me and the car) close calls, traffic jams and many flat tyres (which I can now change myself if pushed) so have the AA on speed dial. It has rained relatively few times considering I’ve photographed well over 300 weddings and I’ve sweated, sworn, cried and danced on every dance floor I’ve been lucky enough to grace. I’ve also thrown my face into a photo booth or 30 so I apologise to all the couples who got home and found those little delights. Amusingly I’ve been hit on more times than I can remember, mostly by your grandfathers, and have suffered rudeness so few times it’s easy enough to forget.
Thank you so, so much, to everyone who has helped and supported me while I grew a successful business that now means I can do life with Elsie in our own home navigating everything as a single mom. The amount of people that have actually invited Elsie to their wedding in order to make my life easier is beyond the ridiculous but as yet she has not had to come! Maybe this is something that should happen in 2023 before I bow out…
Well, as it is I am still a wedding photographer but I’m making this announcement for quite an important reason. In order to best manage these changes my marketing now has to change drastically to ensure the work doesn’t dry up. Ordinarily I would be taking new wedding bookings throughout the year but that will not be happening. I am having to think ahead in order to be sure that my 2024 diary is still full, and full of new and more manageable chunks of work. You can help me with this by engaging with new, non wedding content, sharing the other things that I do and leaving me glowing reviews where ever possible!
I really do miss it already and intend to go out with a bang by honouring as many of my 2023 weddings as I can and having the best time doing so. Drop me a follow on social media to keep up with the journey, contact me if you have any questions, and don’t think that you guys have gotten rid of me that easily! Although this is a new direction, I’ll never stop being my batshit crazy self and sharing it as I go.
That’s it for now but please watch this space, I have lots of ideas that I am working on, including how to still be a part of weddings in a less full on way. xxx