2017 The Year Past | July to December
If you missed the first bit, make sure to look at my year in review, the first half here: January to June. In this post I will continue to take you through my year, month by month.
In July I was on the road again, traveling to Sweden for a wedding in Karlskrona, on an island in the archipelago. I brought Louis with me and together we drove through the country, eating cinnamon buns and meatballs wherever we could. I did more shoots for Tower Bridge and a couple of engagement sessions those weekdays I was free. Last year’s wedding at Fetcham Park was published on Rock My Wedding. I also became a selected supplier by Those Lovely Days – my favourite Swedish wedding blog! I had several weddings published there, including Swedish Garden Wedding and Swedish Archipelago Wedding.
At the end of the month – on my birthday in fact – we finally finally moved in to our new house in Kent. It felt like an eternity since that first day in March when I saw it for the first time. We had fish and chips on the floor in our living room, trying to get aquatinted with the new spaces. It felt foreign sleeping in the dated rooms, but finally it was ours. Already the first week the dishwasher, washing machine and hob broke – and we were also puzzled by the electrics cutting out until we found a live wire into a pond in the garden. We had only lived there for a week until I was on the way to Gatwick again to go to Sweden for another few weddings.
Three weeks in Sweden full of weddings and shoots. During this time my favourite Greece wedding was published on Rock My Wedding, plus a couple of features on Nu Bride and The Bijou Bride of Rita Colson’s collection. When I wasn’t shooting, I was editing on my laptop in mum’s living room – drinking heaps of coffee and feeling high on all the beautiful work I had created.
I spent quality time with my closest friends in Sweden – booking in a luxurious spa day with champagne and treatments – plus seeing my siblings and catching up on the latest. Louis came to Sweden with his parents for a fun filled week of Swedish summer and a traditional crayfish party. We drank more coffee than we’ve ever had, went kajaking and watched the sunset over the water. I went to the cottage by the lake where I spent all my summers and reveled in my two lives – the quiet peaceful one in Sweden and the busy career one in the UK.
I was back home in the new house for four days, shooting two engagement sessions and doing laundry to re-pack my bags. This time I was off to Tuscany and a very special wedding. The rest of the month I spent shooting weddings in the UK and London in particular, always trying to be a step ahead. The last few years I have worked hard on organisation and preparation in my work, which means I have a tough schedule when it comes to all the admin. And I enjoy it too! It is a wonderful feeling to see the business grow, to expand, do more of my favourite type of work and meeting targets.
Just a few weeks later I was back in Italy to shoot a honeymoon session at the beautiful La Badia Orvieto. I had two more destination weddings to go and was booking hotels and transfers whilst catching up on invoicing and deliverables at the same time. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to travel to shoot – but also how exhausting it is. I get such a buzz from seeing all the amazing places, but I also know the work involved in making everything happen in an organised manner – there is no room for mistakes. I was working from home a lot – scheduling in people to come and give us quotes for the renovation work, accepting deliveries and sorting out moving boxes. I am a do-it-all-at-once kind of girl and I thrive on being busy. I guess that’s why I like self-employed life so much!
We celebrated Louis’ birthday and I was a guest on my favourite Podcast Bröllopspodden. I photographed two editorials for Harriet Wilde and went to Henley for a wedding with Always Andri. October seemed to approach quicker than I could process and days fled by shooting engagement and couple sessions – including two proposals in a week!
In October I felt the full force of autumn and I loved it. Chilly days with sunshine, the leaves turning red and cosy days indoors with candles lit. I worked away on editing and started getting requests of albums from earlier on in the year. I managed to cath up with some friends but felt I neglected most of them during this month. Shooting and traveling isn’t what takes up most time for a wedding photographer. I usually spend at least 30 hours editing every wedding – and it can’t be done in one go. Sending out sneak peeks is high on my priority list – I know my couples are anxious to see! And delivering engagement sessions within a week is always my target.
I went the furthest away for a wedding this whole year, when I touched down in Florida, US for a fabulous wedding at the Four Seasons Palm Beach. I spent a week in the heat and by the time I had got used to the time difference, it was time to go home. But wow, do I love American weddings! I spent a whole day at home before we left for a family weekend in the countryside. The weekend after I did a day trip to Margate and felt the season quietening down. A few family sessions followed but two cancelled weddings (!) made the tail end of October slow down even more.
Beginning of November I did two trips – one to Stockholm and one to Edinburgh, before flying off across the world again – this time for a wedding in California. I even managed to do most of my Christmas shopping done, before it was time to shoot the wedding. On a yacht we sailed off into the mist, leaving behind all my hopes of a Californian sunset, but it was a wonderful way to finish off the wedding season. By now, I really missed spending time at home with Louis and working on our house. And I was so looking forward to a few quiet weeks in December! Christmas was looming and we made exciting plans away from everything that tasted work.
Though November was not at an end yet and I had several events to shoot, plus a family session and another few engagements in London. I photographed workshops and submitted work, sending off the lastest few weddings – but my mind was calming down and I started to reflect on the year that had passed. Renovation work was slow at the house and it seemed we tore things down quicker than we could build them up again.
The last month of the year brought one family session and one engagement and I was officially done for 2017. Still I had a bunch of editing to do and emails that couldn’t wait until January. I published my top nine Instagram photos and it was amazing to see. A small patchwork of the things I had done, of the things I had achieved. I spent a week in Sweden, celebrating Christmas a couple of times over, volunteered for the lonely and finished the year off a few days ago with a wonderful New Years party with some of my favourite people. In our very own home.
I am looking back on the year with wonder and also a bit of fear. How can 2018 top 2017? Perhaps it can’t. I do have wonderful clients getting married this year, having babies this year, probably getting engaged this year. I look forward to getting to know them and creating work for them which will be part of their lives forever. 2018, here I come…