At the end of 2013, I spent quite a lot of time writing a big post about how the previous year had been. I remember feeling pretty proud of myself for having gotten this fledgling small business off the ground and was able to make a living doing something that I loved. I honestly didn’t think it could get any better for me – but 2014 did that and more. Yet again, I’m left in a position at the start of a new year to reminisce on what has been a great 12 months of adventure in our lives. It’s always a little strange because to be honest, January 1 is just an arbitrary date and in the grand scheme of things with our fairly average planet orbiting an average star in an average galaxy, we shouldn’t really be that fussed by such things. But there’s something nice about thinking of the future and its possibilities and also in taking time to reflect and absorb the experiences of the past to appreciate the good things that have happened and to also to learn from the not-so-good things.
When Kristen and I first started setting ourselves up in early 2012, we knew that having previously had a job I wasn’t fulfilled in, I needed to make sure that I would find happiness in each and every day in this new venture, whatever direction that may be. All of this needed to be done while I was spending time with people that I connected with and respected – this was the source and the reason of the happiness in my mind. With each and every person I met in 2014, this little goal was well and truly achieved. My experiences and all of the weddings that I shot gave me so many new friends and relationships all over the country and world and it leaves me so grateful. Just in the last month, we’ve had two couples come and stay with us for a few days – these are people that are dear to us and we never would have met if it hadn’t been through photography. These relationships I’ve been able to build have made me so happy, but at the same time, it’s somewhat bittersweet I am not able to be with these wonderful people more of the time. Geography is a curse for me but friendships like these transcend distance and time so I know that the next time we are in the same place, nothing will have changed.
Further away from home, Kristen and I were fortunate to spend 4 months of this year traveling and shooting weddings throughout Europe and North America getting to visit amazing places like Paris, San Sebastian, Morocco, Scotland, England, Canada, Prague, Greece and Turkey along the way. We were so honoured to share in the lives of so many amazing people and saw the world in a way we would have never expected. We experienced cultures that opened our minds up to different ways of thinking and living and I must say, 3 weeks of Parisian cheese and baguettes each breakfast is a far superior way to live than toast with jam! It’s these beautiful, yet simple, things for which I am thankful for.
The art of photography has given me a great amount so it was humbling when Professional Photographer Magazine in the UK asked me in January to contribute a monthly column to them focusing on the ethical aspects of photography and what our responsibilities are as photographers. For the past 12 months, I have been truly honoured to be included in such a publication and also to be given a platform to speak about the things that I feel strongly about – I appreciate this isn’t something all of us are afforded in life. I also had the opportunity to support one of the industry’s best, Hooray Magazine, and also to contribute my small bit to the next generation of photographers by teaching a beginner level course at their Melbourne StyleSesh. It is so rewarding to give back when I have received so much.
I think most artists share their work simply because there’s something inside them that finds pride in letting other people enjoy it. For me, I feel like I can communicate with people, I touch their minds and their souls and it’s powerful. I’m not a photographer because I make money from it, that’s just a bonus – I’m a photographer because people love my work and I find happiness in that and within the process of creating. I’ve loved sharing my work and I truly appreciate every bit of support from each and every person that has asked me to shoot for them as well as those of you who are reading my words, commenting on my posts, sharing my work on your own websites and also by liking my things on Facebook – without all of you, I’d be nothing but a guy sitting at home taking photographs of his cats (well perhaps that’s not necessarily a bad thing!)
I know that 2015 will have a lot of changes for myself and Kristen (both as people and as photographers) but we are truly enjoying each moment of the ride there. Thank you again and I sincerely hope that there are great things ahead in 2015 for you as well.