2017 review and where now....

I'm going to keep this nice and short for me really. 2017 was a great year and a not so great year. The highs were incredibly high. The lows were very low. I won't bore you with the details, but after the disaster that was 2016 personally, 2017 could only go up, right? Well, it did, but in a very weird and roundabout way.

After still coming to terms with the deaths of mine and my wifes respective fathers in 2016, 2017 had to start somewhere. And it did. As already reported, weddings were being done, family shoots were being arranged and much fun was had. But, the bookings for 2018 were coming in slow. Probably a legacy of taking the eye off the ball, understandably, in 2016.

So where now? Well, the end of 2017 has been an interesting one. Out of nowhere, I have started to make some really incredible contacts. Wedding season finished up for me with the wedding of Scott and Jess at Anstey Hall in November, which, as ever at Anstey, went down a storm. Was amazing fun and such lovely guys!

But after that, through contact with the lovely Kerry at Cambridge Makeup Artist, who I have worked with on weddings before, I got asked to do a styled shoot for promotion of a gorgeous little new venue, Escheat Farm, and to promote Kerry's and her business partner Alison's new adventure, Cambridge Glitter Bar, which was themed around Fire and Ice and Poison Ivy. I jumped at the chance to exercise a bit of creativity, but what was pleasantly surprising was the number of people involved in the wedding suppliers business and the contacts I made. I made some great contacts in Vanessa and Dom at Rocks and Frocks Wedding Planners, who also hire wedding letters at The Letter Hire People. I couldn't have met a more friendly and accomodating and helpful couple! Imparting advice (these guys really are at the top of their game and know the industry inside out), wisdom and knowledge, I was picking up tips and info the whole day! Since then, I have met up with them both for a lovely chat at Bedford Lodge and they agreed to help out plan a strategy for me to push my business forward to where I feel it should be. Constantly freely giving advice and being just damn fine company, I cannot thank them enough! Their knowledge and insights have been real eye openers for me and I hope to work and collaborate with them many times over in the future. Thank you guys!

As well as meeting these guys, I met some other incredible people. Mark Asplin, who is a top, top wedding videographer at White in Motion, was also top company and we had such a good laugh, as well as finding some common ground photographically. Small world!!!

But of course, big thanks to Kerry for arranging things, for having the idea and concept and for going ahead and really for thinking of me to do the photography. I can't thank her enough!

Also, a quick special mention to three others who have, in their own way, given me support, inspiration and just simply commented or encouraged along the way. Its all been very much taken on board, appreciated and always will be, especially as I respect all three of them very, very highly as photographers and people. Firstly, Hannah MacGregor of Funky Photographers, who has unwaveringly not only given support, but imparted much valued and needed advice with absolutely no quibble or complaint after me badgering her mercilessly over the past few years. I can only say that its because of my admiration for her as a person and photographer that I respect her views so much. Thank you Hannah.

Secondly, Derek Christie of Derek Christie Photography. A man I have never met, but has always been supportive of what I do and again has been happy to impart much advice. He had no need to do this, he lives at the other end of the country and I have never met him! But with the communication I have had with him, he's been nothing but supportive, informative, funny and encouraging and again, I thank him for that.

Lastly and this one is a little left field, but Damien Lovegrove of LovegrovePhotography, a man of who I have admired for many years now and covers so many different genres. A lighting genius, a guy the top of his game and a highly respected, well known photographer and teacher of all things to do with a camera. He may not say much (although I do get a little tingle of excitement when he does comment on anything I do, I will admit!), but when he does, its never disparaging, always encouraging and full of little snippets of advice. Few words but with a lot to say within them, every bit of correspondance has been highly appreciated. Someone of his stature could really be dismissive, but never has he been. I thank him for this too. To have that encouragement from someone at the top of their game like he is, means a heck of a lot!

Last but not least, but any means when it comes to any of this, is my wife Laura. I could write an entire blog about her support, her help, her encouragement, her belief and pride in me. I probably don't say it enough to her, I probably don't declare it to anyone else anywhere near enough as I should, but without her being the rock behind me, even in the face of some horrendous adversity for both of us, shes been nothing but amazing and none of this would be happening. None of it. There is too much to say, not enough space. I cannot thank her enough. She is the rocket for my trajectory.....and I love her for it.

So, lets see where this takes us. I have a renewed sense of direction now. I see a way forward. Now I have people, tools, ideas, things I can use to hopefully get me to where I want to be. People like the ones I admire and respect so much above encouraging me on, which hopefully means they think I am doing a good job and worth supporting. So many things and I want it all to happen tomorrow! I know its going to be a long hard slog, I know there is plenty of ground work to do now, but it will be worth it. I am taking on more personal work to keep my own creative juices flowing, I shall be seeking out futher opportunities to expand my business, I will be doing much more behind the scenes for this to happen so....watch this space! Hopefully the future will be bright! In the meantime, thanks again to everyone I have mentioned, anyone I have worked with or supported me in 2017 and enjoy a couple of images from the end of the year and heres to going forward in 2018!!!!

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