2018: Going Out With A Bang (or, a year in review…)

And a happy new year!

I realise it’s almost the end of January already (err, seriously, how did that happen?) but I’m always of the belief that late is better than never. As I’m pretty sure you all know, the last 4 weeks of my life have been turbulent, to say the very least.

Just under two weeks ago I got on a plane and made the 27 hour journey to my new home in Chilliwack, BC (that’s Canada!). I had all these great intentions to get started with blogging and keeping you guys all up to speed. I even started writing a blog post about my first few days here.

But, in all honesty, the start of my new life wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned. I caught the mother of all colds – something I half expected after the weeks of stress and rushing about prior to the move and, well, a long journey on a plane. My first few days did not feel like the greatest start in a new country – so how could I blog about that?

I took a week off – a week to catch up with my reading for my degree which I was so very behind on. Although I guess I should be proud of the fact that I still managed to submit two assignments and get good marks in both of them. So I finally sat down to my first day of my new working life here in my little office just yesterday… and the pile of work I have to do is immense. Or, at least, that’s how it feels.

So, how do I start things off?

I feel like the best way is to review how 2018 was for me. It feels like a great place to start not only to bring you all up to speed but to also inspire me and show me what I’m actually capable of.

Without further ado… here comes 2018!

January

I threw myself into a new project in January – small business shoots! It’s something I’d been meaning to do for a while and so, prompted by a fellow photographer in one of the many forums I am in, I decided to offer a small business shoot deal. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the response! I got to work with estate agents, writers, cake and marshmallow makers, beauticians and jewellers and I loved every moment of it. Small business, for obvious reasons, is something I’m really passionate about and I really want to work with more small businesses now I’m settling in BC. For more information, check out my lifestyle branding packages.

February

In February, amongst plans for various shoots and doing two OU modules, Stu and I headed to Copenhagen for a short trip. I wound up being ill for most of it but it is just the most beautiful city and I had a lot of fun capturing some of my favourite travel images from the year.

March

The month of March proved eventful in itself! My first wedding of the year with the very lovely Claire and Keith who ended up having an unexpected snow white wedding day. It certainly made getting there and shooting quite a challenge and massive thanks has to go to the very lovely Carla who came all the way from Colchester, despite hating driving in the snow, to second for me. She did an amazing job and I definitely could not have got through the day without her. I will forever feel guilty for making her drive in the snow though.

I also shot my first ever event – the Blue Light International Women’s Day held jointly by East of England Ambulance Service, Essex and Kent Police and Essex Fire Service. It was my first time shooting an event like this and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

I also had afternoon tea with a bunch of cats at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium and had a fab day wandering around the Photography Show in Birmingham.

April

April gave me my first wedding as a guest in around 10 years and it was lovely to be on the other side of the camera for a change!

I also photographed Alice + Ian’s engagement shoot, Laura + Chris’ engagement shoot, a family portrait session with one of my previous wedding couples, Charlotte + Richard, and their twin daughters in Hockley Woods and a double whammy of a styled wedding shoot organised by Karen Luxford at Moor Hall Wedding Venue.

The month was rounded off by seeing Barenaked Ladies (for the third time) in Camden.

May

May was about learning and inspiration, it seems. I went to a social media workshop with Macaw Marketing and then to a workshop I was incredibly excited about – the Big Magic workshop with Elizabeth Gilbert. I think it’s fair to say her workshop was a life-changing moment. It helped me to realise a lot of things and is partly responsible for where my business is now going.

The month was rounded off with the very lovely wedding of Alice + Ian at Crabbs Barn in Kelvedon, my first time shooting there and, sadly, my last as the venue has now closed.

June

As the summer heated up, things got a whole lot busier.

Shoots wise, I photographed the lovely Montgomery Family during their visit to London from the USA and was privileged to get some lovely shots of their birth announcement as well – Emily is expecting any time now!

I photographed my first Inner Strength Project shoot for my personal project I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Tracey was my first subject and she was absolutely amazing. I definitely want to shoot more of these so, if you’re interested and in the Fraser Valley area, please do get in touch!

I then shot my second event of the year – the British Association for Women in Policing Awards at the breathtakingly beautiful Coombe Abbey Hotel in Warwickshire.

An engagement shoot with the gorgeous Sarah + Ben in Leigh-on-sea followed, along with the weddings of Laura + Chris at the Chichester Hotel in Wickford and Kelly + Joe at Kent Life.

The month was rounded off by another couple shoot with Lisa + Julian, also from the US, visiting London for the summer. 

July

What a summer we had in the UK last year. I’ve never seen so many days of sun in my life! The heat of the summer brought more shoots…

Sarah + Ben were married at St. Clement’s Church in Leigh-on-Sea, followed by a reception at Ye Olde Smack pub in Old Leigh (can I just mention the hill I had to climb for this wedding? It was immense!). I was very ably assisted by the lovely Laura and it was great to get the chance to work with her.

The following week I got to shoot my very own styled shoot at the greenhouses at Writtle University College, which I am incredibly proud of and can’t wait to blog and show you the photos. I got to work with the best group of suppliers and I really hope I get to work with them again in the future.

Later in the month I got to photograph a very cute Dad, Dave, with his twin boys at one of my favourite venues, Hylands Park in Chelmsford.

August

After another family portrait session with Maureen and her family at Hylands Park,  associate shooting a wedding for the lovely Emily Tyler at Dove Barn in Suffolk and an engagement shoot with Laura + Rob in Danbury Woods I was most certainly ready for my holiday!

August was the month we went to Greece! It’s a place that’s been on my list of places to visit for a long time now and now I’ve had a taste, I definitely want to go back. We stayed for a week in a farmhouse on the island of Andros first of all, which was definitely the rest and recuperation I very much needed after the preceding few months of busy-ness! I thoroughly enjoyed spending lots of time with my feet up looking out over the Aegean and reading a multitude of books and then going in search of somewhere to eat fabulous tzatziki. The second stretch of our trip took place in Athens and we had a lovely few days exploring the city and, again, eating lots of wonderful food. Oh, and I got to celebrate my birthday while I was there as well.

September

The month started straight off with a family portrait session in Berkhamsted. I then second shot for the lovely Joanna at a stunning location in Chartwell, Kent. I was back on a plane this month to Dublin to visit my sister for a weekend as well. It was a really lovely few days and I got to meet her new fella and get some great shots of Hannah all dressed up in her belly dancing outfit, shaking her thing at the spectacular Rock of Dunamase (which we followed up with tea and cake, of course!). On arriving back in the UK, I then photographed my last wedding of the year – Laura + Rob at The Lion Inn in Boreham. The month again was rounded off by a truly lovely newborn shoot with Holly + Russell at their home in Laindon.

October

As the autumn rolled in, so too did the business branding shoots. I was very lucky to be asked to capture some images for the gorgeous Kal from Quint London at the Essex Showground. This was followed by another shoot with the very lovely Jo from Hummingbird Weddings and Events who needed some headshots and branding shots for her new business. We met up at Hyde Hall and had a fabulous afternoon taking photographs in the many beautiful backdrops the venue holds, as well as having a lovely lunch and chatting all things business.

A little trip to Malta halfway through the month was a great time to catch up with an old friend and see my parents as well and one more meet up with my sister as she was visiting London was a great way to round off a lovely month.

November

November was definitely a wind down month – winding the business down ready for the craziness that was to follow at the very end of the year.

I was fortunate enough to second shoot for Laura at The Fennes for one last wedding and then to be photographed by Carla who captured some beautiful headshots for my new website. I’ll be showing more of those off very soon!

December

The end of 2018 was very much about wrapping up our life in England and saying our goodbyes to people.

Carla came and took some really lovely shots of us both with our two kitties, Lewie and Lola. We popped up north for visits with friends and family for an early Christmas, spent Christmas itself in Vienna with my parents and sister not to mention the trips to London to meet up with old friends and the various dinners and our leaving do. In amongst that, we somehow managed a theatre trip to see The Book of Mormon (absolutely hilarious and wholly politically incorrect!) and took the wrong cat to the vets for their jabs – oops, sorry Lewie!

Stu got on a one-way flight on the 29th December and that is where the year ended. Just prior to the chaotic three weeks I was about to have clearing the house and getting everything in order. That is a story for another post…

For now, I’ll finish by saying it was definitely one hell of a year. I feel like I left the UK on a total high and I hope our first year in Canada will be just as amazing as the last year has been.

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