As the countdown took place and the chimes of Big Ben kicked in, I had no idea what 2011 would hold for me. Ian and I had done our New Year tradition of going to our favourite Cantonese restaurant. (So popular in fact, that when we call to place an order, we don’t even need to give our name. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad)?! We sat and ate, while re-evaluating the previous year, and looked forward to the next. Making plans, and hoping we could make at least a few dreams come true…..
As a photographer, I need to market myself, continually promote myself and really put myself out there – which can be hard. ……and I knew that marketing myself would be my biggest obstacle. Jasmine Star describes herself as one step beyond a wall flower, she says she’s the ‘wall flower gardener’, and I can really relate to that. Whenever the word ‘networking’ crops up, I actually just want a hole in the ground to appear and then swallow me up. Whole. So when the first Manchester ‘Tweetup’ was arranged in March, I cringed. Even though I knew there would be a few people there who I had briefly met before, or chatted to through social networking, I still broke out into a cold sweat; but as I knew it would probably be good for me and my business, I called my friend Chrissy, and we arranged to go together.
…..and since that first ‘Tweetup’, I can honestly say I’ve met and worked with some really amazing people. In particular is Catherine Hughes of Ivy Clara Make-up and Styling. Not only did I meet a brilliant make-up artist, but she’s become a really good friend as well. I’ve worked with Catherine on a number of projects, and I know there will be many more to come!
From MUA’s to venue stylists, florists, bridal shops and wedding dress designers, I never dreamed at the beginning of the year, that I would be so lucky to work with so many top suppliers to the wedding industry. I’ve had the chance to work on some brilliant projects, and I don’t feel as ‘alone’ as I did at the beginning of the year. I was part of a big shoot back in November at Heaton House Farm, and seeing so many people come together to make it all possible, was one of the best feelings ever…..and at the end of the shoot I just wanted to run round and high five everyone!
Continually learning and progressing my skills, whether self study or going on courses is also something that I need to do on a regular basis. I’ve done a number of courses this year, but I think my favourite by far was a course I attended by Orange County wedding photographer Jessica Claire. Wow! It was so refreshing to hear how things are done ‘over the pond’. I’ve been a fan of Jessica’s work a for while now and to actually get to meet her and hear all about how she built her business was so interesting and really insightful. At the end of the day however, a fellow student asked me to take a photo of him with Jessica, and at that moment, it was like all my basic photography skills shut down! Composition, and even pressing buttons just went out of the window! I was taking a photo of Jessica Claire, this amazing photographer and I just went to pieces!!! I was completely in awe of her!
2011 was a pretty big year for me, and I still have more that I want to cover, so I’ll post Part II in a couple of days…..
…..but for now, I hope everyone is starting to wind down for Christmas
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