Here’s a little teaser before you start scrolling!
Wow! Well, that was the 2018 wedding season!
It passed again seemingly in the blink of an eye, 25 wonderful couples stretching from 31st March and Katie and Sam’s amazing day at beautiful Hautbois Hall to Ben and Candice’s festive stunner on 8th December at majestic Holkham Hall.
At the start of each of my now 5 years as a full-time wedding photographer here in Norfolk, I’ve found the thought of shooting the 25 or so weddings that I take on quite intimidating. Even now, after shooting 100s of weddings, I still get butterflies on wedding morning more in nervous anticipation of what lies ahead and feeling the importance of doing every unique day justice than outright fear. Without exception, these nerves evaporate from the taking of the first frame as I become completely immersed in the people and their relationships that provide the key ingredient of every wedding day story. On most occasions I’m there from the make-up going on to the shackles coming off on a packed dance-floor and I feel so privileged to be invited in to become an intimate part of such an important day in so many couples’ lives.
At the end of each year I reflect on what I’ve observed and captured, the lives I’ve been so fortunate to become involved with, the wonderful people that I’ve met along the way and the many new friends that I’ve discovered. This year has been no different. I’ve met some of the most caring, fun-loving and downright beautiful people again this year many who I feel that I can now count as friends. I know I’m ’employed’ to work at weddings but it’s impossible to do my job well without falling in love just a bit (well quite a lot) with the people you are photographing. In my view, you have to see wedding photography as more than going through the motions of snapping away with a camera; to get to the real stories and deliver images that will resonate with friends and families and help evoke memories of such important, one-off and significant days in a person’s life, you have to give a bit of yourself. In doing that you’re always rewarded with an openness and warmth that allows you to get deep into each story and tell it from the inside and as a friend, not as an outsider.
I’m a terrible hoarder at home – our loft, garage and cupboards are full of items that haven’t been used for years and should really bit discarded. But, I’m sentimental and find it difficult to let go of things that might one day be used again or might just bring back a feeling from a treasured time. I see the same thing in my son who doesn’t like to see clothes he’s grown out of leave the house. In the same way, I struggle to cull my wedding photographs efficiently, often delivering way more images than most wedding photographers would consider reasonable. I think my end-of-year post here again reflects that approach. I have no idea where to start or finish when selecting images for posts like this. I could just include the ‘epic’ creative portraits that I love to try to create for every couple, I could include lots of wonderful make-up and hair images, or shots of stunning venues and decor and styling. I could focus on the wonderful dance moves I get to capture and sometimes join in with (mine less wonderful!) or just share captures of the little people who make such an important contribution to weddings that they’re a part of.
Instead of that, I’ve gone for a cross-section, in no particular order, of just people. I capture the wedding details at every wedding but, for me, it’s all about the people. My passion for photography has and always will be fuelled by people and their relationships. This blog reflects that and some of the wonderful people and moments that they’ve shared in the 25 mainly Norfolk-based weddings that I’ve captured this year. It’s not necessarily a ‘Best Of’ because it’s impossible to select a Best Of – that would always be a subjective selection and would infer that images not included are inferior – which of course they’re not.
So here was 2018 – the creative, the big, the small, the tears, the laughter and most importantly the LOVE, stacks of it. To all 25 couples who allowed me into their lives this year, to the friends and families who helped me on these 25 days and who contributed to making every wedding day unique, a massive thank you. I hope that you have a wonderful festive period and that 2019 delivers the perfect first wedding anniversary of many for you all.
I now have my 25 weddings booked in for 2019 and I’m already itching to get going again and see where next year’s wedding stories take me. I know they’ll again deliver endless incredible moments but, for now, here was 2018!