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2020 – I think we can all be certain that this was one year we will gladly see the back of! With so few weddings this year, I was debating whether to write a best of 2020 post at all, but there are several reasons why I should. Primarily though, it is because love always wins.

Firstly, there have been several weddings which have gone ahead this year, and one thing that has been striking is just how lovely they were, days filled with hope, optimism and love, and a welcome escape from our everyday challenges, so they deserved to be shared. The intimacy and time spent with close family has created positives, with much more time to spend and enjoy the day, or indeed few days, with those closest. And there has been the extraordinary sense of achievement in jumping all of the hurdles, the delays and postponements, to finally get to exchange vows, even though what should be an enjoyable process has been fraught with uncertainty.  I take my hat off to those who fought through everything with incredible determination, and I have certainly noticed the feelings and emotions have been on the next level, because the achievement is all the more poignant. Before 2020, there was never any doubt that your wedding might not happen. So this is a celebration for everyone with the determination to have their day in their own way.

I am sure that smaller weddings might become more common in the future, they really are beautiful. And I am sure that streaming weddings live will become more and more of a thing, it has been joyful to see all those smiling faces on the screen watching from afar, and it means being able to open your wedding to a much wider audience.

There have been other minor positives too, with the social distanced large group photo looking SO much better than one where everyone is bunched together tightly, and you can only see heads. This should be simpler to organise in 2021 as everyone now knows what ‘find a bit of space’ means!

Some of the cinema shows have been beautiful too, with all the guests sitting together and watching beautifully created and thought out personal messages from people who can’t be there. Sharing this together is quite emotional and magical too, a moment which really brings everyone together, and a film to keep for eternity.

For those who took the tough decision to postpone in 2020, or were forced to through no fault of their own, then there is a lot to look forward to in 2021. Your day will come! We say goodbye to such a horrendous year for the purpose of welcoming the next, a year when hopefully the only tiers will be on a cake, the only bubbles will be in the champagne,  and we will be able to see smiles and laughter again, and boy, are there going to be some incredible parties!

Even with few weddings, this year has absolutely re-affirmed how much I love what I do, and my focus has been upon building the business stronger with diversity in other areas of photography which strengthen my capabilities, such as the addition of drone photography, and videography, and making short films. I’ve also been doing a lot of food photography, which involves different skills to shooting a wedding, but skills which are transferable and will add value to my wedding photography. On a personal level, it was a huge honour to have been named as NineDots Wedding Photographer of the Year 2020, something which really helped me get through this year, and give me the confidence to look forward, and I can’t wait to get back to it with the weddings in 2021!

So here are a few of my favourite moments from this year, and wishing everyone a very happy, healthy and joyful 2021!

   

A year of other projects, and observations with my camera

One thing that 2020 has reminded me is just how much I love photography, and my camera is always by my side. It has been a joy to explore other areas, to absorb the changing landscape around me and to watch my daughter Milly grow, and she has spent much more time in front of the camera, even if she doesn’t understand the importance of memories yet, I know she will.

I used a lot of spare time to plant and grow a wildflower meadow, which has been both a welcome focus and an absolute joy through the year, watching it evolve through the seasons, and to see an abundance of wildlife arrive. It has also given me an opportunity to be thinking a year ahead, and to next years flowers growing, which has been of great benefit in visualising the future. I also grew it with private family shoots in mind, and it has been magical to watch children wandering amongst flowers taller than them, to see the colours, smell the smells, and hear wildlife buzzing around them. The meadow shoots will definitiely be here for the future! 

I also finally got round to building my food photography studio, which has been a hive of activity and rather delicous food, soemthing I have wanted to do properly for a long time.