Wow 2016 has been an interesting year - globally in my opinion it's been a disaster (but this isn't a political post so I'll stop right there), for my generation we've never seen so many of our childhood icons pass away and I am devastated at the talent we've lost within British music, in fact in many ways 2016 has been blinking awful.
To me though it's been amazing - Ive been able to continue to be a stay at home mum and watch my soon to be 2 year old grow and develop whilst building my small photography business, none of which I could have done without you gorgeous lovely people.
I'd like to sincerely thank you for all your bookings, orders, recommendations and for supporting me in my new venture - each and every one of your personal recommendations and Facebook shares has meant the world to me. Hard to believe I only started this a year ago!
In short I've worked with 2 corporate organisations, done 21 cake smashes for first birthdays, 11 newborns, 12 families, 10 weddings, 1 anniversary, 2 engagements, 3 photo booths, 44 mini sessions, 1 nursery including aprox 60 children, 9 children's sessions (not including the 21 sessions included with the cake smashes) and started a personal project called 'Born to Play Free', which is demonstrating that toys are for everyone and there shouldn't be 'boys' toys and 'girls' toys. If anyone would like to be part of this project please get in touch - there is no fee.
I've also set up this website, running a successful facebook page and joined 2 amazing Facebook groups which are full of professional photographers from around the country. They are always on hand to help out, answer questions and critique my work. Amazing!
So what does 2017 hold for me...? I really would like to build on the newborn side of my business and have booked onto some amazing training with the talented Russ Jackson in London in late January. I will also be going on some wedding photography training in March with the very talented photographers, Dan Morris, Eirik Halvorsen and Aga Tomaszek, which I'm very excited about. My wedding bookings are coming in with lots of gorgeous venues to work in across South Wales, so I'm very very much looking forward to 2017.
Early this year I will also be partnering up on a community photography project with a local social enterprise, Newbridge Memo (which is all a great venue for a wedding or party). The project is so exciting, I cannot wait to start in Early February. Running for just 10 weeks I will be mentoring a group of young people and young parents from Caerphilly Borough, working with them to find what they like and dislike in their community and using photography as a way to demonstrate what needs to change. They will learn various techniques in composition and how to use light (the basics) and will get a taste of what a studio set up is like. We will use any medium available - my dslrs, compact cameras and even our phones. The workshops will result in an exhibition where we will invite local counsellors and decision makers so they can see what is important to these young people. I've actually been forming this project in my head for about 2 years as I used to work within Community Development. My pregnancy halted any progress on it back then, so with the support of Newbridge Memo and funding from the Big Lottery's Small Grant Funds we are able to pilot it.. who knows where it may lead..
Anyway, back to the main purpose of this post - lots of thank-you's coming up!! Firstly to my lovely husband Mark who is more than happy to let me go off on a Saturday / Sunday to work or leave me downstairs to edit until 2am in the morning, being so supportive and which without I probably would have given up by now. Secondly a big thanks to my toddler Daniel who has been my passion and main photography subject with his beautiful brown eyes and love for a cake smash lol.
Thirdly a huge thank you to the photography friends I've made over the past 12 months, never would I have thought that in such a competitive industry there could be so much harmony and togetherness. You are truly quite amazing.
Last but not least I'm extremely grateful to all of YOU, all my customers, your friends and your family. I feel so fortunate that some of you have become good friends. Here's raising a glass of prosecco to you all and wishing you a happy, healthy and love filled 2017 xxxx
Here are some of my favourite bits from 2016 (apologies to shoots before last May - I changed my computer system so your images are in storage and therefore not included below. This does't mean you aren't amazing (you so are) - it just means I was was too tired and busy over the festive period to dig them out)... so 2016...