Back to work in the Cotswolds
Right from the start it was clear that 2021 was going to be a unique year, especially after the loss, heartache and disappointment experienced by so many of my clients, and people across the world in 2020. With many rules and regulations still in place, I ended up with the daunting task of squeezing 47 weddings into 6 months. I won’t lie, I was quite anxious about that initially!
I focused, got my head down and worked my socks off; making sure galleries were delivered on time and full of memories from the weddings my clients worked so hard for, and fought for so long to make happen. Finally getting to capture those Cotswold and beyond weddings, some of which we’d be talking about since 2018, was the ultimate reward – it was SO worth it!
It’s all about YOU!
Capturing weddings is a privilege, it might be a bit of a cliché to say it, but it’s never been truer than it has been this year. The most important things in 2021 have been the people I’ve met, the couples I have become so close to throughout years of planning, and the families I have been made to feel a part of. Seeing those families and friends reunited after spending huge amounts of time apart, capturing moments of celebration with the people they missed, at the events they longed for, has made it that extra bit special.
Getting creative, thinking of clever shots that make the most of the magical lighting and the thoughtful styling couples have put so much effort into is an important part of my work. I’m so humbled by how much people trust me to photograph their wedding day, it’s my job to remove any anxiety and reassure my couples that the day is all about them. Honestly, they’ve all been absolute legends, having an epic day whatever the weather; I’ve loved every single wedding. Working with doctors and healthcare staff, and seeing them kick back and party hard has been another of my highlights this year.
New Year – New camera gear.
I started the year by taking the leap to fully mirrorless Canon camera systems, other photography nerds will know this is a pretty big deal. I like to make sure I keep up with the latest tech to enable me to deliver the highest quality images possible, and going mirrorless is a game changer!
When I’m not photographing weddings, I also work in the theatre industry, so as soon as theatres reopened, I got to test out my new kit.
Working closely with venues and suppliers
One of the wedding venues I work with most often, Elmore Court, also invited me to document their re-wilding journey – as an outdoorsy person this was a really fantastic opportunity that I just had to be part of. Seeing Elmore Court changing throughout the seasons, and capturing their ecological journey as they re-wild the estate has been such a cool experience – I’m going back soon to photograph their resident cattle!
Another venue I’m visiting a lot is Cripps & Co Stone Barn, near Aldsworth. It’s a beautiful barn that a lot of my London clients fall in love with when visiting the Cotswolds. The rustic setting with a cool party vibe, is made even more special by the friendly faces of the team there, who I have been working with for years now. It’s been a pleasure to capture weddings at the Stone Barn, from one of my smallest weddings in 2020 with just two people, and the venue staff as witnesses; to full on celebrations for 250 guests, dancing the night away.
Getting back to see venues like Kingscote Barn, near Tetbury, who extended their facilities during lockdown gave a me a real boost, and a reassurance that weddings would be back and better than ever. The amazing, motivated team of staff and suppliers always make sure I’m fed and watered on a wedding day – Strawberry Field Catering making sure I have my sugar hit to keep me going into the evening!
Building a community with our camera club
In the last few years, photographers have been facing a new anxiety of letting clients down if they tested positive or had to self-isolate. So, I set up an emergency cover group, to build a network of support within the wedding photography industry. We’ve now got thousands of members across the country, all coming together as a community to help each other out in challenging circumstances.
Over the course of the year, I’ve been joined by a talented team of second and associate photographers, I have total trust in them and they’ve produced exceptional work. Together we were able to capture every moment of some incredible weddings, from morning preparations through to packed dancefloors.
2021 has been emotional, rewarding and busier than I could ever have imagined. I even managed to scoop up three awards this year, and I was listed in the top 8 engagement photographers in London. I had almost planned not to be as busy in 2022, but I’ve had so many bookings that it is shaping up to be another fantastic year ahead! Thank you to everyone I have worked with this year, to my couples (who are now also my friends), colleagues, venues and suppliers – let’s make 2022 just as memorable!