2011 was cracker of a year for Craig and I. Yes we have had a run of loosing family members and this has added a huge personal challenge to us in our first three years of business. It has been hard. We have shed many tears, however ultimately I believe it has brought us closer together and certainly made us appreciate our family and our time more. In the Past three years we have lost my Dad, my step Mom, Craig’s Dad and Craig’s step father. It is still hard to comprehend sometimes but they are never forgotten and always in our hearts.
In 2011 we had some incredible clients who have enabled us to see beautiful, quintessentially English venues around the country from the historic Great Fosters to the iconic Savoy and The Berkeley in London, through to the ultra modern RIBA Gallery and The Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street. Not forgetting Botleys Mansion, Goodwood House, Exeter College in Cambridge, Notley Abbey (to die for!), Gatestreet Barn , Northbrook Park, Nonsuch Mansion, Oakley Hall and more.
In 2011 our clients invited us to travel to Morocco and shoot a wedding in a villa just outside the Medina in Marrakech, they flew us 18 hours across the globe to Indonesia to photograph their wedding in Bali, a year ago we photographed a couple’s wedding at The Oyster Box in South Africa where the Prince of Monaco tied the knot in an intimate ceremony with his new wife.
Our couples put so much time and effort into their big days that all of our weddings from the past year where picked up by either a blog or a magazine. We have been featured on Rock My Wedding, Style Me Pretty, The Wedding Chicks, Bridal Guide, Want That Wedding, Love My Dress blogs… and had weddings printed in You & Your Wedding, Wedding, Wedding Flowers, Perfect Wedding, Your Surrey Wedding and Cosmopolitan Bride UK & China.
At the start of 2011 we where interviewed in Turning Pro magazine as well as being featured in one of the largest circulated photography magazines – Rangefinder Magazine!
We attended workshops in order to improve our craft as well as our business skills. Namely the Adam Alex workshop, Julia Boggio’s Photographic Entrepreneur four day course and Mike Larson’s Tuscany workshop which fell over my 30th birthday.
Yes I turned 30 in 2011.
Turning 30 itself wasn’t a big deal but it’s the thoughts and decisions that you have to ponder in your mind once you are in your thirties and no longer in your twenties that changes the most. It feels as though the decisions we make now are so much more life altering and permanent. We are growing older, our family members are growing older, our friends are growing older. Something shifts – well it did inside my head anyway.
From mid 2011 and towards the end of 2011 I realised a goal of mine which was to shoot bridal fashion editorial. I am very excited to be taking commissions and working closely with magazines with regards to this sort of work in the future. One of the images has been used on the front cover of the You & Your Wedding December 2011 venue guide and there will be an 8 page feature coming out in the March 2012 issue. I truly love shooting bridal fashion and spent many an hour during my retouching days wishing that I was the one doing the shooting and not just the post production.
At the end of 2010 I felt a little burned out. I was working crazy hours and all I could think about was work, work, work, the business and photography. I visit South Africa for 6 weeks that year and I remember my mother commenting to me how tired I looked and it just wasn’t right. In 2011 the decision was made to OUTSOURCE. Oh the relief! If you can get your business to a point where you are able to let certain things go, then do it. We selected a number of things that could be easily outsourced and then chose to outsource some parts that are harder to let go of. I work very closely with the people who are now an integral part of the operation and I am pleased as punch. It meant that this year when I went home to visit I was totally at ease, able to relax and went on a road trip around the Cape with my mom!
That is how it is meant to be.
In 2011 Craig and I celebrated four years of marriage and 12 years of being together in total. Wow! Where does the time go? Here’s to many more memories and what we got up to in pictures…
A mixture of images taken on Canon 5D m2, Nikon D700, Panasonic Lumix, Contax 645 film camera…
In 2011 We watched the sunset over the dessert in Morocco
We drank a ton of mint tea in Marrakech
We flew 18 hours, drove 2 hours, took a boat for half an hour and then hired a motorbike to get around Lembongan Island in Indonesia
We found a place called Secret Beach
We shared a drink and a chat
… and jumped off the rock into the ocean
We crossed a wooden suspension bridge only wide enough for a single motorbike
We got a bit lost
We came across a place called Dream Beach
We drank freshly made smoothies on a daily basis
We ate at Katut’s Warrung near Shipwrecks
Craig had the best surf of his life
We shot pictures for fun
We learned to be patient
We arrived at Uluwatu to see this perfect surf
We spent many a day at Belangan beach
We ate too many banana pancakes
Craig surfed until the sun disappeared
We found out what Bintang meant
I fell in love with the decor at Cafe Bali in Seminyak
We had cocktails on beanbags on Seminyak beach
Craig visited Cordoba in Spain to spend some time with his brother
We attended a workshop in Tuscany hosted by Mike Larson in May over my 30th birthday
We learned that is is completely normal to go around calling people Bitch in Miami. Hence the song we gather.
We started shooting film again and love it
The love affair with film and the Contax 645 begins…
We did the tourist thing and signed up for a 48 hour open top bus tour and boat ride
We discovered that 36oz Mojitos equate to 1L and take 45 mins to drink
We saw many a jaw dropping site in Miami and things get “Miami Weird” LOL
We jetted off to the Turks & Caicos Islands in the Caribbean
We kayaked on the sea
We ate fresh Conch at the Conch Shack
I went up Table Mountain for the first time
I road tripped around the Cape with my mom and visited many places, including Hermanus
Had sundowners at The Oyster Box’s luxury Lighthouse Bar with old friends in Durbs
I stood at the Southern Most Tip of Africa for the first time
I worked on my tan
We walked around Pringle Bay
We laughed, we cried, we had fun, we traveled, we learned, we photographed a lot – wow what a year!