This blog post has been a long time coming. I’ve known that I’d be quitting wedding photography one day, I just didn’t know when. And now that this day has come I find myself experiencing a mixed bag of emotions.
My Final Wedding
Gemma and Adrian got married last month and had their reception at Vergelegen. They live in the UK but as Adrian is practically a local in Somerset West, they decided to get married here.
As with many of my wedding clients, they were referred to me by someone else, and on first meeting Gemma and Adrian, I knew we’d have fun together. At the time they booked me, I didn’t know that they’d be my last wedding clients.
As I write this post I can already tell how much I’m going to miss photographing one of the happiest days in a couple’s journey together. The start of their newest chapter and the photos of which they’ll always cherish and look back on with fond memories.
I can’t quite express how grateful I am that I get to end this chapter on such a high note with Gemma and Adrian. Not only do they epitomize the wonderful clients I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years – kind, happy, and appreciative of the effort I put into their images, but they are yet again, a couple who I want to add to my BFF list. I’ve really been blessed that the majority of my wedding clients over the years have fit into this description.
So if I love working with such wonderful people at such happy occassions, you might be wondering why I’m quitting.
Why I’m quitting wedding photography
It’s an amalgamation of many reasons really. An evolution.
Everyone evolves. We have to. If we’re not evolving, we’re stagnating. The thing about evolution though is that the outcome is not necessarily apparent at the time the process begins.
Again, as I write this, it’s abundantly clear to me what I’m giving up – a great income (regardless of the economic climate, people always get married and nearly always have planned to pay a significant amount for their wedding day), a predictable cash-flow (the 6-18 month pre-wedding commitment really does help with planning when you’ll be getting money in) & happy people in pretty places (if it weren’t for the weddings I’ve photographed, I would never have visited some of the places I’ve photographed at).
There’s so much happiness and love and excitement that surrounds a wedding, and I got to share in that.
But there’s a definite nudge that I’m feeling. I push to try something new, to see what happens. Something is prodding me to explore new territory, to leave the safety of the income and the comfort zone, to stretch myself into areas unknown.
I have no idea if this is the right business move, but I do know that there’s a curiosity and willingness to venture down this avenue.
The cynic in me says that I can always return to the wedding photography if the shit hits the fan, but the optimist in me is telling me that I won’t need to.
So what will I do?
I’ve recently gained some clarity on my ‘why’, my purpose, and if I’m to follow through on that I have to commit with both feet, not just one, while the other foot keeps the door open.
I have to give it a go. I have to start on this mission and see where it takes me. If it brings me back to the start, then at least I will have learned some lessons along the way. But if it leads me to somewhere that I can’t even imagine yet, well, then it will have all been perfectly worth it. Worth the risk, the doubt, the fear. So bring it on! All of it!
So I’ll continue to specialise in my Business Portraits & Images and Personal Portraits, as I always have. I get enormous joy and fulfillment creating portraits & images for people that either impact and improve their business or impact and improve their personal confidence. That is the most amazing feeling!!
After launching my first online course at the beginning of February, I’ve started work on my second course, and although the process of creating online courses is a challenging one, it’s one that I’m most definitely drawn to. I love that I can share my knowledge and experience to help not just one person in one place, but many people in many places!!
I’ve been continuing my personal fine art project and have decided to start selling prints and products of my work as well as starting to take personal commissions for this style of artwork. To create a piece of art for the pure enjoyment of it has shown me a side of life that I’ve pretty much ignored for the last 10 years. The importance of creating because there’s an image in your head that needs to be shared. It’s cathartic.
There’s a couple of other things in the pipeline, but for now, I think this is a great start.
From the most sincerest part of myself, I thank each and every bridal couple who has contributed to making my time as a wedding photographer an exciting, fun, adventurous and happy one. It astounds me that you entrusted such an important task to me and I can only hope that you know that I’ve given my all to every wedding. Every sleepless night, every over-zealous list, every long-winded communication has been for the soul purpose of being able to serve you to the best of my ability to ensure your happiness with my part in your wedding day. From 2008 until 2016, every wedding has been a memorable one.
And particularly Gemma and Adrian – you’re like the delicious cheese cake at the end of a meal where you refuse the after-dinner mint, because you want to savour the delicious lingering flavour. You two are my after-taste! (that sounded better in my head, but you know what I mean!)
Love to you all, and cheers to new adventures!