As a photographer, I am always focusing on my work and writing Blogs about what I have been up to and showcasing my work.
But as I sit here on the 26th December, with Christmas already nearly over. My brain has started to wander. Thinking about 2017 as a whole.
I've often wondered how personal you should get in a blog that is related to your business?
But then I think to myself...I make a living out of capturing memories for people. Capturing a lasting snap shot of their most memorable moments, Weddings, Baby Bumps, Families.
So why shouldn't I give the world a snapshot of my most memorable moments.
2017, has been hectic, and a real blur. The photography business has done well, and I have really begun to realise which direction I want to take the business in.
I have learnt what I'm good at, and what I'm not so good at. I've learnt what I need to work on, and what I shouldn't change.
I've read quite a few 'end of year' blog posts so far, this December, where people round up their year, and show off their best moments, and best work. I will do this too, but I feel I need to talk about other factors of my life too. As these all influence my work and mood, so without them, I wouldn't be the person I am.
I don't think I could actually round up a year, without being honest about things in my personal life too. A photographer's life isn't just their work, the same as any career, we have lives too.
Every year seems to disappear before my eyes quicker and quicker, but none more than 2017. It has been filled with ups and downs, and as much as it pains me to say it, it certainly feels like more downs than ups.
I don't want this to be a melancholy 'oh feel sorry for Caroline' post, I just want this to be a reality post. A post that outlines the reality of life. Not everything is pretty weddings and 2.4 families.
This year has been hard, entwined with a whole bunch of highlights, have been some pretty tough times, that I have worked through, and in some cases, am still working through.
From a family member and best friend both fighting the darkest of times in the depth of depression, to supporting my boyfriend through a family bereavement. Onto 2 family members currently going through the trauma mill of Cancer.
But I am still here, and that’s where I must remain. The strong one. The one people rely on, the one that never says No. Yes, its bloody hard to keep that stiff upper lip at times, and battle on through, but sometimes you just have too, because there are people out there suffering, and who need you.
But despite all this, I've woken up each morning determined to make a go of my life and strive to be the best person I can be.
I have put a lot of time and effort into my business this year, and although I don't always see the good in myself and my work, I know others do. And that’s what keeps me going.
I have found a new love this year for blogging. I have said it many times, I can't claim to be any good at it, but I enjoy it.
I'm no trained writer, I just say what I think and what I feel. Yes, maybe I should keep my personal life hidden, maybe I should only share what is relevant to the industry I work in. But what good would it do? That’s not reality. The joys and sadness of everyday life is reality.
No matter what career you work in, work runs alongside your life, and the 2 will always seep into one another at some point.
Being a photographer, you are surrounded every day with possible photo opportunities, whether that be a beautiful Wedding that has been booked in your diary for months, or just walking down the street on an average day.
But no matter where you are, and what you are doing, the people you photograph all have stories too. They all have demons they are battling, or fears they are fighting. It's human nature.
But nothing gives me more joy than being able to capture a moment in their lives when these demons and fears are pushed aside. Left in the box for that moment, so they can be themselves again, and capture that happy memory, that will live on forever.
Emotions are what makes a photograph. Yes, technical ability and a good eye help, but seeing people from the inside out is what creates that special image. Being able to determine how someone feels just by that look on their face or that look in their eyes. This is what photography means to me.
I don't want you to go away from this post, sad. I just want you all to take a step back, and look at the bigger picture. Life can suck pretty bad at times, but these times are what make us stronger, braver, smarter. We are all amazing, and we should tell ourselves this every day.
But 2017 is certainly by no means all about the bad times. I've had some bloody good times too, and these are what I want to roundup. These are what I really want to remember, and hold onto.
I'm always told I should take some of my own advice, and not be so hard on myself. So, to remember the many good times I've had this year, I've put together my 2017 12-month roundup.
A selection of images from each month that show me, how good I really have it.
I hope these make you smile, as much as they make me smile..
Me and the bestie (aka The Wife, we're not married, but act like it..Ha!) on New Years.
A little early spring portrait shoot with the Katz kids
Blog writing adventures at The Photography Show in Birmingham and The Vintage Pre Loved Sale in Guildford.
The best fancy dress party ever! Ha! Me and Mr Cuff in fine form.
The Goundry Family. TWINS!!
The most amazing night, spent at The Secret Cinema, Moulin Rouge. My gorgeous partner in crime Helen, made a good Criminal..ha!
The Standing Family at Newlands Corner, Guildford, Surrey
Esme at Petworth Park, West Sussex
A beautiful week away to Yorkshire, with a friends Wedding thrown in. It was lush!
Dorraine & Eric tied the knot, with a beautiful rural village wedding.
Our Nephew Michael had his Prom. Super proud Uncle & Auntie.
Becky Wyse and Family, The Mount, Guildford
The most beautiful country. Fun, Hot and amazing company. You can check out my full Blog post Sunsets & Lavender to read more on our trip. Helen & Martin...We love You!
LAVENDER! Couldn't love these ladies anymore. Selbourne Lavender, Nr Alton, Hampshire
The Crumby Bakery. Read my full post Cake on my Blog. These ladies rock!
LAURE & LEE - RETAKE
To read my full post on the amazing Laura & Lee, check out my Blog.
Jessica & Chris had their Happy Ever After Party. Saxon Barn, Windsor
Louise Paterson and Family, Newlands Corner nr Guildford
Dan & Richard, had the wedding of their dreams, check out my Blog, Theatre Style for the full story.
September was ALL about Rock n Roll Bride Magazine. I still can't believe I've had my work published in an international bridal magazine...eek! To check out the whole story, check out my Blog post on Opulent Morocco.
Sarah & Kam got married at the stunning Painshill Park with a beautiful Fushion style Wedding
Rebecca & Matt had a gorgeous Autumn inspired Wedding at The lovely Holiday Inn, Guildford
Blogging was the name of the game too in October, with a visit to This Surrey Mummy (Nathalie and her gorg family), and a trip to Rogate Pumpkin patch to meet Yvonne & Gary.
Both posts are available on the Blog.
This Surrey Mummy
November was super special as I got to visit The Eclectic Wedding Fair up in Birmingham, and what a bloody good time we had too. If you want to read all about our trip, hop on over to the Blog and take a look at The Custard Factory and I Love Ewe! It was bloody awesome!
November also saw Becky & Ryan get hitched at the amazing Horsley Towers. It was a day full of fun, laughter and a few tears.
This Weddings not finished yet...so this is all you guys are allowed...hee hee.
So here we are ...the end of the year.
With one final wedding...
Sophie and Rob and a lovely wedding set in Godalming
This one's all your getting, as I'm no where near finished with it yet..ha!
So that's it! 2017 over in a flash.
What a years it's been.
I think sometimes we all get fixated on the negatives, and never actually sit back and take a look at the positives.
There have been so many positives for me this year. More than I actually thought.
I was determined at the beginning of this blog post, not to ramble on about stuff, but feel I might well have..but do you know what..I don't care. This has been my year, and I'm proud to show it to you all. Through the storm clouds, the sunshine has emerged.
Thank You to all my clients, friends and family for making 2017 the Special Rollercoaster of a year it's been. I couldn't of done any of it without you.
May 2018 bring you all good wishes, love and laughter.
Happy New Year Gang.