I was a broken man at the end of 2010. I had an amazing year, but as with so many other people, I got caught up in my own drive to excel. When I finished up that year with a beautiful wedding in NYC, I was emotionally drained. It was my 65th wedding of 2010. It’s by no means impossible to shoot that many weddings and stay focused, but I found that I was becoming a wedding machine. Giving my everything to my clients left little time to myself. I stopped doing the things *I* enjoyed to do, I never took photos for the joy of it, I hardly read books and I even stopped listening to music. All I did was work.
Jacqui and I decided to cut back a little bit 2011, but once we reached that decision we already had over 35 weddings booked, many of them interstate and international.
I shot some weddings in Australia before we both traveled together to The Bahamas and Waverly and David’s wedding on Harbour Island. In many ways that wedding was perfect for us. We managed to take some time off and recharge our soul batteries and the wedding and the people we met there were fantastic. From the Bahamas we traveled to Las Vegas for WPPI where I met an overwhelming amount of people. I also shot my friends’ wedding/vow renewal out there and when we flew back to Australia I was pumped for the wedding season to come.
On my way to shoot two of my best friends’ wedding, I received an email from American Photo Magazine. They had named me one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world 2011. In many ways that was actually hard to deal with. What I do, how I approach my weddings and the couples I meet, is so basic, no frills, nothing…special. A “Top Ten In The frrrrrigging WORLD” hat didn’t fit too well with that approach. At least not at first. I soon realised I had to keep doing what I do and not worry about hats. Of any kind.
I kept working and shot some truly wonderful weddings around Australia before Jacqui, Noah, Joel and I packed our bags to go to Europe for the summer there. We started in Italy and there we met Mitra and Fabio. Their wedding and the week we spent with them around Italy will always stay in my heart. I shot more weddings in Europe, some I still haven’t had time to share here, before we said goodbye to my family and traveled back to Australia. We shot Craig and Nina’s wedding in Bali (coming soon) before we took some time off in Ubud. As soon as we got back I had to leave again, this time for a workshop in San Fransisco and later a wedding in New Hampshire.
In a way it’s funny. I’ve hosted a number of workshops and seminars this year and every time I’m done, I see things clearer, I walk away knowing where I want my work to go.
Finally meeting Rachel and Jeff after months and months of communicating was liberating. If you’ve followed me, you already know what shooting their wedding meant to me.
Since then the months have flown past. I’ve had an amazing spring here in Australia and the other day I shot my last wedding of the year – number 48. I also hosted a workshop with my friend Sean. I think we both want to do that again.
I’m tired, but not as emotionally drained as I was last year. I’m already looking forward to 2012. It’s going to be another year of traveling, but that’s something I’ve realised I *need* as much as I enjoy it. Traveling recharges me in so many ways. I’m going to share a wedding or two before the end of the year, but after I’m done with my editing I’m going to enjoy some time off.
My love for weddings and what I do is stronger than ever.