The Year That Was: 2013

The year that was --- 2013 in review

Strange to think a whole year has passed. and what a year 2013 was. My first thought was wow, I've come a long way! This then leads me to an overwhelming sense of gratitude to the people who have helped to get here. James and I learnt a huge amount this year about ourselves, supporting each other, our photography, and business; and I can't think of anyone else I'd rather share this journey with.

This year we started a little more to figure out our skills and where they fit best and how they compliment each other: James has an incredible eye for detail, systems, anything technological, and loves the challenge of new things and problem solving; where I simply see everyone as beautiful, and love the idea of bringing that out. I've come to realise I have a passion for helping woman to feel beautiful and confident while creating art.

We've tried to focused on doing more of what we love, and less of what we don't. Life's too short to do things you don't enjoy.

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I learned that your business has a lot to do with your personality, and how you feel about yourself. Since it doesn't come naturally to me, I've really had to work on that this year; on loving and accepting myself - my flaws and my gifts! I have a new mantra; 'I'm not here to compete, but to create'. Naturally we humans are competitive and prone to comparing ourselves to others, yet this is so detrimental to our well-being. It was so freeing to cast those thoughts and fears aside and become friends with other creatives and photographers.

I've also discovered that business is hard... like real hard! At times it seems easier to call it quits and get a desk job, but I've also found that struggle is the one thing that connects us, and the more people you surround yourself with, the easier it is to keep taking that next step.

I've found so much joy in surrounding myself with other creatives, and wrapping myself in this beautiful quote.

"Success isn't how high you climb but how many people you bring with you"

- Anon

I couldn't agree more, and feel so incredibly grateful and inspired by the people who have taken time to teach, advise, help, support and bring us with them in some way or another.

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Its been a fantastic year, full of learning and growing, and many firsts:

We did our first styled shoot; an incredible collaboration with other creative people; makeup artists, stylists, florists, dancers, fashion designers, artists etc. and I'm now addicted to collaborating! This year we especially enjoying meeting and working with the lovely Emma Hough, Mindy from Twig and Arrow, and Gabi from Swoon flowers - beautiful people with beautiful work, who constantly inspire me, yet who I now can count as friends. I also must say I've been incredibly lucky with fantastic clients: you guys are amazing. So fun with so many cool ideas, beautiful moments, just stunning beauty. Thank you for in letting us in, and for making work not seem like work in the least bit!

This year we were also published for the first time; in a wedding magazine, and on a blog!

In November I achieved one of my big goals! passing my portrait Q and becoming an official qualified (and accredited) member of the prestigious NZIPP (New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers).

We designed and produced our first wedding album (more about this later as you should all get one - its absolutely gorgeous!).

We got to shoot an (beautiful and huge!) Indian wedding, in amongst a few other cool things; including Lebanese, Greek & Chinese ceremonies, big bridal parties, no bridal parties, and more love stories than you could shake a stick at. Some quiet and sweet, others loud and vibrant, and each story, each couple, completely individual.

Lastly, we moved into a shared studio space with some amazing photographers: Jason and Michael of Studio Hopscotch (and we're loving it!) These guys are so incredibly supportive, encouraging, and inspiring too! Studio photography was always something that scared me. So I'm running towards it full speed, determined to master it before 2015 rolls round ;). Here are a few shoots we've done in the studio so far.

And there was plenty more... In all its been a great year. I'm more in love with photography, and my hopes are high for 2014 as we planning and dream about where to next. I hope to see you there :)

“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved, and that you will have people to love in return."

Neil Gaiman