Why I love to photograph weddings.

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When people ask what I do and I answer ‘I’m a wedding photographer’, the next question is usually ‘why do you like photographing weddings?’ I must admit I didn’t have a very good answer… I would usually blurt something out along the lines of, ‘they are fun, and pretty…!’ Weddings are my absolute favourite favourite thing in the whole world to photograph, which is why it was an easy decision to specialise. But I hadn’t really considered why I love weddings so much until recently.

I think these are my top 6:

1. Weddings are hugely important occasion. I’m documenting a piece of family history! Someday, your children’s, children’s CHILDREN will be looking at your wedding album to get a glimpse of where they came from, and what their great great great grandparents were like!

2. The variety in a single day! When I’m photographing a wedding, I am a photo-journalist, a food photographer, a family photographer, a people and fashion photographer… all in one day! This can obviously have it’s challenges, but I love it.

3. Weddings are full of so many amazing moments and some will probably completely escape you on the day. I love capturing these, often fleeting, moments you may have missed, but can look back on in photographs.

4. There is beauty as far as the eye can see. Hair and makeup has been flawlessly applied, you are wearing a once-in-a-lifetime amazing dress, you are truly shining your brightest around the people who matter the most to you in the world.

5. It’s a big party and everyone is in a wonderful mood. What a privilege!

6. It’s an emotional day. You are declaring sacred promises to each other in front of your family and friends! People you love make heartfelt speeches, they celebrate, dance, laugh and cry with you!

Wedding ‘season’ is about to begin for me, so I’ve been in a reflective mood lately. I can’t wait for all the loveliness to begin! Have you ever considered why you love to do what you do? Maybe you’re still figuring it out? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you. xx

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Living without TV.

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We haven’t had a television for about 8 months now. Initially we didn’t get around to upgrading our tv, then we thought – why not wait and see how long we can last without one? At first, I was very resistant to this idea. We were never huge television watchers to begin with, I guess I was resistant because I thought the evenings would be really boring without tv. But I never wanted to fall into watching tv as the default evening habit, so I gave it a go. 8 months in and I honestly don’t miss it at all!

I know this decision isn’t for everyone, but if you are considering pulling the plug, here’s what happened when we did.

- Sam and I talk more. We have deeper and more meaningful conversations now there’s no tv competing for attention.

- We take our time preparing dinner, and eat it slowly. At 6pm most nights I will put my computer to sleep, then make dinner. This has become my way of unwinding from the day, and since we don’t have to rush so we wont miss an episode on tv, I think I’m becoming a more creative cook!

- I bought a fun little game called ‘Which‘. It’s basically a fun conversation starter with questions like, ‘which luxury would you rather go without?’ Movies, cheese, shampoo, public transport, restaurants or socks…? It’s really eye opening, we’ve been enjoying it! I also like the look of Cards against Humanity, but I don’t think you can get it in NZ or Australia yet?

- We can always watch online (on-demand) the day after it airs on the laptop, if we really want to. We usually watch a rented movie (mostly from iTunes) in the weekend.

- With no TV you really feel like you have more time, which is always a nice thing. Previously, when we watched a lot of TV, the evenings would just disappear.

- As I mentioned, we’ve discovered there are better ways to unwind then sitting in front of the TV. Like making Pizza dough from scratch, reading, sipping on tea, planning holidays…

- I spend most of my day behind a screen, so I love having the evenings screen-free.

I’m not anti-television. I’m only anti-television as the default form of mindless entertainment. I’m really enjoying life without one! What do you think would happen if you gave up tv?

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How I stay inspired.

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We live in such a noisy world! Besides actual noise, the amount of images we see on a daily basis is huge. No wonder Facebook had to limit the amount of posts in our newsfeeds, there’s just no way that we are able to consume that much material from other people! So, in such a noisy world, how do you stay inspired?

For me, it’s starts with limiting the amount of other peoples work I consume each day.

This means, now I choose to put images that I have taken on my walls. I no longer have an inspiration board filled with images other people have taken in my office. This may seem egocentric, but having photographs surrounding me keeps me motivated and inspired. Every time I glance up from my computer, I’m instantly taken back to the moment where I captured the particular image, which always makes me smile.

Another way that keeps me inspired is choosing to hide notifications from other wedding photographers on Facebook. I still ‘like’ the pages, I just choose not to receive updates on my newsfeed as the default. Being intentional in this way protects me from comparing, and from getting stuck in thinking, ‘I’m not good enough’ which is never inspiring, and if I’m not careful can limit my creativity and growth as a photographer.

Just because I do this, doesn’t mean I will never look at what my industry peers are doing, I will definitely still take a look every now and then. Although now I make sure I’m in a great frame of mind before I do, and I always leave an encouraging comment to uplift the creators.

It’s crucial to stay inspired as a photographer and business owner in order to keep yourself fresh and motivated.

Inspiration starts with knowing who you are and figuring out what you want to create and say to the world. It’s not a bad thing to look at what others have created, but I think boundaries are so necessary, otherwise the things you look at too often can fill your head, and that is what you will end up delivering.

If you want to create with authenticity and true meaning, don’t just do things because everyone else is doing them, do things that you love, stay true to yourself – that’s where real inspiration will shine the brightest.

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