In which the off-season happens, I teach workshops and explore Stockholm and Berlin.
It's here! The first instalment of a new year of Derbyshire Diaries! If you've not read my blog before, this is where I sum up a couple of months in my life in pictures, anecdotes and more. Grab a cuppa and let's dive in!
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
January and February were my designated wedding-free months this year, they gave me a chance to do some different work I might not otherwise have the time to make happen in wedding season. I took some absolutely awesome 2018/19 bookings, which I cannot be more excited about shooting, caught up with old couples, did a spot of teaching and, well why don't I just get down to telling you all about it...
filmmaking for photographers
In January I taught two more Filmmaking for Photographers workshops, at The Malt Cross in Nottingham and Wellingore Chapel and Reading room in Lincolnshire as well as a couple of one-to-ones. It's been so much fun teaching so many wonderful photographers my process with filmmaking, I love how open to learning everyone has been and I've been so excited to see my attendees start to create some absolutely gorgeous work. I've been getting lots of messages about future workshops - there will be more but not until after this year's wedding season has finished for me. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement in a few months.
Off-season is prime time for engagement shoots and family photography. I was lucky enough to have two of each: two of my past couples and where they're at now and two new couples to get to know.
Inspiration is for amateurs
If you'd asked me a couple of years ago to write down some career goals, the stuff of dreams... speaking at a Way Up North event would have been up there on the list. When the email came through asking me to be part of the all-female line up at Way Up North 2.0, I thought someone might be pranking me or maybe they had the wrong Camera Hannah. But no, it was a genuine offer: come to Stockholm and deliver a keynote speech about filmmaking for photographers. I jumped at the chance, and it was a couple of the very best days that I've had. I felt nervous but, as I took to a stage that I shared with some other incredible women, it hit me how much I love getting the chance to get up on stage and help people develop their businesses and grow their art. The theme of the event was 'Inspiration is For Amateurs', a name that comes from a quote by Chuck Close:
"Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great "art idea". And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don't have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you'll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere."
It applies so well to being a wedding photographer. Frequently, we find ourselves under immense pressure and circumstances we cannot control. We're in a tiny hotel room with one frosted window and a crowd of people getting ready. We're told we have to stay in one spot by a celebrant. The DJ is using lasers that makes everyone look like they have chicken pox. The venue refuses to feed us. Uncle Bob is leaning over our shoulder taking every shot we take while muttering how we could be doing it differently. There is no space in wedding photography to wait for everything to be "just so", you can't say "I'm not feeling this today", you push through because you have to: you show up and get to work.
adventure is out there
This year I want to concentrate on building my Analogue Adventures series. Images exploring new places, all shot on film. Not only did I get to photograph my new friends and time in Stockholm, but I also headed to Berlin for a spot of travel photography back in January. Berlin is a fascinating place, with so much history to take in and so much to see - one weekend wasn't enough so I am sure that I will return soon. Here's a selection of my favourite shots from my travels in the last couple of months.
LIFE, THE UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING
Off season isn't just the chance to focus on other areas of my business, it's an opportunity to take a breather from the intensity of editing hundreds of wedding photographs, to spend quality family time, spend actual weekend time with friends and look after myself a bit.
Oh and I nearly forgot... I met SASHA VELOUR. My favourite Drag Queen. The one who has set the bar so high for Drag Race lipsyncs, I don't know if anyone will ever come close to it again. I'm still absolutely in shock that this happened. She was SPECTACULAR.
THINGS I HAVE BEEN WATCHING
- Rupaul's Drag Race Allstars Category is...!
- The End of the F***ing World Ridiculously well made dark comedy.
- The Crown I had no interest in watching this for so long, then I got hooked.
- Crazy Ex Girlfriend Season 3 of my favourite musical comedy!
- Dirk Gently Season 2, even more weird and wonderful than the last.
- The Good Place Season 2 cemented this as a proper favourite show.
- Black Mirror Hang. The. DJ.
THINGS I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO
If you've got Spotify, click the picture below to listen to my playlist of recent releases.
Featuring: Natalie Prass, Belle and Sebastian, U.S. Girls and The Spook School.
So there we have it... 2018 is well into swing! Come back in a few weeks for the next edition of Derbyshire Diaries, in which wedding season 2018 starts with a snowstorm.