Whoooooooosh! That was the sound of 2018 whizzing past you before you even realised it had arrived and before you know it there’s snow in my garden and it’s almost February 2019.
You’ll have to forgive me for bringing this to you a little late, Christmas is bonkers in the Jackson house, it carries on until about mid January with various family get-togethers and it always takes me a little while to get back to doing what we do best.
The biggest requirement that we have in this job is that we have to be spending it with people that we click with and are genuinely lovely people. We couldn’t have been luckier this year in that respect. Every single one of our couples has been wonderful and it’s been humbling putting a little two-minute video together, it doesn’t really feel like it does justice to all the fun we had.
On a personal note, this year has been all about balance. We’ve worked incredibly hard shooting 42 weddings throughout the year but we’ve also managed to eeek some time out for a few little family holidays to France, Pembrokeshire and Centreparcs for a few days here and there to let George run wild and eat all the ice cream that his belly can handle. We’ve stayed fit and healthy, I’ve played rugby every Monday night and managed to get to the gym a few times a week and actually dedicate time to our own health rather than getting caught up in the rhythm and pressure of the summer wedding season which is very easy to do. Which has a knock on effect in that we’re both fitter, healthier and more energetic for the weddings we shoot so it’s a win win!
I’ve also come to the slow realisation over the seaons that I’ve come as far as I can as a photographer using my trusty Nikons that both Hannah and I have shot with for the last 5 years. So we’ve made some sweeping changes this year and switched all of our kit over to new Sony mirrorless cameras which is fantastic. There’s loads to learn but so much opportunity for confidence and creativity that I can’t wait to see what we can do with these new toys. We’ve got a little blog post about our first experiences with these cameras incoming over the next few weeks so stay tuned for that.
Somehow or another we’ve also managed over the past few weeks to completely overhaul this website making it sleeker and more modern, it’ll be easier to keep you up to date from the blog and to showcase all of the work we’re proud of over the course of the next few months. It was no small task and I’ve had a lot of help that I’m very grateful for and really happy with how its turned out.
My Zen like state of balance is probably going to go out the window in approximately 5 weeks time though as Hannah and I are due Baby#2 and are heading back into the world of nappies and night feeds and you know what, I cannot wait!! It’s the biggest change to our lives since George arrived and I can’t wait to see him growing into a big brother this year and all of the adventure that we’re going to have as a complete family.
In another change to how things usually work I’ve decided that I’mm not going to lay out 150+ photos below for you that are in the slideshow above. Mainly, because really, whose got that kind of time to pour over each frame but also, you can see them above and a lot have appeared on Instagram lately or will be over the coming days and weeks. Plus, it’s nice just to do something different.
So instead, here are 10 Frames from this year that I just love. In no particular order, and for no hugely deep reasons other than they all made me grin when I looked at the back of the camera. Here we go….
This is Chantelle & Dan inside the beautiful and legendary Asylum Chapel. There are loads for reasons that I love this, and a big one, if I’m really honest, is that I’ve wanted to shoot here for years and for one reason or another it’s just not happened. So for me to be shooting here, with two people as effortlessly beautiful and cool as these guys I was already feeling pretty warm and fuzzy.
Another big reason is that there was an opportunity to do something within what is essentially a church, that you just very rarely get to do in a church and that’s to use the interior. These crumbling walls with their colourful and flaking paintwork just cry out to make beautiful pictures. Add to that Chantelles incredible dress, Dans immaculate suit and some light pouring in from an open doorway and I tried my best to do something that I’ve not seen here before and I just love the result.
Patience is why I love this. Watching and waiting and that feeling in the pit of your stomach that this is time wasted and that nothing is going to happen and then boom, it all just clicks into gear.
Esther & Harry’s wedding was in the middle of their farm, an old tin shed, hay bales everywhere, with tractors and diggers galore. It wasn’t hard to bottle a little of the flavour of the day in the rest of their collection (which I will blog soon I promise!) but there’s just something about this girl running atop the hay bales silhouetted agains the grey English cloud that makes me smile.
Oh Adam. Cool as a cucumber, relaxed and happy in his dapper green velvet suit and then just one glimpse of Hannah over his shoulder and that was it. Gone. I don’t need a better reason as to why this is one of my favourite frames of the year, it’s just everything I love about my couples and this job in one frame. Colour, love, overwhelming emotion, style and happiness, I love every pixel of it.
Another frame where I was watching and waiting and honestly feeling a little nervous that Lauras Dad wouldn’t react like I’d thought that he might when I plonked myself at the bottom of the stairs. It was simply to tight a space to get them both fully in the frame properly so this was a bit of a gamble. I think if I’m being honest I wasn’t even sure that it had worked until I got home later that night and downloaded the photos and went through them all. For me, just seeing a little of Lauras foot as she comes down the stairs is enough. If anything it makes the focus on her Dad even more powerful as we all know what he’s thinking from the look on his face, it’s pure pride and happiness.
One of my favourite frames of the year because……it’s two of my best mates in the whole wide world and I love them and they look gorgeous. Simples!
Yeah I know, I’ve got a silly sense of humour but what can I say, this just tickles me. I remember taking it and walking away chuckling to myself and thinking that would be one of my favourites come the year end and here we are. Man with tattoos colouring in a dinosaur: thank you!
Ok so there’s a funny story here to be told. The sky wasn’t anywhere near this menacing when Rose, Aaron and myself waded out through the long grass behind Preston Court to take this series of pictures. It was only a few minutes from the end when we were frankly all mucking about and seeing what else we could do when I looked over my shoulder and saw this colossal, looming black cloud that reminded me of something I’d seen in a movie like Twister or something!
Quickly, we put this frame together and I rattled off a few frames and then on the frame after this in the series there was a big dollop of water on my lens. Then one on my shoulder, then a few on my glasses and then…….downpour.
We ran back to the barn where the guests were cramming themselves inside. Comically I realised I’d left something in the field and had to go back getting further soaked. Half an hour later and the staff were sweeping away water from the flash flood and the party was booming and even though everyone was a little bedraggled everyone was laughing their heads off. Definitely one of those weddings and moments that will always stick with me and make me grin.
Charlie & Jack, at the top of the Gherkin, at sunset, what a highlight. I’d love to take credit for this one but this is all Hannah. The framing, the light, the moment and timing are all just magic to me and it takes me right back to that moment. Charlie & Jacks wedding will be coming to the blog over the next few days and you need to come back and see it, it was a career highlight for us and we can’t wait to share more from their day.
Look at all these faces!!!! Hannah and I play this daft game where we compete to see who can get the most amount of people smiling into a single frame. Last year, she beat me hands down with this stellar effort but this year I think I get the trophy (it’s a tin of biscuits but it still counts) for this scene from Emily & Sam’s wedding. There’s so much going on here from the quiet pride in Dad’s face to the total deadpan of one of the bridesmaids that it makes me circle around the picture again and again.
My last favourite frame of the year is another from Hannah. I’m somewhere out of shot capturing Mum’s face and I’m not sure if Hannah was intending on being this close or if it all just unfolded in front of her but what ended up happening was being in the perfect spot. I know Luchia loves this frame and we love it just as much. All that pent up emotion and nervousness just came flooding out as soon as she saw her Mum for the first time that morning, it was just a beautiful moment and a privilege to be in the room right there at that second.
So that’s it for another year! We’ve got a few more things to bring to the blog over the next week or so but we’ll be a little quiet on here as we take a little time out with the new baby in March. Instagram will still be buzzing away daily though so if you don’t already come and give us a follow there.
If you’re reading this and it’s your first visit to us and you’re looking for a wedding photographer then we would LOVE to hear from you and listen to what you have planned. Get in touch via the contact form and tell us all about it!
So much change. So much excitement and opportunity. Roll on 2019!
Mj & Hannah