Look hard enough and every year is capable of producing a milestone or two. But 2014 turned out to be an exceptional year for me with at least six significant events which can be represented by the figures 38; 100; 500,000; 2; 1906; and 30,000. Guess who was the maths nerd at school.
38: the number of weddings that Amy and I documented in 2014 and a new record, not that we're trying to shoot as many as possible (we only aim for 30 per year), but 38 is a solid number for a year’s work and a good indicator of a successful wedding photography business. We headed into 2015 with 27 weddings already booked which is an awesome way to start the year!
100: in late 2014 I reached centurion status, passing the 100 wedding mark four years after documenting my first. No prizes for this but a nice sense of accomplishment.
500,000: photographers are rather shy when it comes to discussing financials (and most don’t even publish their prices which I find strange) but I’m very happy to announce that during the year my total career turnover from weddings passed the half a million dollar mark. This is in no way meant to be a boast (remember this is turnover, not disposable income!) but as someone who switched careers to become a small business owner late into my thirties, I distinctly remember the heady swirl of disbelief, excitement and humility when I realised how much my business, my labour of love, had achieved and how many couples had entrusted the documentation of their special days to me. Furthermore, as someone who has always encouraged others to pursue their dreams, I hope this transparency provides proof that changing careers to become a full time photographer is entirely achievable.
2: after serving a year on the NSW council of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) my second year began with a much deeper level of involvement as I stepped into the role of NSW State President. This is a massive honour for me and one that I’m extremely passionate about. Educating and inspiring other photographers and raising the industry standard of professional photography in Australia can only result in a win-win for both photographers and the public and I try to lead by example by participating in the events the AIPP organises including the state and national professional photography awards, each of which yielded two Silver awards for my growing collection. This year's personal challenge is all about getting my elusive first gold!
1906: on the 19th June, one week into our six week European vacation, I proposed to Amy in Paris and she said “oui”! It was the highlight of the most incredible trip we could ever imagine and if you would like to read more about it and see a truckload of photos, just head over to: A Rather Splendid European Adventure.
30,000: the approximate number of finely crafted images I delivered to my 2014 couples. As preparation for this post I have spent the last few days looking at each and every one of them, reliving the locations and textures, the emotions and sounds, the light and the shadows, the moments of glorious spontaneity, and the cast of unique characters, all of which combine to create the rich tapestries that only weddings can weave. These are 100 (or 0.33%) of my favourite fleeting moments that made 2014 such a wonderful year and reminded me yet again that I have the best job in the world.