It’s over. Finito. Finis. Finished. The end. Last night I finished my final wedding of 2016 – my wedding season’s officially over (cue applause and cheering)!
It’s been a tumultuous year. Lots of lovely couples and stunning weddings. Wedding venues old and new. Happy, happy days.
But it’s also been the worst year of my life, losing my wife 7 months ago and then my Dad a couple of weeks ago.
The work’s not over by any means. I still have 3 weddings and a family shoot to edit before I can officially declare that I’m free of photography, but at least I have no more to shoot this year.
People think it’s a glamorous lifestyle, being a self-employed wedding photographer. It’s not, it’s hard work.
We don’t “just” work the days of the weddings, there’s all of the post-production. Endless days sat in a darkened room, in front of the computer, editing the images.
Days when I’ll not even see, let alone speak, to another human being. Add on the unseen work of running your own business (which everyone who’s self-employed or runs a small business will attest to) and it can be challenging.
Yes, it can be lovely, when I have a really fun couple, a gorgeous day and a stunning venue. But it’s work. I can’t “enjoy” the day as a guest would do, I have to deliver the goods. Every. Single. Time. No matter what happens on the day.
OK, it’s not life and death and I wouldn’t dare to compare it any way to the work that’s done by our healthcare professionals or the emergency services. But it is the most important day of a couples’ lives, so it does matter. There IS pressure.
Even when the editing’s done I still have lots of work-related “stuff” to catch up on, particularly with regards to my website. Blog posts. Changing it with tweaks here and there. And the “admin”. Oh, the admin! I know that my accountant’s going to be chasing me soon to get the books completed! 🙂
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE shooting weddings. It’s just that I’m really looking forward to being able to have some “me” time.
Time to enjoy life
Time when I’m not waking up and thinking about editing, or the business. Also time to heal from my losses this year. I’ve not had a day off since April and boy, does my body know it! I just want to put away the cameras and leave them in the cupboard. I want time to go out for a walk. Sit and enjoy the view. Time to enjoy life – I might take a camera, or just the phone, but I want to take photos when I feel like it.
One thing that this year’s taught me is that life is very, very precious. It’s not an infinite commodity that you can call on, nor can you expect it to be available tomorrow.
We all take it for granted, until we know it’s being taken away from us very soon. That’s when we realise just how precious it is. How priceless those moments are with our loved ones. To hold their hand or give them a hug. The beauty of a sunrise or sunset. The sounds of the dawn chorus, or waves crashing on the beach. The smell of newly-cut grass or Spring flowers.
When you know that you have a time-limit, you appreciate those simple things even more.
You regret not having taken more time to be with your family, to experience life. You may regret the “dedication” that you put into your job, hoping that it would provide a secure future, so that you can enjoy your retirement. Right now it seems like that’s what you should be doing, but the simple truth is: you may never get to enjoy your retirement. You might not even see tomorrow.
Make the most of what you have
I don’t want this to seem like a morbid Blog post. Or that it seems I’m looking for sympathy. It’s not meant to be that. Rather it’s just my feelings about how we should make the most of the time that we have, be it in work or in our family lives.
Appreciate what we have, not chasing after the latest “this” or “that”.
Most of all, to live our lives. Properly. Not in a vacuous way on social media.
To live in reality. With our feet firmly on the ground. Experiencing life as we were meant to.
On the day that I said my final farewells to my Dad I bid you a temporary “adieu”. I’ll be back soon with those Blog posts about this year’s weddings. But, to conclude, remember the words of the song …. “Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think” ………
Blog post: Time to enjoy life