What an incredible 12 months it's been...
... and we have had a blast!!! This time last year I was sitting pretty much where I am now and reflecting on what a year 2018 was and anxiously looked forward to 2019. Would it be as good as 2018? What projects would we work on? Was it going to get any better? Not that 2018 was bad. But back then, I could not have predicted the absolute roller coaster of 2019 and the amazing things we achieved.
In January I went on holiday. This may not seem like a big thing, but it's the first proper holiday I've taken since 2014 and it was incredible!! Holidays are not the luxury I'd always considered them to be but necessities!! I went skiing to Les Gets with some of my closest friends and learned a lot about photographing in the snow and holy crap, snow is so easy to shoot in. Everything is well lit and looks incredible which was great to find out as you’ll discover later!!
We discovered Dance!!
After a well deserved recharge we returned home and were asked to cover the Cardiff Uni Broadway Dance Society competition in Cardiff Student Union. We'd never shot a dance event before and went in unsure about what to expect. It was a long day with dancers performing back to back... that's one after the other not touching backs... that sounds hard. Performers from universities from all over the country converged on the SU to compete in tap, ballet, street, modern and jazz. And we loved it. We came away with 19,500 images taken and it took 10 days to cut down and edit the delivered items. But damn it was fun.
From Broadway to... Fairwater
From the work we did for the Broadway Dance Society we were approached by Dance Festival Wales to capture their Spring Festival. We went to Plasmawr School in Fairwater and were completely blown away by the talent and skill the performers displayed. The day was intense and, I won't lie, over ran considerably. But it was an incredible day and hopefully rewarding and enjoyed by the performers and their families.
We went to Austria
In March we were flown to Austria to photograph the wedding of Matthew & Victoria Neil. The hardest part of destination weddings is not being able to scope out locations in advance. But luckily there was not much about this gorgeous lakeside town that wasn't beautifully photogenic. The bride and groom were incredible and very understanding to the needs of their suppliers (blog post to follow) and made sure we had enough time to do what we needed and selected several locations they wanted to have pictures taken at. The best, hardest, weirdest and most incredible part of the entire trip, was strapping on skis and following the couple and the best man (yes, in dress and suits) down the mountain shooting as we went. Good job the holiday in January gave me a chance to brush up on my skiing!!
Is it April Already?
April saw us embrace fitness photography. After working closely with Rogan of Rebellion Strength Personal Training we were approached by several people wanting pictures of them in the gym, training as a memento of how far they've come on their fitness journey. Working in SOS Athletic Excellence and The Compound we captured images for Personal Trainers, fitness fanatics and IG Fitness Models. Even one in a little black dress... that turned some heads I won't lie.
Have you spotted the pattern yet?
Yes, we're doing a paragraph a month. We're ok with it!!
In June, the start of summer we had Lawrance and Kaelis Engagement shoot with their doglet Rocky who totally stole the show and was completely unapologetic about it!! We spent a happy hour at Cosmeston Lakes in The Vale of Glamorgan and came away with incredible shots. We also spent a day at Tall Johns House near Brecon for a very special ladies 100th Birthday. Surrounded by her family it was a beautiful celebration in the heart of the Welsh countryside... of course it rained.
Working with a lot of student societies we get to know the members and it's always a thrill to see them graduate at the end of their course. This year was particularly special seeing some amazing people we've come to regard as friends graduate surrounded by their friends and family. We were booked by several people to take "alternative" portraits to celebrate the event and was our pleasure to help out.
More than half way through the year...
... and already we've met some incredible people, been to some amazing places, done fantastic things and captured all of it!!! And it didn't slow down in August!!
Remember Lawrance & Kaeli? They got married on the 14th in Cardiff City Hall followed by a reception in the Voco St Davids Hotel. The whole day was magical and emotional not leaving a dry eye in the house after the Mother Daughter dance.
September was a great month
It's our BIRTHDAY!!!!!
But more than that, we went to Coventry for 2 weeks shooting corporate films staying in the incredible Scarman House who always make us feel so welcome.
Before we went we took a day trip to Llangranog for the wedding of Max & Rochana. This beautiful couple were married on the gorgeous Welsh coastline and were one of the most relaxed couples we've ever had the pleasure of working with. Everything was relaxed, joyous and full of love for this amazing couple. The night ended with an incredible performance from out favourite international show band, Club Live.
We shot a Pussycat Doll
In October we got a call from an old friend in town for work. Adam is a guitarist and was playing a show in St Davids Hall. Of course we went to the show and shot the performance. It wasn't until it started we realised it starred Rachel Stevens of S-Club 7 and Melody Thornton of the Pussycat Dolls. The show was sensational. The dancers, the band and production were top notch and we left with a renewed fondness and love for live music and photographing it.
November saw us go to Blackwood to capture an American Billionaire visiting his newly acquired business, the Cardiff Dental School Winter Ball, a promo shoot for the amazing people at PB Performance Gym and went to Scarborough for James & Rebeccas wedding. It was a long drive but a wonderful day with some of our friends from around the country.
Which brings us to...
I want to focus on on event in December we attended the Everest Ball thrown by See No Bounds. See No Bounds is an amazing organisation run by a truly inspirational man, Jamie McAnsh. The ball was raising money for CRPS awareness and for Jamie who suffers from CRPS to climb Everest next year with EverTrek. I've heard Jamie speak professionally and privately (to me... we're not eavesdroppers) and he is a truly incredible man with an unbelievable story. The Everest Ball was a wonderful evening and raised over £5,000 for CRPS awareness.
We've had an incredible year and done amazing things with wonderful people. We've not covered all of it by any stretch. We missed out when Jon almost killed himself on a moving carousel to get a difficult shot, or the time Paul being awarded the "Table Fitty" award at charity fundraiser, or when we were assisting Steve from Insight Marketing who wanted us to move all the furniture in a living room to reverse the shot... and didn't like it. Or a collection of other clients, projects, events that we don’t have time to mention or aren’t allowed to talk about. But regardless, every project has been incredible and we’re so grateful to have worked with so many fantastic people.
Before we say goodbye to 2019 and everything it brought, we'd just like to give a shout out to Welsh ICE.
Welsh ICE is an incredible CoWorking space in Caerphilly and provide us with so much more than an office space. The staff their are wonderful, friendly, helpful and supportive and the community that's built up there. The other businesses there are incredible and without them, a lot of what we've done this year just wouldn't have happened. We ended the year with the ICE Christmas Party with bandeoke (which is just as good as it sounds) and loads of amazing people. Never wanting to shy away from responsibility we were there capturing it. It's the least we can do to say thank you to Jamie, Huw, Rachel, Llinos, Pauline, Lesley, Keiran and everyone who makes ICE the wonderful, supportive, inspiring and incredible place is it.
You guys are awesome and we can’t thank you enough for all you do.