It's 2°C outside at 5.30pm, the sky is already dark and ready for bed. I'm sitting in my hotel lobby in Helsinki thinking about how to put my 2017 into words. I was hopeful that being here in Finland, at home, would evoke a poetic vocabulary but I think the warm feeling of Helsinki's arms around me has me a little lost for words. Three days in and I'm in some sort of holiday daze.
It might seem unusual taking a month's break smack bang in the middle of wedding season. There were moments leading up to my departure when I was fastidiously editing, editing, editing to get all my weddings finished and delivered before I left when I wondered what was I thinking, booking a break mid-season. I spent some 12 hours some days, perched at my desk with nothing much else except coffee and pat-the-dogs breaks, focused on getting all my work finished so during my travels I could take an actual real, true break. Despite those moments of questioning my madness, I'm loving past-me so hard right now.
2017 was the year I put some perspective into this wedding photography gig. I'm like the next guy, wanting some kind of balance to enable more time with family and friends, and less late nights in front of the computer. But there seems to be this idea that in order to have success, we must hustle, we must work long hours and spend every waking hour focused on business, all year round. You read about it all the time. I've decided to respectfully disagree. The realisation that I can't do all of the things all of the time was the catalyst for me blocking off the entire month of January to travel back to my motherland with my most loved ones. I created time to reconnect with my roots, to eat Finnish food, to feel the winter chill on my cheeks. To just be still, to be present, to not be buried in my work.
And so here I am, sitting in Helsinki, settled quite nicely into my new rhythm of not hustling and enjoying this crazy ride at its new leisurely pace.
2017 brought with it more beautiful couples, new amazing places, many heart-swelling highs. I talk about this often but to be trusted by so many people, oh man it is so lovely. Some nights I'm on the dance floor after the joyful tears have been shed during 'I do's' and hugs are aplenty and I smile so much at the love filling the air.
A big, huge thank you to my wonderful couples. None of this would be happening without you. I'm sure I've thanked you all more than once but seriously, thank you from the bottom of my humbly grateful heart. And to all the insanely talented vendors that I get to work with, I many not say this out loud often enough but I adore your work and your creativity so much. All of you!
Here's to a joyful, plentiful, creative 2018 of new sights and an abundance of all good things.