At this time last year, so many changes were happening. I had just quit my full time job, and I was travelling with my family throughout the United States, and we were about to head off to Europe!
Looking back though I can say that the past year has been one of the most amazing years of my life!
Over the past year, I have been working hard on my brand, my website, and myself as a wedding photographer in Calgary. We have also launched into the market of calgary wedding videographers, which actually has become a lot more popular than I ever imagined! This summer is looking like it is going to be a great summer with a huge variety of amazing couples that we plan to work with! I am also excited to do some travelling and shoot some weddings in different locales such as St. Eugene’s in Cranbrook, BC, a small farm near Victoria, BC, and in Edmonton at the Santa Maria Goretti Center - and those are just for wedding cinema! Hopefully someday we will be able to shoot some destination weddings in places like Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, or anywhere else in the Caribbean! I did do an engagement session on the island of Roatan, Honduras (which you can see here) and it was amazing!
I think the biggest change that has happened over the last year though is how much I have grown as an artist and a visionary. When I went travelling last year, I took my Canon 5D, 2 lenses (a 35mm Leica lens and a Canon 135mm), and my Mamiya C330. Since both lenses were prime lenses (meaning they have no ability to zoom), it really forced me to slow down and take my time composing each image one at a time. Whether is meant moving backward or forward a bit, or kneeling down on the ground, I purposefully tried to shoot each image at a slower rate and nail the exposure and composition of each shot.
The film camera that I brought along also caused a different effect. The camera that I use (a Mamiya C330) shoots medium format film, which results in a square image! This caused me to focus even more on composition than ever! I LOVE the images that this camera produces though, and I am slowly but surely developing, scanning, and editing the film.
I have to admit though that the past year hasn’t been an easy one by any means. It’s been a very challenging year, probably the most challenging of all of the 28 years I have spent on Earth! There have been many stressful moments, and honestly most of them have involved not knowing exactly when the next pay cheque is going to be coming in. The past year has been a huge lesson in trusting God to provide for me, and waiting to see how he will do so! One of my favourite Bible verses has become Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It’s also been challenging to adjust to life as a self employed person. I have always been a rather social person, and I do well when I am surrounded by friends. Adjusting to working by myself hasn’t been the easiest, and while I am now doing well and getting everything organized for this summer, it has been tough trying to stay on task and get things accomplished at certain times!
Overall I can’t complain a single bit about the last year, and I am very happy with where I currently am (and where my business is heading) in the future! I am excited for this summer, and of course the many years beyond, and I am very excited to see how Cinema | Stills merge together to create memories that are unimaginable!
P.S. The image included with this post is from a stylized shoot we did last fall – you can see other images from the shoot here.