January creeps by so slowly then suddenly it's March. Did anyone see February? Did February even happen? Anyway, time for another 'Behind The Curtain' post - a little personal post about what's been going on behind the scenes for this Teesside wedding photographer (shameless SEO writing, there..)
Did you make any new year's resolutions? I realised about a week in to 2018 that it hadn't even crossed my mind. I've since made a few small business resolutions and I have some general targets.. but writing a list felt like setting myself up to fail.
I would like to be more mindful this year, though. I've found myself inspired to read more than watch or listen to anything; I was shocked at how my ability to concentrate without picking up my phone had deteriorated. I always knew I was a bit overstimulated by scrolling and messaging because my phone is both a personal and business 'must have' and I spend so much time on social media for a variety of reasons. I decided to create my own reading wish list on Amazon, and I've been working through it. If you're interested, I particularly loved So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, and I've nearly finished Becoming by Laura Jane Williams. Next on my list is Dolly Alderton's Everything I Know About Love, Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and How I Lose You by Kate McNaughton. I used to think I was 'too busy to find the time' to read - turns out I was just on Instagram.
The year also started slowly because one of us in our house was ill after the other.. week in, week out. Five or six weeks later we finally got the ball rolling and the year, for us, anyway, officially began.
It was half term, two words every working parent loves to hear, but fortunately it's still a quieter time of year at this end; my girls and I had some lovely lazy days swimming, cooking, walking into town.. We went to Like Festival - a local event in Teesside celebrating the local area, and at the end of the week we popped down to London for the weekend.
I did not one, but two wedding fairs! For someone who'd only ever done two in total, two in two months felt like a lot. The first was at Ormesby Hall in Middlesbrough, and the second at Preston Park Museum in Eaglescliffe, Stockton. I'm not one to do regular wedding fairs, and still get pretty nervous about it all, but got chatting to some really lovely couples planning some wonderful weddings. They were also my first fairs since I rebranded - cue buying lots of up-to-date prints, flyers and star garlands..
London was wonderful, as always. We powered around covering as much as possible in two days, carrying the buggy up and down stairs and feeding the baby on the go.. We went to the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Tate Modern, saw Matilda at the theatre and ate some wonderful food.. I've since booked to head back down and spend some slower time with friends in April too. I love that city..
My sister-in-law was finally ready to pop! Kelly is like a sister to me, and I was over the moon when she took me up on my offer to have some photos taken with bump the day before her elective c-section. Her third little dinosaur arrived, he's beautiful, and I'm so excited to get some photos of him too when the time is right. I've got a few creative family photography shoots ahead in the diary now, too - I'm so excited to get my camera out properly for work again this month.
I've been playing around a little more making some stop-motion films for my own personal Instagram account over at @sallythurrell and for my own development. I create them for work and I've wanted to create some 'for fun' for so long too. I'm definitely looking forward to finding more time to play and create some things for myself over the coming weeks and months too..
It snowed. did you notice? It was heavy in Teesside, and everywhere you looked was covered in a blanket of powdery snow - so beautiful. We did everything you'd expect - from snowball fights to building an igloo, we caught pointed snowflakes from the sky and Vivienne sledged down hills with her Great Grandparents.. it was magical.
At the end of March I'm shooting my first two weddings of the year, and then my eldest daughter and I are going Interrailing - I'll be sure to keep the blog updated. Everything is starting to get busier but I'm ready for wedding season and ready to get out into the world with my camera again.
I've loved the colder months and the snow, but it's time for you to show yourself, Spring! Bring some blossom, colour and sunshine into our lives - we're ready for you!