The good & the bad.

Yesterday I ticked off one of my career goals & photographed at my dream venue - Aynhoe Park. A wedding I have spent so much time looking forward to & it certainly did not disappoint. However I have learnt a lot recently, that in life, with the good stuff, also comes the bad.

To say this weekend has been challenging would be an understatement. I'd say, probably one of the most difficult few days of my life, & I'm going to talk about it on here for various reasons...

Whilst in bed Thursday evening after FINALLY having a date night with Rob & fully prepared for a wedding the next day, I had a call telling me my amazing grandad who has played a huge role in all our lives had suddenly just passed away. I won’t go into self indulgent detail of what the next few hours entailed but all I wanted was for the room to swallow me.

Nevertheless, the following morning I had a wedding in which I put my clients first, like I always promise I will. Nobody was the wiser until I naturally had a little tear in my break time as this was the only chance I had to think of things which were not the wedding. After the wedding, I went home, had another cry, then up again for a wedding on Saturday, this time accompanied with Rob. Sunday I had chance to see family & have a ‘small breakdown’ then this brings me to the wedding yesterday…so yeah, it’s been tough.

Why am I telling you all this? Ohhh “Woe is me!” some will think. No, it’s actually because this has happened at a point where I was already feeling overwhelmed with my business, & after being really ill (yes I’ve been having a great time) a couple of weeks ago, I knew a few things needed to change if I wanted my business to grow & expand. Both this year & next are extremely busy, partially because I hate saying no to people & partially because I do absolutely love my job. However this also means all my spare time is sat at my desk editing so I can keep up with what’s coming next. I am so grateful to be busy but it means I hardly spend time with friends & family, & due to this weekends events it has deeply upset me. I don’t want to end up resenting what I do, so luckily last week I had already started re-evaluating my Wedding Collections & with this means doing fewer weddings in 2019. This is so I can give my clients even more attention but also myself - “make yourself a priority”. My business is growing & I want to grow with it, but to do this, I need to look after myself too! I shall talk about my new collections separately on another occasion, but note, Rob & I have finally combined both stills & film & we are very excited about it.

I know some will be reading this cringing thinking, I am attention seeking or shouldn’t be talking about feeling overwhelmed with perspective clients possibly reading. But I think it’s important. I strive myself on being totally honest with my clients which is why I build such strong relationships with some, & I assure you, this isn’t me having a weak spell. If anything all this has made me even stronger & pushed me to make my life & business better. I Skyped a couple last week who after said they would get back to me, as they were dubious as I had to rearrange after being ill etc, I simply told them to book someone else, because I knew we wouldn’t be right for each other, & I know I wouldn’t let my clients down if at all possible - proven by this weekend, but I don’t need to prove that fact to anyone. So yes, I am not afraid to be honest. I love my clients & especially this weekends as whether they were aware or not, they made my job easy & although hurting I have laughed many times.

This post is a release for myself (as I find it really helpful to just write & ramble when feeling emotional as you can probably tell) but also if anyone reading can relate to it, photographer or not, know that it’s perfectly normal to admit being upset & scared - always be true to yourself! We are all so much stronger than we think.

& to my Grandad & the wonderful businessman you were, I can only hope to be half as successful as you. x

Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com

Flower Fields, Wick Pershore 2017.

I know! I haven't blogged in a month! BUT I have been super busy & so much has been happening, which I will save for another blog...

This is just a mini post as I wanted to share a few images from all the wonderful shoots I did in The Real Flower Confetti Company's flower fields in Wick this year (last week). After the couple of shoots I did last year I had a lot of enquiries about booking in, as this field is only open for one week every year in July. For this reason I decided to do mini shoots so I could get as many people in as possible. The only mistake I made was doing the majority of them in one day & that one day being the last day in the field, as it was ABSOLUTE MADNESS! However everyone was so lovely which made my job a lot easier than it should've been!

I am so pleased I was able to photograph so many lovely families & couples in this truly INCREDIBLE field. If you are interested in having a shoot here next year I shall post once I know dates & have all the information about what I shall be doing. It will probably be slightly different, but I certainly will be back again!!

Enjoy... ! x

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Stoneleigh Abbey Wedding - Niamh & Michael

...& the award for incredibly good looking bride & groom goes to.....Niamh & Michael!

Anyway! I have been very busy over the past few weeks but couldn't not give time to blogging Niamh & Michael's wedding at the stunning Stoneleigh Abbey in Kenilworth. When I first met this lovely couple over a year ago they were very clear that they wanted a strong emphasis on natural in the moment photos, including lots of their guests. This is how I work 90% of the time but I encouraged them to have a second shooter (Rob) to make sure they had everything they wanted. Again, this is something they didn't regret!

"Hi Jessica and Rob. We can't thank you enough for our wonderful wedding photos. We enjoyed watching the slideshow whilst on our honeymoon. We are so overwhelmed with all the amazing shots you both got, it's going to be hard to pick which ones we want in an album. Thanks again for your amazing work and capturing our wonderful day in such a special way."

We both arrived at Chesford Grange Hotel to photograph bride & groom prep, followed by a lovely Catholic service at Our Lady of the Angels Church, Princethorpe. Once we arrived at Stoneleigh Abbey the rain had started a little bit but as Niamh & Michael were probably the most organised couple I have ever met, the family photos were done in a breeze without letting the rain interfere. I was so impressed as the groups were very large & there was a lot of guests. So I need to thank them both for being 'on it'! As we managed to do the formal photographs so quickly this gave us plenty of time to get lots of natural shots which is mainly what they wanted. They are a great example of the more you give the more you get! Another plus for me was that they are like a model bride & groom so I actually felt as though I was on a styled shoot when photographing them.

I loved the choice of pastel blue in the suit details, bridesmaid dresses & the gorgeous flowers by The Orangery Flower Shop. But by far my favourite thing was Niamh's beautiful & incredibly classy wedding dress. Niamh designed this herself & was made by Andrea Hawkes bridal in London. It was like holding a suit of armour when I was photographing it in the morning due to all the glass beads!

We loved this wedding & all the guests for making us feel like part of the group & actually asking us to take pictures of them! They were definitely a bunch that loved a good photo!

I am so glad Niamh & Michael chose us to photograph their day & I wish them a lifetime of success & happiness.

P.S. We both got engaged in Paris! ;-)

Makeup by: Bryony Dalton

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Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com