We are entering May 2020, and you must be wondering how crazy I am reflecting
on my previous year just now. Well, yeah, that is pretty silly, but 'Year in Review' is something
I have been neglecting for many years. (Un)luckily due to this insane Coronavirus pandemic situation,
I have found myself in isolation and with more free time on my hands.
So, it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on my 2019!
The picture above is my favorite discovery in the whole previous year.
It is located in Kempinski Ishtar hotel in Jordan, overlooking the Dead Sea. I found this
tranquil spot while location scouting for the wedding I was shooting day after.
Audacious is a perfect description of the overall last year. Being a destination wedding photographer took me to amazing places while allowing me to truly dig into exploring new cultures.
I have been photographing wonderful couples, worked along talented wedding vendors,
experienced many adventures and met exceptional souls along the way.
There are simply too many events that marked my previous year as a destination wedding photographer that I will always fondly remember, but I will mention some of the unforgettable ones.
In March, I have attended The Photography Show in Birmingham, UK,
where I met Lara Jade and Lindsay Adler. I have been following their work for many years
and watched numerous online workshops, picking up their knowledge that inevitably
improved my photography. It is needless to say how excited I was to hear them in person,
purchase some books and snap some selfies.
Despite numerous weddings and crazy schedule, I managed to 'steal' some time for
fashion shoots this year. The genre of my art I had somehow completely neglected,
due to being a wedding photographer still brings me a lot of joy and allows me
to express my creativity in a slightly different way.
Jordan has always been a country of rich and biblical heritage. It is a proud reminder of times of glorious civilization and culture at one of the most history fuelled locations on Earth. It is also a country with the lowest point on the Earth, the Dead Sea, and the first image of this blog post.
Dead Sea was also a destination my clients chose to tie a knot at, choosing me as their
wedding photographer in Jordan. And what a 5-day spring wedding celebration that was!
From exploring and partying in Amman, adventuring at Petra and Wadi Rum, freezing during a sunrise engagement session in the desert, to an elegant wedding celebration
in Kempinski Ishtar, the trip was a pure photographers haven!
Take a look at a whole wedding here.
I had numerous weddings in the Middle East, specially Qatar, for which sometimes
I had to get up even before sunshine to get the nicest B-rolls ever! It was great to polish my videography skills and dedicate more time for a "moving picture".
So far I haven't published much images from Arabic weddings due to privacy and cultural rules,
but I promise I will prepare some grandiose venue and decoration images so you can experience
the luxury of such wedding celebration.
Leonardo da Vinci said that we should learn how to see and realize everything connects to everything else. While believing this theory, I can‘t resist the urge to connect the same thought to people as well.
What I doubtlessly realized it that the empathy and compassion we have towards other living beings makes us so special. Those abilities enable us to instantly connect with others, learn about them and spread the understanding that, even if in small doses, keeps changing this world to better. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In October I have photographed a stylized wedding shoot with my favorite Plush Events in Qatar. Despite this period of a year is already pretty cold in Europe, we have been sweating during this outdoor wedding session on 42 degrees Celsius and extreme humidity. While I was encouraging myself it is good to shock your body sometimes, each 10 minutes I was giving breaks to models to go inside the car and cool off with AC and refreshments, so the makeup won't completely melt.
I am happy that our (sweaty) hard work paid off, and very soon after, this session
got published on Green Wedding Shoes. You can't imagine my happiness when I got the news!
Take a look at the final images.
November was reserved for crossing off some bucket list wishes. I have to admit, I have
some silly ones written, but visiting Indian and driving with their traffic is an important one,
even though I only rode a motorbike! 😅
On a more serious note, I was truly excited to be invited by The Wedding Connections
to Jaipur, Rajasthan to photograph 2 opulent weddings and genuinely experience
Indian wedding customs. Both of the weddings and couples were fabulous and
I am sincerely looking forward to more weddings in colorful India.
So far I have published first out of two, which you can see here.
I have spent almost whole December in London planning upcoming projects and taking some time
to reflect and prepare for 2020. Little did I know I will have to pause most of them...
Oftentimes I would catch myself thinking I am wasting my time, doubting the life choices I have made and wondering what would my life look like if I took different path. I have realized that whatever comes as a lesson, disappointment or hard time, no matter how small or big that is, it is never a wasted time. You have to believe that life supports you, even though you sometimes can’t feel it.
I allowed myself time to reflect on a woman and artist I had become, and a woman and artist
I yet aspire to be. What I realized is that you can be more things at once and still be exactly
who you are, at the place you need to be. You only need to follow your heart, stop ignoring
the gut-feeling and start observing more, and simply be mature about
accepting whatever life serves you.
As in words of Adam Beattie (an amazing singer-songwriter whose mesmerizing gig
I attended before pandemic), ‘Life will blind you if you stare too long’.
So, my dear friends, don’t stare at it, go out and live!