The annual collection from ARJ Photography
I’m quite a retrospective, introspective, analytical person and making this post every year is one of my favourite things to do. I do it to somehow make sense of the ultimate chaos of the last twelve months, to arrange it into some kind of meaningful mental order and to appreciate the journey I’ve been on – literally and artistically. It’s so cathartic to wrap up a year in this way, by curating a collection of photos that somehow – to me – capture the year I’ve had and sum up the sort of photographer I currently am. I always set myself a limit of 150 photos so that I don’t get carried away and make the blog post equivalent of War and Peace!
There is no order to this post, no tactical or strategic reason for the selection of the photos below other than the fact they make me feel something. They remind me of something, of someone, of somewhere, and they give me that feeling that I strive for as a photographer.
This wedding year began in Dubai and took me to almost every corner of England, into deepest South Wales, up to the Highlands of Scotland, across to Northern Ireland, to Greece, Spain and Italy, to Kenya and the USA – making a long-time dream of mine come true with amazing weddings in New Orleans and New York City. It’s been a ‘pinch me’ year. But I actually feel like every single one of my 7 years of wedding photography has been one of those years. It keeps getting better and I don’t want it to stop.
It’s genuinely unbelievable to me now that there was a time I’d put on a shirt and tie early each morning and then sit at a desk for 8+ hours each day writing computer programs. Don’t get me wrong – I never hated that life, but that was more because I didn’t know that anything else was possible. To have since found my calling – something that feeds my soul in every possible way – is absolutely incredible. But it’s also worth noting that these days I sit at my desk longer than I ever did in my life as a programmer, and I do way more work when I’m here!
I read a Tolstoy quote the other day: “This is the entire essence of life: Who are you? What are you?” I love that. Because frankly I’ve no idea of the answer to either question and I sort of hope I never will because I guess life would become pretty boring if I knew. For me these photos go some way to answering those questions right now, and I hope you enjoy them.
If I took your photo this year then thank you for inviting me into your lives and making this year so unbelievably amazing for me. If you’re not in the photos but you’ve been part of my world this year, thanks a million to you too. If you’re my wife, who facilitates this crazy rollercoaster job I do, then I don’t have enough words to thank you properly but you get to be married to me, so that’s pretty cool for you, especially since I’ve been playing country music full blast since visiting Nashville. To my kids, thank you for being my inspiration and for making me feel like a rockstar at times. To my closest friends (you know exactly who you are), you help me keep things real and not believe the hype and I love you dearly for it. To everyone else who supports me in big ways or small, thanks for being here.
Have an amazing Christmas and New Year wherever you are and whoever you’re with. Always be grateful that we live in a world where mince pies exist.
Create your own awesome. Don’t believe the hype. #NineDots