As 2012 comes to a close (and already has back in my homeland, Australia) most people party into the wee hours and make resolutions they’ll most likely never keep. But before I get my party on, I want to take a minute (or two… or three… or… however long it takes, really) to reflect on how this last year has looked. Right about this time last year I was with my boys celebrating in Sundsvall and trying to get my Bentley-dog out from under the kitchen table thanks to all the fireworks scaring him senseless and as January came around it was time for the season’s kick off with my participation at the wedding expo (Allt Om Bröllops bröllopsmässa) at Factory in Nacka, Stockholm, where I met some amazing clients…
… but the first wedding of the season was a white one, with snow everywhere and gorgeous lavendar dress. I was lucky enough to have an old school friend of mine who now lives in Texas, USA come and visit me in the height of the Swedish winter and even though it was freezing, we had a great time visiting iconic places such as Vaxholm and Skansen.
As the snow began to melt and March showed signs of spring I had the pleasure of shooting one of my favourite subjects, Camilla, out on Ekerö and finding a birch tree grove proved possible if we walked through someone’s land to get there. LOL. But then it was time to get some sun and I jetted off to Australia until April for some weddings and family sessions.
If you want to avoid the heat in Australia but still get some sun and beach time then March and April are great times to go. Not too hot, not too cold with the occasional thunderstorm, it’s a great time of year right after the February heat subsides. But, if you’re like me, you love the thunderstorms and finishing a family beach shoot as a storm rolls in from sea was just amazing to watch. None of us got wet but we sure did have a lot of laughs! I was even lucky enough to fit in a product shoot for amazing rising star small business Absolute Amber, which sells baltic amber products.
The end of March saw me back in my hometown to shoot Rhiannon and Dane’s Central Coast Wedding. With Japanese influences and held at the Gosford Japanese Gardens, Rhiannon and Dane are probably one of the coolest couples I’ve shot and the story of of how they met nearly had me in tears of laughter! But March seemed to go fast and soon it was time to head to Victoria to a little ski resort called Falls Creek to have the honour of photographing Sally and Peter’s Wedding. After 12 years of being together, adopting a child and having numerous pets Pete finally popped the question and they finally tied the knot! Before April ended, though, I headed back to the beach to do two more family shoots… both repeat and loyal customers, these are two families I hope to shoot forever. 🙂
While I was back home in Australia, we left Bentley with his brother, God-Mother (yes… my dog has a God-Mother LOL) and a close friend and he managed to have his first birthday! I wish he had have been able to come to Australia with us but the quarantine laws are too strict for such a short visit. It was still great to catch up with my family and my girls and even meet the Mother of my soon to be Nephew!!
Returning back to Sweden just as Spring was in full bloom was great and it kicked off again in Åkersberga with the Wedding of Petra Jacob and the talented Sandra Jolly of Jolly Photography assisted me for the first of many times! I was even able to attend a workshop in Stockholm put on by the incomparable Jerry Ghionis and his lovely wife, Melissa before heading to Rosendals Trädgård for Tessi and David’s pre-shoot!
On probably the wettest day I’ve experienced in Sweden… ever… I photographed Petra and Marcus’ Wedding at Djurö Kyrka, just outside Stockholm and it literally poured so much that Sandra Jolly and I were soaked to the bone by days end despite wearing wet weather gear the whole time. Lucky we had a tiny little gazebo that belonged to the Church’s Minister that we could hole up in and even get some amazing shots. June was also the month that I found out I was going to be an Aunt for the first time. I already feel such a connection to the little guy that I can’t wait for him to be born in March of ’13! June also said goodbye to some of greater Stockholm’s canola flowers, but before the could float away Sandra and I styled a love shoot on Dalarö with the beautiful Fanny and Jacob! We even found time to celebrate Midsummer on Djurö at our boat!
July saw the introduction of my Boudoir shoots and the lovely Tessi was the very first bride who modelled for me, presenting the pictures to David on their wedding day as his traditional groom’s gift. It was also pre-shoot time for my amazing Swedish-Australian couple Camilla and Kevin and their adorable little baby girl, Cassandra on Djurgården in Stockholm and my close friend Jenn from Götene came to visit in Stockholm where we had a blast at Mosebacken. Incredibly fun Swedish-Austrian couple Malin and Paulo tied the knot at Sigtuna’s Rådhus and Russian-Swedish couple Maria and Mattias also had their nuptuals at Stockholms Stadshuset, the very same place the Nobel Prize Banquet is held every year! Before I headed off onto my holiday rock couple Tessi and David said their “I do’s” on Stockholm’s Skeppsholmen… and I had the privilege of photographing Florence and Leo. Little Leo is special, he has down syndrome… and the face of an angel. For one of the first times the camera was turned on me and Sara Ax Nordstrand from LEYA Photographers worked her magic on me in order to produce a profile photo after I was accepted to join The Essence Vitae Project. But right after that… it was off to Germany!!!
This year we took our holiday near Stralsund on the north-eastern coast of Germany and were pleasantly surprised to find that German’s love dogs as much as we do, even to the point where dogs are accepted anywhere, even in restaurants! Having driven all the way from Stockholm it was a warm welcome and catching up with old friend Julie and shooting her in her home town was a beautiful experience. After my boys went home I took a little extra time and met up with my buddy, Jenn and we kicked it around Copenhagen for a few days before I had to return to Sweden.
Heading back to Sweden, it was time for Camilla and Kevin’s wedding in Östermalm and they showed us how modern today’s weddings are with how connected everyone is as they facebooked a photo of themselves on the way to their dinner! Not long afterwards, gorgeous Finnish-Norwegian couple travelled to Stockholm from Oslo to be married at the Norwegian Embassy and were lucky enough to have such a dramatic sky for their shoot right before it bucketed down with rain. Helena and Adrian also spoke their wedding vows to each other at Stockholm’s Grand Hotel and I was lucky enough to have a feature printed in Australian Bridal Magazine, WHITE. My 2011 Swedish couple who took me with them to Paris were the pride and joy of my feature!
September was a great month. I turned 32 and we were officially 11 months away from having our own wedding. I also shot Christina and Paul’s pre-shoot AND their wedding out at Balingsholm in Stockholm and just as everyone had sat down to eat the heavens opened up and it rained so heavily that by the time Sandra Jolly and I made it back to the car it was so heavy we couldn’t hear each other speak! I also shot my second Boudoir Session with favourite subject, Camilla and obtained my Swedish Permanent Residency. Whilst out celebrating we met tassel obsessed Maria Montizami from the television show Svenska Hollywood Fruar (Swedish Hollywood Wives)! And yes! She really is that tall!! She was in Sweden to support her daughter at the Swedish Blog Awards, which was held at Scandic Grand Central.
Camilla was in front of my lens again when I shot her for an ad Husman Hagberg put in the local newspaper Mitt I and Swedish-Australian couple Rebecka and Gaeton got probably THE best light I’ve ever seen in Stockholm as they tied the knot in October at Stockholm’s Grand Hotel and Östermalm’s Hedvig Eleonora Kyrka. October was also the month I met one of the craziest, funnest new friends… EVER… thanks to Bentley when we ran into her and her chocolate labrador Pork Chop in Stockholm. Sally… I haven’t known her for very long, but it sure feels like I’ve known her FOR-EVER! 🙂
As November and December rolled around I had met the brilliant and funny Joe McNally after he gave a talk at Stockholm’s Fotomässan and I also went back into some product photography for local business Bon Coin. A french creperie on Stockholm’s Stora Essingen. Christmas was a time for old family and new family with a joint celebration between our family and Lars’ Mum’s new man’s family. I think it worked better than anyone expected and I look forward to more fun times together. Bentley-dog even got into the festive mood and donned a santa-hat to cute us all out but we had to leave him behind for our short break trip to Riga, Latvia. Not as cold as Stockholm and certainly not as beautiful, I was pleasantly surprised at the warmness of the people and their food, even though it was grey and slippery out.
So, as I sit here on New Year’s Eve penning (or… typing) this post I think back on all that happened this year and proclaim myself grateful. I had a fantastic year and 2013 can only be better. Happy New Year to everyone, my family, my friends, my clients both past and present. You all helped to make 2012 amazing and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.