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It's a lovely thing to be able to spend some time looking back at the previous year right as the new one begins, isn't it? 2016 has been an immense year for me personally and professionally (in both of my professions!) If you're interested in hearing a bit more about it all, click to Read More. Otherwise, you might like to click on each image above to see some visual highlights from 2016.
Photographer. Tasmania. Australia
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On a personal level, I have made some major breakthroughs with my mental health and emotional growth and without going into too much detail, I can say that I'm in a pretty good place right now, for the first time in a very long time - genuinely. I think for quite some time I was telling myself and everyone else around me that I was ok, when in fact I wasn't entirely. I think I'd hoped that somehow something would "click" and I would begin to feel ok again but what I've realised is that (shock, horror!) you have to actually put some work into these things. Confronting things that you have avoided confronting and whatnot. Letting yourself feel the pain and kind of sitting with it for a while instead of trying to ignore it in the hopes that it would just get the hint and take a hike all by itself. That kind of thing. It's not to say there aren't still challenges in these areas for me, but the fog is legitimately clearing now and that's a very good feeling to have. I also know for a fact that I wouldn't have been able to begin to confront any of these things if I hadn't made the very difficult decision to teach part-time instead of full-time. I'm earning much less money teaching than before, but my head is in a much (much) better place and to be honest, for me, it's worth it.
This year my part-time load included full days away from school (my first year of part-time teaching, I was still at school every day.) I learned how to manage my time at school and not-at-school, which sounds like a simple thing (and it probably is, really) but it took me a little while to get there, I must admit. It was my first year job-sharing (with a close friend from work, who I've so enjoyed doing this with) and now that I've gotten the hang of what that's like, I'm really looking forward to continuing that in 2017. While last year I worked 5 days in our 10 day timetable (2 in the first week; 3 in the second), this year I'll be working at school 2 days each week - an added bonus - they'll be the same 2 days each week. It's a small thing but makes getting and staying organised so much easier. I'm at school on Mondays and Wednesdays and I'm locking in Tuesday as a not-at-school, school-focused day (marking, reports and lesson prep, etc) which leaves me with Thursday-Saturday to focus on photography (I'm trying to be firm with myself to at least have one day; Sunday, each week where I take a break from both of my jobs. We'll see how that goes, in reality I fear it may go out the window!)
The learning curve with photography continues to be a steep one as well - but what's nice is that every day I feel like there's something new to learn and to try out. There are some really interesting projects on the boil for this year, alongside the wedding and family photography sessions I love doing. It's exciting to see Look See growing bit by bit each year - many thanks to those of you who have been so supportive of me along the way so far, and to those of you who are new clients - I'm so chuffed to be able to help capture some wonderful memories for you this year.
So ... now that I've shared all these thoughts (more than I originally intended if I'm being honest!) I hope that 2017 is a good one for you - not that it's perfect, because there will always be challenges to face, but I hope we all find the strength to meet those challenges as well as finding the joy to revel in the sweet and good times, too.
Happy New Year