Well, here we are again … it’s our annual ‘best of’. I must admit, I’m usually much more on the ball with this post. It’s the most important post of the year, and we’re usually feeling pumped to get it out there before the year end, as we have in years gone by. The year end is a time to reflect on the adventures you’ve been on, the places you’ve seen, the things you’ve learnt, and the amazing couples you’ve met. It is a time to look back at all hard work and to be proud of your achievements … and in doing so creates a feeling of warmth within, a feeling of accomplishment, which in turn pumps you up to get this post out there! Truth is, I wasn’t feeling ‘warm within’ at the end of 2017, I wasn’t feeling pumped … I was feeling broken, and I was feeling tired. 2017 has been the hardest year of my life as it will forever be remembered as the year that took my beloved father away from me. At the start of the year my father began his battle against terminal pancreatic cancer. We took him to what was basically a frozen ghost town in Bavaria to undergo immunotherapy in a desperate bid to somehow by a miracle, save his life. Sadly the cancer won and he lost his fight towards the end of MAY.
Now this isn’t all doom and gloom. This terrible experience made me realise something about the job I do, and the friends and family who love me … in particular, my amazing wife Bee.
When I first found out about my fathers illness I was devastated. I was worried sick about him, my mother, but also my clients. How the hell would I carry on shooting weddings feeling like I did? … and even if I could, how would I maintain the very high standard we, The Crawleys, have set?
My mind was all over the place and I simply wasn’t organised enough to even think about seeking replacements for some of these weddings. Even at my darkest point, these weddings finally came around and something just switched inside me. I found out about the passing of my father 2 hours before I was due at a wedding. I lay in bed in tears, I literally felt like my heart had been torn from me … I hope I never feel pain like that ever again. And yet I was clock watching until the very last minute … any later and I would have been late for the wedding! The simple realisation of not wanting to let my couple down, to not play a part in denying them awesome visual memories of their day … the thought of this happening drove me on. So for all the shit 2017 threw at me, it made me realise that there is a strong desire that burns within me, a desire to simply not let our couples down and deliver a set of amazing images regardless of whats going on in my life. I always knew that was there to a certain extent, but I never knew how strong that desire was until I lost my father. I am so so thankful to my job for giving me the strength to keep going this year … its kept me busy, and it kept me creative.
Which brings me on to friends and family, and especially my wife, Bee. I can’t begin to tell you how much I rely on this woman in my life! As my instagram handle suggests … ‘I take photos, load the dishwasher, and hoover … @beecrawley does everything else!’. I’ve been a vacant soul for much of the year and she has constantly been there to pick me up, to cuddle me when I’ve been at my lowest, to run our business whilst simultaneously looking after our little girl, and to remind me that I’m pretty handy at this wedding photography game. Without her constant support I could quite easily have fallen off the rails last year … she’s my rock!
And my friends in the industry, in particular, Pete and Laura Lawson, Adam Johnson, and Hannah Dornford May. Thank you thank you thank you for being there when we needed you in 2017, both emotionally and as back up on jobs … love you all!
>2017 saw us shoot 43 weddings in 7 countries with highlights being the Isle of Skye, Kenya, America, Ibiza, and Italy. I was also given the opportunity to talk and one of the worlds most popular wedding photography workshops, the ninedots gathering.
This year is shaping up nicely with shoots in Spain, Italy, and Santorini to look forward to. We approach this year feeling refreshed and excited for the adventures to come!
So, we’d better take a look at some pictures! A massive thank you to all our couples of 2017 … your weddings saved me from slipping in to a dark hole and I am so grateful to you all for choosing The Crawleys to photograph your special day.
Peace out peeps and remember … love and look after your friends and family as they will have your back when the shit hits the fan.
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