Snippets and musing on my successes, challenges and lessons during twenty, seventeen.
A blogger and photographer who I adore, Agnes from Cashew Kitchen, released yesterday morning a series on her Instagram stories on her reflections for 2017.
I loved the idea so much that I decided to emulate the idea and consider my journey in the previous year. I wanted to share these with you as little snippets and musings from my personal life.
If I’m honest, Twenty, Seventeen is difficult for me to describe because it was, without question, a challenging year. Nothing went as planned and yet I evolved so much. Although I am exhausted, I can’t help but feel grateful.
What were the memorable moments in 2017?
A significant memory of last year was working as a Professional Photographer. I received various commissions and worked with some incredible brands like MasterChef Australia. It was a pinch-me experience that I never imagined possible.
Amongst the craziness of life, travelling to Bali was also a significant moment. I was able to ground myself through yoga, learn some Balinese recipes and I reconnected with my creative process as a photographer.
Out of all the memories, however, one of the happiest days of
last year my life was when my fiancée surprised me on a magical weekend away to Hamilton Island and asked me to be his wife. It was unexpected, romantic, and I have never felt so spoilt or cherished in my life.
What was challenging in 2017?
At the beginning of 2017, a client stole the copyright for three of my images and used them for billboard advertising. When I contacted the client to seek a resolution for the breach in contract / licencing terms, they told me my work was mediocre, that “any photographer would be happy with their work displayed on a billboard” and that I was “nothing without them.” Afterwards, the client continued to use the photographs across social media platforms and refused to provide attribution. It was devastating.
After seeking legal advice with the option to take the matter further, I decided to walk away. Many people do not understand this choice, and it was a difficult one to make. To pursue the case would have been exhausting, nor would it have added any happiness to me or my partner’s life. The matter was not about finances but instead respect and recognition, something that I was never going to receive. It was a difficult realisation to make.
My choice was to invest my energy into improving my skills, my knowledge and my business.
In what ways did you grow in 2017?
During my walk on the Atlantic Coast of Portugal, I lost sensation on the right-hand side of my back. At the time I thought little about it because I assumed it was because of the weight of my bag. After returning to Australia, it became apparent that I had sustained a severe back injury that affected my ability to complete daily tasks and to take photos. With over twelve months of treatment, frustration and pain I’ve had to learn self-care and most importantly, self-kindness. I’ve learned to listen to my body and to care for it organically through gentle stretches and exercise.
This year I also became stronger in setting clear boundaries on the behaviour that I would and would not accept by the people in my life. It resulted in some relationships ending, but I learnt that walking away is not necessarily a failure – it is recognising your worth.
Who would you like to thank and why?
Firstly, I would like to thank the love of my life for his unwavering support, patience and love. There isn’t a day that passes where I’m not grateful for having you in my life. You are my rock and my only future.
Claire for not only making me laugh when I was crying inside but for challenging me creatively to think outside of the box and take out-of-focus images! 😉 You’re such an inspiration – I’m looking forward to many more adventures with you!
Lou who I’ve loved working with on-set and who made working with MasterChef Australia (among many other projects) a reality!
Phoenix who influenced a change in perspective and Keets who brought me onset to one of her beauty sets.
I would also like to thank Robert who has been my online mentor. Without your guidance, the success of Curated Life Studio would never have been possible.
I would also like to extend a huge thank you to my readers, you, for being by my side listening to me and for your kind and encouraging words.
Your Most Favourite Posts
* The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F**k – Mark Manson
* Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
* The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
* When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi
* Staying Healthy with Nutrition – Elson M. Haas
* The China Study – T. Colin Campbell
* Nuvole Bianche – Ludovico Einaudi
* Gypsy Rhythm – Paris Café Society
* Everything Changes – Ummet Ozcan
* We’re All We Need (ft. Zoë Johnson) – Above & Beyond
Rosalie Blume – One of the most elegant, heart-warming and delightful films I’ve ever watched.
Mal de Pierres (From the Land of the Moon)
* Bonnie – Hamilton Island, Australia.
* The French Saloon “pop-up” Restaurant featuring Café Del Mar & Catalina Sounds, during the Noosa Food & Wine Festival.
* Locavore – Ubud, Bali
Goals / Plans for 2018?
Curated Life Studio
* Create greater continuity with Curated Life Studio to post quality and consistent content/recipes on a regular basis.
* Learn videography.
* The Americas make up more than double of my readership. I would like to alter my recipes to cater for that demographic (ie. Imperial vs. Metric)
* Re-write my About page. I’m not going to lie – it sucks!
* I would really love to connect with other photographers, bloggers etc..
* Improve my photography knowledge and styling skills through self-education. If you’re interested in the courses I’ll be taking/books I’m reading, please let me know in the comments below.
* Increase my fluency with the French Language.
* Travel to France – Perhaps for an extended period of time for a photography project.
* Improve my body’s strength so in 2019 I can complete the GR10 or GR11. (A hike from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea through the Pyrenees Mountains. 866 kilometres / 48,000m accumulative incline over 2 months.)
If you’ve gotten this far! Congratulations! 😉
I would love to hear in the comments section below your favourite posts for 2017 and your most memorable highlights!