Tuesday, 27 December 2011

What happened to 2011?

It's at this time of year when we tend to look back and reflect on the previous 12 months...and WOW it has been an amazing!!!

Here are some of the highlights...

1. The year started with the wedding of Claire and Aiden at Redworth Hall and as I type they are celebrating the arrival of their first baby! The pitter patter of tiny feet has most definitely been a theme throughout the year as many of my 2010 and 2011 couples become parents and it gives me such a warm and happy feeling. I know many of you are trying to take this step too so I want to wish you all lots of luck!

2. Shooting weddings in new venues. This year I've been to some very cool, beautiful and grand places! I love visiting venues for the first time to see what they offer and this year my 'firsts' include diverse places like The Sage, As You Like It, Wynyard Hall and Alnwick Gardens.


3. Making new friends. Through the power that is Facebook I've been able to keep in touch with many brides (and grooms!) and suppliers. I love finding out about their holiday, new houses, new jobs, babies and just seeing mad photos from nights out! Long may this continue!

4. The Love My Dress Soiree. In August The Baltic was transformed into a who's who of the UK wedding industry through the almighty power behind Love My Dress wedding blog - Annabel Beeforth. It was one seriously stylish, seriously fun party and I had a ball!

5. The Brides Up North Tweet up and shoot. Julia from Brides up North made the trip from Leeds to be styled, primped and preened in my studio and then we unleashed her on Newcastle! She look amazing and really put her all into creating some fabulous images! A week later I attended one of the Brides up North Tweet Ups at The Black Horse. It was lovely to meet fellow NE suppliers.... especially Vicky Trainor from The Vintage Drawer.

6. Working for For Your Eyes Only (FYEO). This opportunity came my way though a friend, Ali Groves who had bought the Newcastle franchise. Once the studio was kitted out we began creating some amazing sensual portraits of women. I absolutely loved it. Women would arrive at the studio incredibly nervous but leave with a new found confidence that in turn gave me such a buzz! The studio closed in September but as one door closes another opens....


7. New office space for www.karenmcgowran.co.uk! From the embers of the FYEO studio came the opportunity to have my own city centre meeting space and I grabbed it with both hands. I now have a beautiful space to meet clients and no longer am I like a double glazing salesman trailing all my albums etc around! I am also able to show clients a wider range of products. As we move into 2012, we are also creating a shooting space....we are very excited about this so watch out for more info!

8. The Tuscany Workshop. In October I was super excited to travel to Tuscany with Damien Lovegrove and Chris Hanley to be part of a bridal and feminine beauty workshop. Along with 12 other delegates, we took over the 16th century Villa Sermoli for 3 days and under Damien and Chris' expert guidance I created some amazing images. I also made lifelong friends and the memories of the alcohol fuelled nights around the kitchen table will stay with me for a long time! I also got to see Lucca, Pisa and Florence during this trip and spent some time with my wonderful friend, and talented photographer, Julie Tinton.


9. Being published! This year we were over the moon to be featured in the national wedding magazines 'You and Your Wedding' and 'Wedding Ideas'. We also has a real life wedding in Belle Bridal which is a high quality NE based wedding magazine. We also featured on a few wedding blogs...Love my Dress, Brides up North and Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. Lots of fantastic exposure and testiment to the beautiful weddings created by my Brides and Grooms.

10. Finally....BEING AWARD WINNERS!! In November we found out that we had been shortlisted for the prestigious Wedding Industry Awards. A short time later..while shooting a Diamond Wedding Anniversary Party, Neil was obviously skiving and checking Facebook and noticed my wall was full of congratulations!! It was confirmed that we had won the North East wedding photographer category! You could have knocked me down with a feather as we had been up against some amazing photographers! I was seriously proud of Neil and I and how far we'd come. This award means a lot as only your wedding clients can vote so it's based on real feedback. Neil and I are travelling to London for the National Finals in January....how exciting!!!



Dirk van der Werff said...

A great year for you Karen and I'm sure 2012 will be even better!

chris Hanley said...

you go from strength to strength my friend. May your enthusiasm and personality stay as buoyant as it is today. Apart from your ability to create great images, it is your drive and passion which makes you stand out amongst your competitors. All the best for 2012 x

Kristin Moat said...

Fantastic year Karen and good luck for further success in 2012. Loved reading this post.

Kelly said...

Great Round up Karen :-)