As the year draws to a close, it’s become a tradition to sift through the Instagram Top 9—a snapshot of fleeting popularity and, sometimes, a reminder of the unpredictable nature of social media. It’s not lost on me that the number of likes doesn’t define the significance of a photograph, especially in a world where trends change as swiftly as the seasons. However, it does serve as a starting point for a deeper reflection on the moments that shaped 2023.
Among these moments, Sylvette’s feature on Vogue Italia stands out—a testament to true style. The ethereal landscape of Blea Tarn also showcased on Vogue Italia offered a different kind of satisfaction, a fusion of nature and fashion that speaks to my ongoing exploration of visual storytelling.
The Lane, June Bug Weddings, and the feature in Hello! Magazine were milestones, each acknowledgment affirming the commitment to my craft. Shooting Kate Fearnley’s latest collection was, as always, a dream realised, and heading off to Paris to capture Cynthia Grafton Holt’s latest creations added a touch of magic to the year.
Yet, 2023 was not without its challenges. The wedding industry experienced a shift due to the lingering effects of the pandemic, resulting in fewer celebrations. Lockdowns meant fewer people met in 2020/2021, which meant fewer weddings in 2023 – a simple fact with huge implications for a niche industry. It was a quiet year for bookings, but within that stillness, there were profound moments of growth and realisation. The quiet allowed for introspection, a reassessment of priorities, and a preparation for what lies ahead.
On a personal note, navigating the stresses of moving into a new home added its own layer of complexity. Slowly, though, amidst the unpacked boxes and endless to-dos, we’re shaping it into the house of our dreams.
In this retrospective, it’s crucial to acknowledge that a Top 9 or any number of likes can’t encapsulate the depth and nuance of a year. What matters most are the stories behind the images—the moments, the challenges, and the victories. While the year may have been marked by a decline in weddings, 2024 is already promising to be the busiest yet—a testament to resilience and hope in the face of uncertainty.
As we bid farewell to 2023, let’s not solely measure it in likes and bookings but in the stories we’ve told, the challenges we’ve faced, and the dreams we continue to chase. Here’s to celebrating the moments that shape us and forging ahead into a new year with anticipation and gratitude.