Absolutely fantastic year and my life is one of constant sunshine, rainbows and unicorns.

Actually, it was a pretty fantastic year for weddings, but let’s be realistic for a moment and not buy into the ‘my life is totes super-fabulous all the time’ unreality that is social media.

Let’s do the negatives first and get them out of the way…

So I started the year with some ‘big plans’ as I do every year and not all of them came to fruition.

Why? Because I’m a bit of a lazy-arse and did not make them happen?

No, the opposite actually, – I took on with hindsight just a wee bit too much…

I was booked for 27 weddings and shot 27 weddings but because most of my weddings are multi-day affairs, I actually provided 42 days of coverage.

Then, as a hybrid photographer, one of those mythical creatures only slightly less rare than a unicorn, I filmed (provided video coverage) at approx 70% of those weddings in addition to the photography.

I actually ended up bringing into the office more than 60 days of captured work to edit and turn into presentable results. From just 5 months that is the wedding season in France.

So I apologise to my 2019 clients because as the season progressed, I slipped a little in regard to production time despite working 70-80 hour weeks for months on end.

No one complained though and no one minded waiting just a little longer than I’d normally turnaround results, but I will hold my hand up and say I did get a bit behind for the first time in my 19 year career in this industry! Not to be repeated and steps have been taken.

There were a couple of other reasons why as it was not all due to workload and these were; my main PC had a meltdown mid season and had to have the operating system and all software reinstalled from scratch. This lost me about 10 days to rectify. Then one of my back up systems went pop (don’t worry kids, I have others) and that took a few days to sort out. And then just as I had cleared all the backlog, due to internet fuckwittery, my new website build was totally wiped out and I had to start again. From scratch. Cue much rage…but you are now on the new website 🙂

But now, early/mid Dec, the waters are once again calm and nobody died.

The positives then, because there were many…

Let’s start with filming, AKA video. I have worked long and hard at this, – more than 12 years honing and refining and going down various dead end rabbit holes to be able to finally produce what I do, which is a seamlessly integrated hybrid photography/video capture service.

“I don’t know how you do it?!” is something I hear often. Well wouldn’t you like to know, especially if you are a photographer reading this, but sorry folks, – I have spent too much time, effort and money to just give that away, – a workshop/one on one mentoring programme is available, – just ask for details.

In all seriousness, it’s like juggling. You start with 2 balls and progress to 3. From 3 you move to 4 and so and so forth until one day you try with teapots. You smash more than a few but providing they were not too expensive, that is part of the price you pay. And then one day you think, “chainsaw!” and bring that into your act. (Think Cirque du Soleil). It’s partly about kit but it’s mostly about perseverance and that’s pretty much all I can say.

So the filming side of things has found it’s groove finally and 2020 is going to produce something pretty special in this regard. Watch this space. Or this one to be precise.

In regard to the photography side of things, I think I have had this one nailed down for a while now. After this amount of time and over 700 weddings, I should hope so! I just went back and looked at some weddings spanning the last 5 or so years and though I can spot some small differences, I don’t think most would.

As far as I am concerned, I’m more than happy with the kind of work I am producing for my clients and they say they are even more happy than that, so happy days. There is however something coming in this department for the 2020 season. No revolution as at this stage in my career, there is never going to be one, but a small revolution minus the r. I have been plotting and will continue to do so over the Winter… Watch THIS space.

2019 weddings then, which was my favourite? I get asked this all the time and the 100% truth is, I don’t have one. Or a favourite venue. These things for me simply do not exist.

Would I rather book a local wedding such as at Malliac (10 minutes) or Lisse (25 minutes) or The Wedding Village (30 minutes) or a job in Provence?

No preference as there pluses to all.

What matters most is what has always mattered most, – the clients so actually I do have a preference and that is if offered;

A: Big wedding at Grand Chateau with clients who don’t care about the end result just the day and themselves, but with double the spend, or,

B: Smaller, more intimate, backyard wedding with folks who actually want me there but spend half of the above…

…I will choose B every single time.

I have genuinely had the best set of clients to date for the 2019 season. Has every wedding produced the most spectacular results and each better than the last? No, of course not, – that would be unrealistic, but something I have always known is that as a photographer/filmmaker, when you book clients who want specifically what you do and engage with you, this only ensures they get the best results. It’s always been this way and always will be.

So I can’t name ‘the best wedding of the year’ or ‘my favourite clients’ or anything like that but will instead mention a few new venues I worked at this year that stood out for me.

Before I do that, something I should mention is that it makes zero difference if I have been to a venue before. I understand why some couples ideally would like to see how their wedding might look based on a photographers previous visit(s) there, but the reality is, it doesn’t make any difference. At least not to me.

So some new venues I visited this year were (and you can read those stories by clicking the links below)

Domaine de Peuchaud for the wedding of Becky & James.

Chateau Rigaud for the wedding of Amy & Aidan. A good example of what to expect if it rains!

Chateau Saint Martory for the wedding of Aine & Brian, – and Irish/Canadian with Jewish/Russian ancestry affair.

Chateau de Goudourville for the Canadian/French wedding of Jaclyn & David.

Celia & Alex (a totally French wedding) at Chateau Fourtonie.

Nicole & James with their wedding at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte.

Otherwise, some time off now, some personal work and various house and garden projects before the 2020 season comes around in early May as things stand.

I’m looking forward to it. I always do.

Simon