I feel a bit strange starting to recap a year that half doesn’t exist in this blog. Having neglected you since July makes me feel quite sad, but at the same time reflects on how my personal photography has been this year on the whole – a huge gaping hole.

I know I could’ve done much better with the personal film project, but here we are. Actually, if I had to use just one word to summarise 2011 it would be “compromise”. There were a lot of things I had to balance and yes, compromise in my life. Photography was at the centre of it all in one way or another funnily enough. :)

Apart from the usual ups and downs this past year was also full of travel. I had an amazing time in Florence, but stepped on the soil of France, Finland, Malta and Spain as well. I listened to some great music; my favourites were Ellie Goulding, The Feeling, Adele and Florence + The Machine to mention a few. I saw some great films (I loved True Grit!), read good books (and obsessed over the Tudor due to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall), saw some live bands (although didn’t always agree with my favourite artists reinventing them self – Sufjan Stevens, yes I’m talking to you!), but most of all this year was about family.

The year was filled with many happy occasions: a big birthday for my mum, which we celebrated with the extended family in London in August, my sister got her MA in November and I had a pretty awesome birthday party myself in May, too. :) I was so happy to spend Christmas with the immediate family just last week, a thing I am learning not to take for granted.

Work was… work. My career in my day job took a serious leap forward this year, and I had to take lots of leaps of faith along with it. I learned a lot, about people and about myself, and made some new, great friends along the way. Professional photography-wise I feel this year was my most confident one. I think I have found a good stride and have been incredibly happy to continue to work in the wedding industry, but I’ve not felt my most creative and this is something I aim to focus on next year.

As mentioned before the personal photography, especially towards the end of this year, has really taken a back seat. It has been another compromise I suppose, as the weight of the camera in my hand has reminded me so much of “work” that I couldn’t face taking any personal photos even when I had the time. Sad, but true.

For 2012 I have decided to work harder and a bit more flexibly on the personal side of my photography. Although there isn’t much evidence of it here, I have continued to take photos almost on daily basis. It’s mostly been on my mobile phone – first part of the year I snapped away with my Nokia N900 and lately I’ve been mesmerised by my new iPhone.

The iPhone has really changed the way I document and manage all aspects of my life. The ease of it has encouraged me to start the infamous 365 project (or 366 as next year is a leap year!), which means I will be taking a photo every day from 1st January 2012. To make myself take it all seriously (most 365 projects last about two months before fizzling out!) I have already set up a Flickr account for it AND plan to do weekly/monthly summaries here. I’m trying not to be hard on myself about it either, so it’s going to be means to an end – any photo will do, as long as I am shooting more personal things. :) Saying that, I think 2012 will be about quantity over quality! :D

As I look at my diary for 2012 the year is already filling up with some amazing things: weddings far away, lovely holidays planned (back to Cornwall!), exciting parties coming up, super family events. I am actually really looking forward to the New Year. It will bring with it change and challenges, but I am ready for it all.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012! I look forward spending more time with you all, too! Happy New Year! ♥

(this post is scattered with some favourite photos, old and new, from 2011 – taken with a range of equipment, as usual)