January doesn't have the same effect on me that it does to some others; it doesn't inspire me to turn vegan, paint everything a different colour, buy a plant, learn Mandarin or adopt a new 'skin regime'...whatever one of those is. Nor do I blanket ban all alcohol (though I usually consume less after the excesses of, to be frank, the whole of December!) - the month feels long enough as it is!
The start of the year, for me, is a time for SELF-ASSESSMENT. Financially (obviously, in the form of a painful and tedious few days of tax submission), but also in terms of my goals, my health and happiness, my career and my relationships.
Part of looking back on my year of work as an assistant and my personal development as a photographer includes taking a few hours and going through everything I've shot that I considered 'finished shots', or 'FINALS', as the folder is named. It's interesting isn't it, when you go back? What you still like and what you've changed your mind on? What you'd do differently and what you missed the first time round? Does anyone enjoy this process?
Last week I submitted some of the final shots that made the cut to the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards. I’ve done it for a couple of years now, and as a personal rule I only ever enter images I’ve shot in the past year. It’s a nice way to look back on my tests and how my style progresses, how the seasons affect my lighting as well as the food we shoot and how much I go through phases of inspiration! The submission itself fills me with drive and ideas for 2018's collaborations as I'm pleased to say I've had a lot more to enter this year than previous years - a trend I hope continues!
The empty plate above is a happy full stop on 2017 and a symbol of the possible shoots, potential jobs and new ideas that 2018 may bring. For now, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed an entry makes the shortlist, looking forward to actually getting to see the exhibition this year! and getting the next test organised...
...oh, and starting February with a nice glass of wine.