Monday, 25 June 2012

For everyone: The post wedding blues and how it led me here

I've mentioned before the 'for photographers' series I wanted to introduce, which is still in it's infancy but I think that this has a much wider message.

A while back I was in discussion with a well known magazine about doing an article on the post wedding blues, I haven't heard anything but until then I'd almost forgotten my story, and I thought that I'd share it for the benefit of brides to be, or any other interested parties.

I got the post wedding blues badly - there was probably a time when Joss (Mr Gillard) was thinking 'what the fuck' and wondering what/who he had married. Looking back it seems such a distant part of me, I almost forgot it had happened. This is the story, in part of how I came to be a photographer, and how I found myself again through creativity.

Apparently for some women, the change in their marital status and the loss of their single identity causes anxiety, for me it was about all kinds of silly stuff, but that silly stuff became so all consuming that it really ruined the first few months of married life. After our wedding in 2009 I kept looking back and picking at the bits that weren't perfect - we had an issue with the routemaster bus we'd hired, the dancefloor wasn't as packed as it could have been, the cakes didn't look like I wanted, as I said - silly things but they were silly things which began to take over my life. Secretly, I'd wanted the honour of having it featured on a blog, I'd wanted everything perfect and things had been imperfect, or so I saw it. This began to consume me and I fixated on the things that were wrong, rather than the things that were wonderful, such as the adventure of married life together, or being in love. We argued over our honeymoon, planned for January the following year; I started to be difficult to work with, I cried spontaneously.

I'd suffered depression before but this was different. One day, a few weeks after the wedding we went to collect the cake stands from the reception venue. Two of them had gotten broken and were rattling in the boot of the car. I insisted we pull over; the nearest place was the carpark of a commercial estate with a B&Q and a supermarket. I pulled them out of the boot and, in floods of tears, stuffed them into a bin. Shouting and cursing that they just reminded me of what might have been. Did I mention that Joss thought 'what the fuck?', and at this point I genuinely believe he was questioning his decision to marry his girlfriend of 9 years.

It was after this I knew something had to give - why, despite being in a loving relationship, a good and stable career and with a podgy but beautiful cat; was I feeling this way. I think for me it was that all my planning, all my external creativity focused on DIY projects, reading blogs and magazines, all the excitement had ceased and that away from my day job my creative outlet was gone. it left me feeling empty; the buzz had gone. I decided I needed a hobby. Something to focus all of that frustrated energy.

I'd had an old SLR, which was broken beyond repair, so as a quick fix solution I bought a Holga. I knew about film, and I wanted to take pictures. Hoping that an outlet of some kind would help. It did. I was addicted. I snapped friends whenever they would let me, took it to parties, took photos of buildings.
My friend Naomi...
Hackney gas works

I began to fill rolls of film, joined online discussion groups, shared my images, talked about the best labs, the best film and began to become thoroughly obsessed. By the time our honeymoon rolled around, 6 months later, the whole thing was documented a la Holga.
Standing proudly atop the Coba ruins mexico10042 Isla Mujeres cemetary mexico10027 Floating in the Muyil river Mr and Mrs Gillard Merida street scene Gran Plaza Merida

These pictures document the change in me, the start of a burning passion and a marked difference in how I saw things. After that I started saving for my first DSLR, and the rest is fairly well documented from here on in. I bought a Lubitel, below is one of the images from the first film reel processed and one of the very first I took with my D90
Lubitel in Cromer Macarons Pierre Herme

So the post wedding blues (a term as damningly vague as the baby blues) - led me full circle. To photographing weddings and now I love every second of it. Each day is about two people in love, and the lives they're going to lead after they say 'I do'. It isn't about the bunting, or the lanterns or the dress (it is about the dress, a bit). Now I look back on the day with only fond, happy memories. I remember the friends and family who came, who threw confetti and danced and drank and toasted. That's what you'll remember too. Being in love is amazing - always remember that and never, ever sweat the small stuff. I have the most amazing, supportive husband, but it could have cost me my relationship, and lost me my best friend.

I'm so happy that this has led me here, and always grateful to be able to say I turned my frustration into creativity, turned it round into something beautiful.

Finally, here's some of my favourite images of the day

Wedding photos copyright A J Williams photography
Photobooth images courtesy of Say Fromage By the way, although I don't offer one, I totally recommend having a photobooth. It was great to have both the 'proper' pictures and the stupid drunk, fancy dress ones too!
all other photos by me.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Morgan and Dan {engaged}

Although there's a bit of my heart that wants to shoot engagement sessions in beautiful woods, or fields of wildflowers, I'm an urban creature at heart and one of my favourite urban locations is Angel. Morgan & Dan met there (actually just off Pentonville Road) and were super fun to hang out with, despite the unpredictable British weather.
  Morgan & Dan low res-2Morgan & Dan low res-13 Morgan & Dan low res-14 Morgan & Dan low res-15 Morgan & Dan low res-18 Morgan & Dan low res-19 Morgan & Dan low res-22 Morgan & Dan low res-24 Morgan & Dan low res-67Morgan & Dan low res-66 Morgan & Dan low res-29 Morgan & Dan low res-31Morgan & Dan low res-32 Morgan & Dan low res-33Morgan & Dan low res-34 Morgan & Dan low res-39Morgan & Dan low res-40 Morgan & Dan low res-42 Morgan & Dan low res-68Morgan & Dan low res-69 Morgan & Dan low res-44 Morgan & Dan low res-47 Morgan & Dan low res-48 Morgan & Dan low res-49 Morgan & Dan low res-63 Morgan & Dan low res-65