Its nearing the end of the year and as many will do its that time to look back and reflect on the year gone by. It’s easy for us to just list all the good things that happened so I will reflect on some of the bad which I haven’t shared with others on social.
At the start of 2018 I was unsure how the year would pan out, prior to Christmas having just been made redundant and was on a low from this. Regardless of age, being made redundant is difficult and not something everyone expects but at 25, I was devastated and really shook my confidence.
It’s important to remember in these situations that you may not have control of everything so all you can do is your best, pick yourself up, brush off the dirt and plod on and that’s what I did and thanks for to my family, girlfriend, the ladies in my new job at Brand Pilot and the guys in the TwitterTogFest who supported me and made SnowdoniaTogFest2017 such a laugh.
January like most years is pretty uneventful in terms of photography and I remember it raining an awful lot but with the new job in full swing a lot of my time moved from outdoor photography and doing my own thing to video, animation and spending a lot more time focused on the day job. Drastic change compared to before Christmas.
In the following few months the achievements kept rolling in with my outdoor, expedition book being published with Kozu Books, my Duke of Edinburgh Gold award presentation at Buckingham Palace, becoming a Vanguard Photo ambassador and moving in with my girlfriend.
With all these amazing highlights it’s great but you feel a little underwhelmed when nothing happens the following month and you feel you need to keep on a high and it wasn’t to long until the next big blow to motivation and work happened.
Another redundancy… Yep you read correct. Two in less than 5 months, what shit luck with work is that! Fortunately not my main role which brings in the money but one of my bigger passions and enjoyments in life being an outdoors leader for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, feeling sad and gutted was putting it mildly. Several months on it’s still raw as to why the decisions were made to close the units. I won’t go in to the reasons why and politics behind it all but to put it simply it was stupid and blind sighted decision on many peoples part which has spoilt the award for kids involved.
This was one of the final straws for myself. I was getting sick and tired of my fate being decided by others and it was the small people being left hung out with no explanation and struggling to continue after. This was the catalyst and tipping point for me this year where I’ve said enough is enough, stop making excuses and start doing stuff for yourself again.
Which is selfish, I agree but for my own self-esteem and keeping a roof over my head and money to continue coming in I had to make the decision to leave all my other voluntary roles and stop working for free and put my focus in to myself with my website, reviews, photography and trips away.
Since this decision I have ramped up the photography and in hindsight now was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time and the past 5 months has been pretty amazing and social with other likeminded people. Thanks to Grant, Jim and Gareth who I’ve joined on several outings now across Wales and they’ve helped lift my spirits and feeling bitter about the DofE situation and continued the fun of expeditions, wild camps and outings.
So thank you gents! Very much looking forward to our future camps and trips we’ve discussed for 2019.
The year has been pretty turbulent with work but as a whole it’s been an enjoyable year and in the last few months I end 2018 on a high. I have now been working with MyOutdoors for two years, in October I was involved in a number of special features with Home of Millican and ThryveWorld, after a year of working with Snugpak I have been made a brand ambassador and joined 11 amazing photographers in the DiscoverCymru 2019 calendar, and although a wet week, SnowdoniaTogFest2018 was another great laugh and plenty of photographs of the back of this trip. Many of which I have put forward to OPOTY which will be my final competition as 2019 I will be moving away from competitions and focusing on educating, workshops, more photography and outings with other togs. All the fun things verse the stresses of social media and competitions.
So without further a due, thank you to all you for the support and making this past year, one to remember!
Thank you to:
The teams at Vanguard Photo UK, Spain and US, Snugpak, Home of Millican, Wigwam Socks, ThryveWorld, DiscoverCymru, VisitWales, Visit Brecon Beacons, Time to Log Off, 84.5mm filters, Click and Learn Photography, MyOutdoors, LType, The TwitterTogFest group, Jim Cossey, Gareth Danks, Grant Hyatt, all the brands who I’ve worked with on reviews and features and finally the brilliant ladies at Brand Pilot Ltd.
My most popular photo of 2018 is my “Hot Hikes on the Carmarthen Fans” which was taken at the end of a long and hot 12 mile hike over the Brecon Beacons and finishing at a lake called Llyn y Fan Fawr.
Features in the DiscoverCymru 2019 calendar and Landscape Photography Magazine Galleria winner