So there’s another year gone and who would have thought Covid would still have been such a big issue now as it was almost 2 years ago?
2021 certainly had its challenges for us here at Helen Spiegl Photography. Although we spent almost 8 months unable to work due to various lockdowns and restrictions, I was kept very busy keeping up to date with lots of online training and webinars on Zoom. I must confess that out of site I was probably still in my scruffy jodhpurs!
Living in such a rural area does give some clients a nervous glimpse of country life as they bounce up the hillside on their way to the studio. Although the weather can be somewhat unpredictable, we love it here and not a day went by throughout lockdown when we didn’t appreciate how fortunate we were being able to walk the dog and ride straight from the door.
I count myself very lucky to have some lovely and very dear friends in the photography world and we have and continue to support each other through these uncertain times. We all go through worries and insecurities within our profession and it’s so reassuring to be able to share the pressures with others who understand our challenges.
Another thing I have noticed is that many more people realise the importance of creating special family memories and there has been an increase in Family Country shoots and my White Box Family fun shoots. I am more than happy for clients to include their pets as they are most definitely part of the family and it’s lovely to have those images for even the smallest of children to look back on when they are grown and their beloved pet is no longer with them.
I sometimes get approached to support various charities with raffle or auction prizes and decided that as my subjects are mainly animals I wanted to support a charity that was focused on helping people but with a link to animals. A couple of years ago I decided to use my skills to raise funds for Support Dogs UK, (they train and provide assistance dogs to children with autism, seizure alert dogs to adults with epilepsy and assistance dogs to disabled adults.
This year I ran a 30 in 30 Fundraiser during September and a lucky 30 people received a FREE pet photo session plus print worth over £200 for only a £25 donation to Support Dogs UK. I am really happy to report that since I began fundraising, your lovely cats and dogs have raised over £2000 for this amazing charity! (I may offer this again this spring so keep an eye out for it!)
Every month I enter a few of my favourite images for a critique from the Master Photographer Association. This critiques are invaluable and it’s so interesting not only listening to the critiques of my own images, but also seeing images by other photographers and learning how I can improve my craft.
I can’t tell you how thrilled (and surprised) I have been to have won 5 Gold Awards, a Silver plus a couple of Highly Commended awards over the year. I have also had many of my images through to the finals of the XP awards! All in all, it’s been a pretty successful year so it is lovely to be able to share these successes with the clients whose images were featured.
I hope you enjoy these images; just a few from 2021 ...
Wishing you all a happy. healthy and prosperous 2022. I look forward to seeing some of you in the studio soon!