At the beginning of 2017 there was a fair amount of uncertainty in our lives. In 2016 we had experienced the incredible joy of our daughter being born but also doubt and uncertainty as the local economy shuddered to a halt. We knew that 2017 was going to bring…. something. We just didn’t know what, when, where or how.
If you’d said to me then that I’d cover more miles than ever before to make some of the best work of my career and spend time with some of the nicest people in some of the most beautiful places on earth I truly wouldn’t have believed you. If you’d told me I’d write my first book, speak in front of hundreds of people at camera clubs and start a new series of photography events for the local photo-community I wouldn’t have believed you. If you’d told me I’d plan and fill my first photo safari in the Maasai Mara I wouldn’t have believed you. And, to cap it all, if you’d said I’d end the year by being featured in Outdoor Photography magazine, well, I wouldn’t have believed that either!
As I said, there have been photography highlights aplenty – ascending Storr on a snowy winter morning for an epic sunrise, locking eyes with lions in the Maasai Mara just a week later, standing alone facing the Atlantic Ocean on Dalmore Bay on the Isle of Lewis, almost being blown away on Harris the next day, falling into a waterfall at Sligachan, perching atop the sea wall at St Monans, that perfect morning at Loch Earn and being zapped by an electric fence near Montrose are just a few. OK, getting zapped was only funny in hindsight.
I met some great people too, most notably – Graham, Ken, Asle, RJ, Noaman, Monica, Lena and the Spanish man who pulled me out of the waterfall. You each made an impact on me and I’m grateful to have met you all.
My most favourite memories of this year, however, have been times spent with my daughter. It’s a huge blessing that my work allows me to the flexibility to spend so much time with her. She won’t remember being in the Land Cruiser in the Mara, being sung to by the women of a Maasai village, seeing giraffes up close, visiting ‘home’ in Eldoret, taking her first steps, saying her first words, seeing the penguins swim at the zoo, going sledging for the first time, going to her first dance class, zooming on the trolley in the supermarket or going to Duthie Park to see the turtles and the frog robot. But I will. I’ll hold them as some of the most precious things I have, much much more valuable than any photograph.
Of course, there have been a few lows and I’ve felt them just as vividly as the highs. Overall, however, I’ll remember 2017 as a good year and one which I was a better person at the end of than at the beginning. I held back less and embraced more – I’ll try to keep that up.
Thanks to everyone who as supported me this year – you know who you are. Stick around for 2018 – the best is yet to come! Here are some photos in no particular order.