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2014

It’s fair to say that last year threw me way too many curveballs. There have been some amazing highs – a trip to end all trips back to Europe, bumming round London, Derbyshire, Lake Como, Switzerland and then meeting one of my oldest friends in the US for their wedding. I did my first public speaking engagements, stepped up my work all round and took (privately) what I consider to be some of my best photos ever.

And yet I’ve got more grey hair than ever, am working way too hard, photography for myself is proving illusive and I’ve spent a lot of the last six months or so reeling from losing possibly my closest friend of the last six years suddenly through suicide.

And so, at Xmas this year, I headed down South to New Zealand’s stunning South Island, really seeing the landscape outside of Christchurch for the first time. The reason was the wedding of the lady I call my Kiwi sister and her wedding to one of the coolest blokes I’ve met. She’s my Kiwi sister because her family have become almost like my own since moving here. It was an awesome wedding, humble in nature, but overflowing with love and genuine heartfelt emotion.

And the day after I sat back with my Kiwi family watching in New Year. We’d had our BBQ, we were sitting out in the cold waiting for midnight to chime in. We were miles from anywhere in a little set of cabins near Lake Brunner with beautiful skies. My Kiwi sister’s actual brother got me talking about how the camera sees those skies, and I decided to shoot this picture, my first and only attempt at shooting the night sky properly.

I’ve sat looking at this image on my hard drive now for a good couple of months and wonder if seeing in that night with my closest friends and pseudo family looking up at something so pure and unspoiled and I wonder if it’s not a way of starting clean? A new dawn, a clear sky and clear slate and a new year to try and get things back on track.

I hope so.

Harry – you might not think much of daring me to take this photo, but to me, it means quite a lot. I feel honoured to have spent those few days with you and your family. Truly humbled to have people like you in my life.