I quit a really good job. Was it worth it?

On the eve of filming my last wedding of the season, I find myself sitting on the shores of Lake Wanaka reflecting.

Reflecting BIG time (and admittedly calming the inevitable night before nerves). It’s hard not to reflect when I actually think about what’s played out for my family and I over the last 7 months.

As many of you know, I took a BIG gamble last year. I quit a bloody good job and career as a primary school teacher. It really was a good job. Awesome kids, brilliant colleagues and a damn good salary. I was grateful for this.

But I wasn’t satisfied. I was desperate for a new challenge and now I’ve had 7 months to reflect….

I’ve loved spending more time with my family. Having our @the.mint.trip caravan is a real asset to both the family and business. We’re forging great memories as a family on the road.  My kids can see that I love what I do and that’s, as they say, priceless. They feel…they are part of the business too. The other day Stella was home sick but I needed her to do some artwork for some couples’ cards. She proudly told her Nana that this was “her job for Weka Films”. That’s so cool. She’s got ownership too.

Walter hasn’t quite grasped what a wedding is yet. He’s just rolling with the good times. But heck, it only seems to dawn on most grooms what a wedding is the morning of their wedding! Walt pokes his head through the door of the studio and sees his Daddy’s head bopping and knows that everything is okay.

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I’ve enjoyed watching Heather’s amusement when I’m ‘stressing’ over whether that shot makes the bride look less or more beautiful or whether that music is perfect for that moment…because she’s got perspective. We look at each other in that moment with a shared acknowledgement of the past. I see her mind contrasting my new ‘stresses’ with the stresses of old…and then we go to bed. And we actually sleep. I often overhear Heather tell friends how happy I now am. That makes me happy because I know how symbiotic happiness is in a strong relationship.

The best part of this job is being chosen; being chosen by couples to capture the most important day of their lives.

This industry is flooded with some phenomenal creatives. So being chosen from a pool of such talent is huge. I don’t take this responsibility lightly. I embrace it.

 …so to honour all the amazing couples I thought I’d share a memory – in one sentence – from their day. I’ve also linked their film so go on, take this journey with me…

 6 October 2018
Corinne + Andre, Queenstown
Having my breath taken away by the view from the ceremony, on balcony of the Heritage.

 20 October 2018
Marita + Ritchie, Wellington
Jumping from the boat on to the marina, knowing that I only had minutes to set-up for the ceremony!

 3 November 2018
Alicia + Pete, Wanaka
Having my shoes covered in cow pat after your couples shoot and trying to figure out how to mask this at the reception!

10 November 2018
Renata + Josh, Oamaru
That horse.

16 November 2018
Fiona + Sam, Wanaka
Sam’s reaction when seeing you for the first time.

 23 November 2018
Kirsty + James, Christchurch
Watching James’s face when the Barber swung that towel.

 30 November 2018
Ashleigh + Chris, North Canterbury
How cool you guys made everything look – especially that dance!

 1 December 2018
Nicole + Danny, Pines Beach
When your daughter sang that waiata.

 7 December 2018
Anna + Nick, Mount Cook
The scale and grandeur of every shot – no matter where I pointed the camera!

 29 December 2018
Sabine + Matt, Hurunui
How connected you two were to the land and how overwhelmingly right the whole day felt. 

 5 January 2019
Amy + Bob, Christchurch
Amy’s insane energy on the dance floor.

 12 January 2019
Morgan + Josh, Oamaru
When you showed me that you could see each other’s houses you grew up in AND the venue all from the same hill.

 19 January 2019
Charlotte + Daniel, Hokitika
Your courageous decision to stick with ‘plan a’ and get married in a West Coast storm (was there ever really a plan B?)

 2 February 2019
Aleisha + Jono, Marlborough Sounds
Those whacky, risque’ speeches!

 9 February 2019
Dennita + David, Hanmer Springs
The look of terror on your face when it finally dawned on you that you were about to jump off a bridge!

 15 February 2019
Rhodal + Zach, Christchurch
A wedding bursting with love, positive energy and an insanely fun bridal party!

 16 February 2019
Sarah + Scott, Christchurch
That haka – because Hakas are cool.

23 February 2019
Lilly + Kristie, Christchurch
Nothing is cooler than two brides playing rugby.

7 March 2019
Ashleigh + Connor, Christchurch
Mum’s reading.

15 March 2019
Stacey+David, Glenfalloch Station
That venue - jeepers creepers (…& the whole losing my drone saga but I’m at peace with it now)

27 March 2019
Deena + Andrew, Lake Hawea
That magical waiata.

6 April 2019
Charmaine + Brent, Christchurch
The vows you made to your very special step-daughter.

23 April 2019
Nikki + Wayne, Hanmer Springs
The uniqueness of your ceremony - whiskey’s on us!

26 April 2019
Gemma + Tom, Wanaka
How super organised and camera-friendly the groomsmen were when I arrived!

4 May 2019
Jessica + Jeremy, Wanaka (film being premiered next week!)
Thinking your sister had broken her leg, but she was actually screaming with joy when seeing your ceremony site!

Krista + Michael
….lets just see what happens!

Yeah, it’s definitely been worth it.