2023 has been a huge year as always for me, with lots of different things happening both personally and in business.

Early on in the year I had a painful weekend suffering kidney stones.  That put me in hospital for a couple of days vomiting and out of action with an operation to fix the stones.  I bounced back after a few days but then had that bad flu doing the rounds.  That was awful and took a few good weeks to recover.

Back in April I went up to Rockhampton for a photography conference. I had to give a short talk to the conference delegates and had a great time meeting new people, catching up with old friends and learning from photography speakers as well as the practical events. I attended the best light painting event I have been to. I went with my friend in her motorhome and that was a fun experience too. We were like Thelma and Louise heading north.

Just before the conference I was asked to take over the Chair role of the Judges Executive Committee looking after all the judges in Queensland. So I stepped up into that role and run the monthly meetings by Zoom. Always nice to see my fellow judges on the Zoom meeting. It’s meant a lot of extra work behind the scenes organizing things, talking to people, sending emails and editing documents, but we have a great team. I also stepped up into the Vice President role of the Photography Society of Queensland.

I have done a lot of judgings both in person and via software for clubs so far this year with more to go, and I spent a huge day over the weekend judging at the Ekka in Brisbane.

I’ve continued to enjoy shooting video as well as some interesting outings, doing a lot of camping, and some cool opportunities for my photography both personally and professionally, and using my drone. I have shot models and buses again this year plus head shots for business people and some other fun stuff, and written a few Blog posts on social media and our mental health and about camera safety.

I have been working hard on my photography design business which is at ppddesigns.com. I have made a lot of sales in my two Etsy stores as well, and continually strive to come up with new and better designs and products plus learn more of the ins and outs of marketing. The other day I worked out that since 2020 I have had to learn 41 different systems for my store. Print on demand providers, marketing websites, selling platforms etc. It’s been a huge learning curve.

This year I started making and selling massage oil candles too. They are candles in 8 oz white tins with beautiful scents like Frangipani, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, and Cinnamon Stick but they double as hot massage oil. They are completely non toxic and easy to use. The soy wax burns to just above body temperature so they don’t burn you like normal wax would. Great for romantic date nights. I enjoy using them as warm hand moisturizer too. It’s great on cold nights in front of the tv. I light one of my massage candles and pour the hot wax onto my hands and massage it in. It’s great. These are on my design store. Secure shopping at: ppddesigns.com.

I also got to work with the very talented singer Luke Harrison who I have known since he was just a young teenager. Now he is hitting the music charts with songs and I’m very proud of him. We did a photography session at the Powerhouse Museum so one of my shots could be used for his song launch. Was a lot of fun.

This year we welcomed a puppy and a baby into the family with our son who got married a few years back, and celebrated the beautiful wedding of our second son.

Our Christmas photography business I run with a couple of other lady photographers is gearing up for Christmas and will be a huge time.  We are nearly booked out before we even start shooting.  It’s such a special time to make Christmas memories for our clients. Some have come back every year since 2015 when we started. We have watched their children grow and each year we gain a whole lot of new clients too. We love working with our Santas and are always coming up with new props and new poses to keep things fresh. Bookings are at: SantaBeachPhotos.com.

Our first day of shooting I will be on the beach for a few hours then at a Diwali Party to cover the event for the same people I worked for last year.  I was also privledged to shoot a 50th anniversary party of the Beefsteak and Burgundy Club in Brisbane earlier this year.  Wine lovers that come together to drink wine and eat amazing food.  It was a fantastic and memorable evening.

Cheers to a happy and safe rest of 2023 and beyond.