Memories of 2016 and a Year in Blogging

The first thing I have to say is a big fat Happy New Year! A little late I know, but I haven’t logged on here in a while. January always brings me hope, and renewed enthusiasm for all that is going to be achieved in the year. This year perhaps more than ever. The world as a whole is badly in need in of some stability, and some good news. 2016 was in many ways like a bad joke, a comedy of errors. Time and time again our mouths hung open in disbelief in hearing news that at best was sad and shocking, and at worst changed the world, and not for the better.

So last year was I think a strange year for most people, and left even the most confident person feeling a little uncertain and anxious. As the news got worse and worse as the year unfolded, oddly my career as a photographer and my little online space blossomed in a way I had really never expected. I made the conscious decision 12 months ago to really try and make a go of it, and I worked very hard all year to improve my photography and hopefully create content that was interesting and appealed to people. I began 2016 having only just started to work with a few brands, and earn money from styling and photography. I also began 2016 with over 100,000 less followers on Instagram than I have now.

I still can’t quite believe how well things have gone for me, and I’m very grateful to people who have followed along through the year. However with my blog I feel a lot less confident, and find myself questioning more what I am trying to do here. At the start of 2016 my blog was only 2 weeks old and I had little expectation or ideas of what I would achieve with it. Why did I start a blog? Because everyone else did?!? Hahaha of course that’s not the sole reason, but it was about extending myself beyond Instagram and creating something which would remain here if Instagram went up in smoke.

I have heard people say it’s foolish to have an entire career based on an app, and I think they are probably right

It’s a LOT of work to keep up with and hopefully grow an Instagram account, and we are all now at the mercy of the powers that be at there (whether it be a person, a computer or an algorithm, who knows?!) essentially choosing whose images are seen by the masses and whose are not. This is where I hoped my blog would come in, for me to create something which I could control, it couldn’t be deleted or hacked (or it could but but as long as you back it up you can build it right back again). It was also to share a little more – more photos, more thoughts, more of me.

I have mixed feelings about how I think it’s gone for me here. I don’t class myself as a writer, just someone who occasionally writes things. I would still never call myself a blogger, but rather a photographer who has a blog. I don’t really feel I’ve earned “blogger” yet. I still get nervous about publishing posts here and putting myself out there. Although my audience here is tiny (TINY!!) compared to Instagram, I have more faith in my abilities to portray myself through images than I do through words.

I am also rather in awe of the rest of the blogging community. In my effort to extend my reach this year I started a Twitter account and it has opened my eyes to so many well informed, hilarious, pithy and super talented bloggers. They know how to do vlogs, and have youtube channels, and understand code and SEO, and talk at blogging conferences and go away on bloggy and beautiful weekends together. I have to say I felt a little bit like I was back at school and in awe of the popular girls – their hair, clothes and confidence was all way superior to mine. After months of watching, reading and learning, I would say the blogging world is still not one I am involved in but seems like a friendly and supportive one, and

I am still in awe of the writing talents out there and how hard these people work

A year ago I never expected my blog to be a source of income for me, and I feel very lucky to have worked with some fantastic brands and been involved with some amazing projects. I’ve made some mistakes both here and on Instagram, but we live and learn don’t we! I am constantly learning more about my capabilities and what I am comfortable with photographing and promoting.

So a year that will probably go down in history as one of the worst, was really quite an amazing one for me professionally. However the news events did make me often question what I was doing though and why.

It is important? Does it matter? Does it matter if it doesn’t matter?

As I grew increasingly uncomfortable with things happening in the world around me, I got two very clear and distinct feelings. The first one is stand up and be counted. If it’s wrong, say it’s wrong. The voice of good needs to be heard loud and clear because the people who hate often shout the loudest. I felt strongly towards the end of last year that if I could make any difference at all, I wanted to. I still don’t know if I can or will, but I believe that is the right thing to do.

The second is quite contrasting, but I see no reason why they can’t go hand in hand. My children are young and thankfully fairly oblivious to the sad and awful things that happen in the world. They are also completely oblivious to a time when things were any different. And that is the way is should remain, for now. The time for them to learn the mistakes that we have made, and that it is their job to do better is not quite here yet. What is important now is for them to be safe, and happy, and loved. So my mind turns more to looking after what is closest to my heart and my home, to enjoy the little things, be more mindful, less wasteful of both time and resources. I want to teach my children to enjoy the great outdoors, to be kind and compassionate and to enjoy this world and the great beauty and diversity that is in it. I don’t wish to narrow their world, but to widen it and help them to love it.

So I will keep photographing these little moments of time, these small details of a life less ordinary

Because I think to notice the small things and to allow ourselves to find joy in them is important to feeling more content, and less angry with the world. I largely have photography to thank for helping me notice that there is beauty everywhere, and I plan to keep on rejoicing it.

Career wise, I hope 2017 will shape up to be an exciting year too. I already have three trips abroad planned for January and February which I’m incredibly excited about. I’m pushing myself further than ever before, and looking ahead to September when I will have both children at school and I very much hope to able to work full time on this. I would also like to blog more.. shorter, more frequent (and more confident) blog posts. We will see… 🙂

One last thing. I started doing the monthly collections of nine photos that compose the photo at the top two years ago, and when I see the whole collection together at the end of the year I’m glad I did (you can see 2015 here, my first ever blog post!). Although people always seem to enjoy seeing them I don’t think I’m doing to continue posting them on Instagram this year (maybe just for myself to put them together like this at the end?), I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

I will stop waffling on and wish you all a wonderful and peaceful year. And seeing as this is supposed to be about photos.. here are a few of my absolute favourites of the year. Of course including these little boys, who are my everything xx

memories of 2016 little boy in lavender

little boy holding tulips

family at sugarhouse studios

little boys cuddle in summer wheat field

little boys in greece

autumn light in the forest

little boys in the bath

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  • Reply Clare January 15, 2017 at 9:55 am

    You are so clever. And such a genuine writer. I love reading your blogs and I really think it will grow naturally for you. I’m so proud of you. You are not only a beautiful person, but an incredibly talented one. You may not always believe that, but that’s also a lovely trait of yours. However, you should take the compliments because they are very true. X

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 16, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Ah thank you Clare you’re very kind, and such a lovely friend. I’d never have got this started without you and Rod so a huge thank you for that, I still love my website. I hope 2017 will be a wonderful one for you xx

  • Reply Simone Wittgen January 15, 2017 at 11:39 am

    I loved to read your blogs this year. They are personal and honoust. Please continue. I admire your goals and results. I’m planning to make 2017 a wonderful year despite the sad things that may happen. I intens to focus on the positive things with some simular goals you had last year. Hugs! Simone

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 16, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thank you so much Simone, you’re so supportive. I hope 2017 will be great for you, we have to stay positive and do what we can I guess! I always love seeing your work, hope to see much more of it this year! xx

  • Reply Julia January 15, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    A gorgeous post my lovely friend, you inspired me with your round up collage last year and I am so happy with how it looks – totally in love with yours too. The colours are so very, well, you. But I am not planning to post them on Instagram this year, maybe putting them together and saving for 2017’s round up.
    You have been the most successful and inspirational Instagrammer and it’s so well deserved. Keep on doing what you do and here’s to a great new year xx

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 16, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Ah thank you Julia, it’s definitely worth the effort to see a year of pictures all together like this isn’t it! I adored yours as well, so clean and beautiful.
      Fingers crossed for a great year for us all xxx

  • Reply Helen Bailey January 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    This reads beautifully Hannah! I love how honest your writing is and don’t think you should change that. You have also developed and defined your style, which is beautiful I might add! Keep doing what you’re doing! H x

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Thanks so much Helen, I really really appreciate that! I hope 2017 will be a fab year for you xx

  • Reply Olena /@mangelka January 15, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    What a lovely and inspiring blog post and a year in review and am so happy to see that you have blossomed despite the difficulties in the world. Cheers to the new year and hope it is a calmer and kinder one in every aspect of our lifes. Cheers to better work/life balance and a lot less stress. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 16, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Thank you so much Olena, I’ve loved watching your online space blossom too, your work is always stunning! I hope 2017 will be a great year all round xxx

  • Reply Diana January 15, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I was very moved to read this and can only hope that 2017 is YOUR year, and that your hopes and dreams for yourself and the wider world all come to pass. Much love x

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Thank you so much, we have to keep believing and trying don’t we! Much love to you too xxx

  • Reply Tim January 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Captures the spirit of the time but optimism must remain.

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Thank you 🙂 it must indeed, it’s the only way forward xx

  • Reply suzanne marsden January 16, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Stunning and you got to be proud of your achievements and wish your 2017 to be a great one.

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Thanks so much Suzanne, I hope it’s a good year for you too. I wish you all the best xx

  • Reply Rachael Smith January 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Great Post Hannah. Hope 2017 surpasses all your expectations! This is my year for putting myself out there and making a go of this thing, so here’s hoping it can be even slightly as successful as last year was for you!

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Thanks very much Rachael, good luck with it. Your photography is fabulous and I always love reading your blog. Keep going and I wish you every success! x

  • Reply Wunderblumen January 16, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Oh my dear Hannah. You know I love following you and your blog from the first time I saw your beautiful photos . But it’s also your heartful way I love to be by your side. Sometimes I search for the right words. I love to follow your journey in 2017 …May your dreams come true Hannah. Much love to you, Daniela

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Thank you Daniela, you’re such a kind and supportive lady. I absolutely adore your photos and the little pieces of life you share! Thank you for your support and I wish you all the best for 2017 xx

  • Reply Elle Shotz January 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Hannah, I adore your natural flow and honesty, which makes for fluid writing and lovely to read. I’d say go with your unique and beautiful instinct as a mom and your love for nature… Surly, your blog will blossom. Pictures are thousand words and an image and not many people take the time to read blogs, if you focus on what’s close to your heart and what connects you to your blog audience, it’ll build up nicely in due time. I, for one, love your humble nature and enjoy reading what you have to say. As for sharing the collective monthly grids, I visited your 2015 and read your very first blog; so, would to see them. I can see why the image of your two boys cuddling in the wheatfields is one of your favorites; it’s precious! Hope this bit helps you in some way. 💕

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Thank you so much for your kind comment Elle! I really appreciate you taking the time and it’s lovely to read your thoughts xx

  • Reply Rhoda January 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Oh Hannah! I feel like you’ve so eloquently summed up how I feel about this year and what I’m trying to do with it (less numbers and pushing for me and more family, beauty and friendships). I only started following you maybe May-time I think and I’m in awe of your humility, kindness and generosity with others. It honestly shines! You have made me want to be a better photographer and write more eloquently too! (Totally true hon!) Look forward to your next images and blog posts whenever and wherever they come xx

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Ah thank you so much Rhoda, you’ve been so supportive over the last months and I really appreciate it! I love your images, I’m glad we connected through Instagram! I hope you have a great year and manage to achieve your goals xx

  • Reply Lauren January 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Oh Hannah you lovely lady you!

    I always enjoy reading your posts, and always feel I know you a little more at the end of them. So excited to see what 2017 brings for one of my faves xxx

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Thank you so much lovely lady, I’m always inspired by your gorgeous blog! Fingers crossed this year we might get to meet up somehow! xx

  • Reply Elizabeth January 16, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Hannah a lovely post, so pleased you have had such a successful wishing you even more for 2017. Your gallery on Instagram is always so inspirational and I enjoy following along with your journey. Keep doing what your doing. Elizabeth x

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Elizabeth, I adore your work and I’m really glad we connected! 2017 will be a very exciting year for you won’t it!! I wish you all the best xx

  • Reply Krissy @offheeveryday January 16, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    I so enjoyed reading this post, Hannah. I remember when I first joined instagram over the summer and came across your captures and blog – they were both inspirational. Your writing is so very human and raw, it feels like we are having a chat over a well-made cup of tea and biscuits. Truly. I hope 2017 brings everything you wished for and I look forward to following you along on your life adventures.

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Thank you so much Krissy, you’ve been so supportive over the last few months, it’s much appreciated. I love seeing your imaginative and creative daily images, looking forward to more this year! Maybe we’ll get to meet over real tea and biscuits! x

  • Reply Ann Davis January 17, 2017 at 6:23 am

    I love reading your blogs and following your work. But it doesn’t always happen, so I always get so excited when I You pass by my feed. Do what feels right for you. It will all fall in place

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 11:01 am

      Hi Ann, thanks so much for your lovely comment. I wish you all the best for this year, and I do appreciate you stopping by xx

  • Reply Helen January 17, 2017 at 8:12 am

    A lovely blog post. I have similar ambitions for this year and can’t wait to see how it all goes. Looking forward to reading more of your posts, too xx

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Thank you so much by reading Helen! (one whose writing talent in am in awe of ;)) I hope you achieve your goals this year and it’s a great one for you, I look forward to following along xx

  • Reply Savitri January 17, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Beautifully written! Loved your photos since I first started using my IG publicly in Feb. So glad we could connect via that media and hope to see whatever you come up with here. I used to blog everyday but it got me. Now, I am not pressuring myself and just see how it goes. I just need a space to share my knowledge and right now the blog fits well. Enjoy the journey!!

    • Reply Hannah Argyle January 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thank you so much for popping by Savitri! I absolutely love your images and your captions, so I’m looking forward to reading your blog too. I found it too exhausting when I put pressure on myself to write, but occasionally it all comes tumbling out! I hope you enjoy blogging again this year and I look forward to following along. Best wishes for the new year, Hannah x

  • Reply Family Affairs January 17, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    You will no doubt grow as you get more used to your blog so keep it up. I am in the opposite position to you. Been blogging for 10 years but can’t take photos and whilst I’ve recently started insta it’s not somewhere I feel comfortable because my photos are hopeless! So you are in a much better position than me – but if you want any help, let me know!

  • Reply Kat January 17, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    You 100% are a blogger and no one would dispute it x

  • Reply Jules February 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    So I read this right back when you posted it and tried to comment and it wouldn’t let me, so am trying again now. You’re doing such an amazing job and are an inspiration to me in this funny Instagram and blogging world of ours and it’s be a joy to watch you flying as you are lady. Hope you’re well and that we can catch up soon xxx

    • Reply Hannah Argyle February 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Thank you lovely, you are so supportive and I bloody love that I’ve made friends like you through all of this. I so hope we can meet up again soon too xxx

  • Reply Claire - This Little House February 10, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Well I for one love to read your words. I’m so thrilled to see what 2016 brought for you, much deserved. I remember loving and being inspired by your pictures back when you had just over a 1000 followers, needless to say that has absolutely not changed!! You are flying and I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings xx

    • Reply Hannah Argyle February 10, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Ah thank you so much Claire, I can’t believe how long we’ve known each other now! I remember when Caleb was only about a year old I think, and Archie wasn’t even on the horizon yet! It’s been lovely to see you grow too, much love and all the best for 2017 xx

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