Self-Employment and Getting Away -to Avoid Burn Out

Being self-employed is firstly something I love and I’m not sure I could ever work for someone again. Why? simple, I get to do everything I love and the satisfaction that I’ve done it for me and of course my fabulous clients plus I get to travel to new places and have lots of cool adventures along the way – what’s there not to love right?

Well, there are a few niggles and disadvantages of being self-employed. It’s not all rosey, I work long hours, never really switch off (as I write this blog on a rainy Sunday afternoon camping). I don’t get sick pay or a pension nor am I entitled to holiday pay. I work seven days a week most weeks but I find gratitude in this (the working side) the monetary side is of course very seasonal, so careful budgeting is required and I’m certainly not great at this and something I need to work heavily on. I’m not complaining whatsoever though, I’m happy enough. So this Bank Holiday weekend after back to back weddings every weekend in August, I have gone camping. Switching off (albeit I filmed a wedding yesterday and am doing blog posts now) but decided to combine that wedding with time out with my husband who is also self-employed and has been non-stop the last three weeks. It’s raining outside so why not use this downtime to write a little blog post…. ūüėä

My recent days have been spent on a gorgeous campsite in Worcestershire situated next to the River Seven. It has ducks, chickens, Pygmy goats and offers fishing and lots of walking. It’s really beautiful and tranquil. Even listening to the rain is nice and today is chilling out winding down from yesterday’s 14 hour day. The evening Sunsets here are beautiful – there is just a calming presence here and just what we needed. Ok doubt they’ll be a colourful sunset today.

The only camera I have purposely taken out with me is my iPhone. I’m happy, loving life and taking care of myself as not to burn out! I think I’ve rambled on enough now but my message to anyone self-employed is to get away from time to time and switch off even if it’s just for an hour, she says ūüėČ. Appreciate all you have and the life you live, no matter where you are and take a moment to close your eyes and breathe!

Dog’s beginning with A

Continuing with dog breeds I’ve photographed over the last couple of years, I had the pleasure of photographing two gorgeous Airedale’s, which lets face it, are big teddies. ¬† With their tight curls and square beards, they are beautiful terriers and it might just surprise you that their coat is very soft!

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Dog’s beginning with A

Hello, been a few weeks since the last blog. ¬†As summer is here and it’s very hot outside, it’s a little too warm for dog photoshoots after 11.00am and not before 6.00pm, so I’ve been coming up with some new ideas which I hope to announce later on this week.

In the meantime, I thought I’d go through the different dog breeds I’ve had the honour of photographing in the last couple of years. ¬†The first dog I’d love to share is the Australian Shepherd Dog. ¬†A truly beautiful dog and I cannot wait to photograph another one :). ¬†The photos shown here are taken during my One day dog photoshoots that I offer from September onwards. ¬†I appreciate that not everyone likes to be outdoors so yes I will be offering full indoor dog photoshoots very soon, so please watch this space! ¬†If you’d like to receive more information on my indoor dog portrait sessions, then please do drop me an email at tracey@tmsphotography.co.uk

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Engagement Shoot – Bradgate Park

I love Bradgate Park in Leicestershire for many reasons. Aside from it being the ancestral home of Lady Jane Grey (The Nine Day Queen), it boasts from beautiful views across the valley which are steeped in history, beauty and wildlife.  Anyone who knows me, knows how I love history especially the Tudor/Stuart era, so this place is great to me.  Endless walks and pretty scenery at every turn.

The deer at Bradgate Park are infamous and seemingly they are adored by all. ¬†It’s a beautiful place to walk around. ¬†Dan and Dani chose Bradgate Park for their engagement session because it’s so pretty. ¬†I’m sure you’ll agree the surroundings and a such a loving handsome couple make it perfect.

Here are few photos from Dan and Dani’s engagement shoot.

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Snowdon – A Walk he Says, No problem!

So last May, I went away for a long weekend with Barry (the husband) to Wales. ¬†We stayed at a local campsite within the Snowdonia National Park¬†in a teeny village called Betws Garmon and the campsite is called¬†Bryn Gloch. It’s a beautiful campsite with lovely views of Snowdonia and runs alongside the banks of River Gwyrfai. ¬†It also has a little Train Station which runs via Bryn Gloch to Porthmadog. On some days it runs Steam Trains which I so lovely to see. ¬†I’m not into trains but there is something oh so fascinating about Steam Trains.

Our trip to Snowdon was in essence to climb up and down the largest mountain in England and Wales. ¬†On this particular occasion, we chose the¬†Rhyd Ddu Path which¬†¬†used to be known as the Beddgelert Path since it was from this village that walkers started their journey to the summit. ¬†A little bit about the path…

Distance: 8.5 miles (there and back)
Total Climb: 895m (2,936 ft)
Time: Approx 6 hours (there and back)
Start and Finish: Rhyd Ddu Car Park (SH 571526 / LL54 6TN)
Map: OS Explorer OL17
Parking: Pay and Display Rhyd Ddu Car Park (SH 571 526 / LL54 6TN)
Sherpa Bus Stop: End of Rhyd Ddu Car Park

It’s not an easy path to climb it gets incredibly rocky nearer the summit you get. ¬†It’s not for the faint hearted and a reasonable level of fitness is needed. ¬†The scenery around every turn is just stunning on a clear day. ¬†It’s breathtaking in more ways than one ;). ¬†We even got to the cafe in time to have a chill out, fuel up with more food and drink before the long walk back down! ¬†Would I do it again, oh yes definitely. ¬†It’ll be planned for next year.

We wanted to walk Snowdon in readiness for our Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. ¬†Just one peak and a large one at that was challenging enough let alone three on the same day (albeit smaller). ¬†Lucky for us on the day we chose to walk, the weather was perfect as it can be very changeable and it stayed that way for the descent. ¬†We’ve been twice before over the years and wow it changes very quickly! ¬†The best part, reaching the Summit – be prepared as it’s a tad breezy. ¬†Excuse the more personal snaps but we love (that is hubby and I) life and our little travelling adventures!

Here are just a few snaps I took on my little journey up Snowdon taken with my Panasonic Lumix (point and click teeny camera). Perfect for carrying in a ruck sack!  There are some photos of the campsite showing off their beautiful walks of nature!

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Kind Words

As a photographer I love receiving kind words from clients and such like. ¬†It makes me feel happy and very proud not just in myself but for the client’s I have the great honour in working with. ¬† Photography is not the easiest of jobs to do but it is highly rewarding.

To receive kind words from a fellow photographer is in two words, utterly fabulous.  I put 110% effort in anything photography related.  My heart and soul goes into everything I do, I work hard and I try to remain as creative as can be.  Just this week, I received some feedback from photographer George of U and Eye Photography that I thought I would share.  I had no inkling that such feedback would be received and I was totally taken aback.

My kind words received from George (I first worked as his assistant back in February 2015).

“I have been working with Tracey Marie Smith a few years now. She was the second photographer a few weeks ago at a wedding we photographed and wow did she deliver with the photos she took. She has a great gift for picking out some stunning images. She is really easy going and very helpful and makes for a great person to work with. She managed to get photos from so many different angles; some I am sure are quite impossible. Thanks Tracey for all your hard work and I look forward to working with you again at the next wedding we have booked together.ūüėÉ

To check out her fantastic work you can visit her webpage at http://www.tmsphotography.co.uk

She also has some stunning equestrian and canine photography that you should look at: https://www.facebook.com/TMSPhotosUK/”

The first ever wedding I took photos for George back in 2015.

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My Travels to Albufeira, Portugal

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog post and as much as I love to write about my photography work, I also love to share my travels. ¬†So last year, it was my sister-in-laws 40th birthday and to make the birthday a nice one to remember, a trip to Portugal was booked. ¬† I’ve never been to Portugal and as my daughter had visited the year before, it was suggested as somewhere to go as it would be warm for that time of year and it was a place that my sister-in-law hadn’t visited either and it was after all her 40th birthday. ¬†Destination decided, we now needed a place to stay. ¬†We chose Albufeira because it is really nice with it’s old churches, cobbled streets and Marina and has a little something for those that enjoy holidaying in a main town with some nightlife.

We stayed in an apartment booked through Air BnB which was located a short walk from the Old Town market square.  It was really lovely with the whole trip costing no more than £113.00 each inclusive of our flights with Ryan Air.  For a short break away that was a bargain and we got sunshine!  We enjoyed Cocktails by the beach, a little shopping, a boat trip along the Algarve coastline and just chilling out really.  I took my newly acquired little Fuji X-T10 with me and I love that little camera.  I can never go anywhere and not take a camera with me.  The Marina is certainly one to visit with its coloured apartments, select bars and restaurants offering traditional Portuguese food and Paella along with good ole food from many a region across the seas.   If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing time away, Old Town Albufeira as pretty as it is, it certainly comes to life in the evening and can be a little noisy so might not be what you want for a longer break away.   There are plenty of bars from the usual holiday establishments to very quaint cocktail bars overlooking the sea and situated in the quieter part of the town.

Tuc Tucs are available to take you wherever. ¬†We never ventured into the New Town so I never got to see that part but I was only there for four days yes I had a really lovely time. ¬† I would go back here again, I’d give the nightclubbing a miss as is just not for me but there is more to see and do in the evening with beautiful bars and restaurants. ¬†There’s nothing better than sitting out on the Terrace gazing at the stars, listening to the sea and forgetting the music, with a drink ¬†of some good ole Sangria, Port or a cocktail or two.

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Lola – Dog Photoshoot

Last spring (seems so far away ago given this year’s weather so far), I met with Lola the Boxer dog for her dog portrait photography session. ¬†We met up in the village of Ticknall in South Derbyshire.

Lola is a very special dog as she belonged to a lovely young man called Aaron arriving at her new home as sprightly little puppy. ¬† He was a dedicated young man who was doing so well in the Army with his whole life ahead of him. Sadly, Aaron didn’t see his beautiful Lola grow up into the beautiful dog she is today due to terminal illness. Aaron’s wonderful family look after her hence why she is so very special to them (and isn’t she just so beautiful). ¬†A happy dog who I really enjoyed photographing capturing her charming personality every step of the way. ¬†Her photoshoot and this blog is dedicated to Aaron and his lovely family.

Lola

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If you’d like to know more about my dog photography sessions, then please do get in touch via my website here.

I’m a dog photographer based in the East Midlands region in Derbyshire. ¬†I offer private client commissions of their dogs across the UK.

Kind Words

I love photographing weddings. I get excited and nervous all at the same time.

One thing that does make me feel good and love my job even more is making couples happy. To receive thank you cards is just lovely. Not only that receiving messages of thanks be it via Facebook, texts, emails and personal thanks directly really does make me smile.

Thank you to all my past couples for making my job truly satisfying. Here’s to another year of awesome weddings. If you’d like to enquire about my wedding photography, please visit my website over at tmsphotography

A Day out at Mach Loop – Wales

I’m not really a plane enthusiast when it comes to fast Jets whizzing around the sky above me but when a friend of mine who loves aviation, said come along for a day – see what you think! ¬†So I did just that. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, planes are interesting but it’s certainly not a genre of photography for me, although I can see why there are lot of enthusiasts and professionals doing Aviation photography day in, day out. It’s not an easy task taking photos of fast planes.

I do action horses and dogs but wow these Jets are fast! A blink and you’ve missed the opportunity. ¬†Would I go back – probably on a nice day. ¬†I certainly wouldn’t want to be sitting on a hill in wet conditions getting soaked and cold. I’m not sure my camera would like it either – albeit weather resistant to rain.

So the morning started very early leaving home just after 6.00am and travelling onto mid Wales near Dolgellau.  Then a steep climb up Bluebell Hill approx 300 feet, so definitely not for faint hearted.  We got there about 8.30am and from there onwards, it was sit and wait.  There are no guarantees when at Mach Loop that RAF jets will fly by.  So it is very much a sit and wait, eat your packed lunch and if the weather is nice, enjoy the stunning scenery that Wales has to offer!

So, what did I get to see? Lucky me, I got to see a Hawk (Red Arrows), RAF Airbus A400M and a USAF V22 Osprey.  Here is just a small selection of them!  My first ever attempt at Fast Jets aka Aviation Photography at Mach Loop. All photos taken with the Canon 1-DX with 100-400mm zoom Lens.

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