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2016: A Year in Review

A life changing, uncertain yet amazing, show-stopper of a year. 2016 was fantastic…

Since 2008 I have worked for successful commercial corporate businesses and contributed to online photography and media publications. More recently I became a member of the wedding photography team at GM Photographics on Sydney’s Lower North Shore. GM Photographics is owned by Canon Master Photographer Graham Monro. At GM Photographics we produce stunning wedding photographs for couples across Sydney and NSW every weekend. To say that I am super excited to continually work with GM is an understatement! It is an honour to work with Graham and the team.

For a long time, I had thought of what it would be like running my own small business – working for myself and my own clients. In 2016 I took a leap into establishing my own Portrait and Wedding Photography Studio based in Cremorne on Sydney’s Lower North Shore – building something for myself as opposed to building a brand for someone else.

The beginning…

In May of 2016, I established a studio under my own name. So, why did I choose the name ‘Photographer Pete? I wanted a name that was memorable, simple and clean, yet most of all a brand name that represented me as a person. Most photographers in the business are named “First-name Last-name Photography”, which seems common, boring and over-done. ‘Photographer Pete’ is simple, straightforward, approachable and direct. In many photography businesses, clients are dealing with an individual photographer; so why not name my studio as such?

So what, or who, is Photographer Pete? Who is the person behind the lens?

Photographer Pete is a Wedding and Portrait Photographer based in Cremorne on Sydney’s Lower North Shore. It is run by Peter Hawke – say hello to me on Facebook or Instagram!

So in review, what did 2016 bring? What did I learn?

2016 featured a few ups and downs, but mostly, it showcased the upward potential of what my small wedding and portrait photography business has ahead.

In 2016, I photographed numerous memorable weddings; some of which were in the worst of conditions (remember the June 2016 storms?), and some were spectacular (think Sarah + Alex, Jessica + Paul and Leanne + Nick) as well as some amazing portrait sessions (thinking of Amy + Chris’ sunrise session at Longreef Beach).

I was super delighted to photograph the wedding of my old school friend Mathew and (his now wife) Lauren. I documented many elopements in and around the stunning Sydney Harbour, met many super cool couples, held numerous consultations with brides and grooms, and above all, had more fun in 7 months on my own than over the last 6 years put together.

In the commercial world (which I occasionally dip my toes into) I covered conferences (including cosmetic brand Nucerity and the tech week that was Australian Utility Week) and completed a large landscape photography contract for the newly amalgamated Eastern Beaches Council – You’ll probably see some of my landscape photographs around the internet when you search for public spaces in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs including Milk Beach, Strickland House, Hermit Bay Beach, and Bondi Pavilion to name a few.

But surely the most significant: I was a member of a 3 band team that completed the ENORMOUS e-commerce photography contract for the entire Woolworths supermarket store catalogue; some 80,000 photographs across 26,000 grocery products ranging from fresh fruit to deodorant, bottles of Coca-Cola and cosmetics! I’m not going to lie – that was a massive job!

I learnt that running a business is just as important that the photography itself. I need to be a web developer, SEO expert, marketing guru, social media manager and an accountant just as successfully as a photographer. Client relations and customer service, of course, must come above all else.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank a few groups and individuals. Firstly, all my family and friends – without your amazing level of support and encouragement, I would not be where I am today. Secondly, to my partner Jesamina; without your patience, this wouldn’t be possible. And thirdly, and certainly mostly, to the super awesome and fantastic couples that I’ve worked with throughout the year – I owe an enormous amount of gratitude. Without your support, this studio would simply not exist. I look forward to what lies ahead in 2017; to future meetings, consultations and opportunities.

So with this said: Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and many thanks to all those who follow, support, and encouraged me along the way. You guys are awesome….

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