JOURNAL : Reflecting on 2018 Wedding Season

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As you know, here in Newfoundland we have three seasons: Summer, Fall, and Swinter. ;)

Nearly 6 months of the year our weather is so icky that people usually get married between May and November, making the nature of my career very cyclical and basically split in two parts: 

Half my year (the icky weather half) is the valuable and necessary time for my administration work, planning and development, networking, learning, and working ON my business.

 The other half however- the BEST half- is the perfectly crazy, incredibly beautiful, and deeply moving part where I photograph people on the happiest days of their lives. 

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I’m speaking to you today because that best half is over now. The main hustle of photographing weddings every weekend has come to a close for 2018 and I literally don’t know where to begin- because this season has been my most challenging, my best, and my most rewarding yet. 

It’s been my most challenging because for months I’ve been balancing the busyness of my wedding routine against the heartache of my love being in a different country. Honestly, it has not been easy. SO many nights I’ve pulled into my driveway after a 12 hour wedding, wishing more than anything that I was opening the door to Joe sitting on my couch. Despite the distance, it’s been a beautiful adventure and continues to be- and we will be back together for a bit in 43 days... but who’s counting. 

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It’s been my best because I really grew with who I am as an artist and a person. I’ve been unapologetically myself and you’ve embraced that with open arms. You’ve graciously trusted me to bring a smile to your face or inspire you with my stories, and you’ve trusted me enough to share your own stories with me too. I’ve been fortunate to go on wonderful adventures; from weddings all over the island, photographing a proposal at sea, being welcomed into your lives and families, and sharing some really beautiful moments with the people I’ve met. Maddie Mills Photo evolved this year beyond what I expected, and I’m so grateful to you for helping that happen. 

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It’s been my most rewarding- because I’ve been extremely blessed this year. I’ve had amazing clients who have been MY SOUL SISTAS/SOUL PEOPLE. You have understood my heart, adventured with me, and made me feel immensely appreciated. All my incredible couples have continued to prove to me that I’m doing EXACTLY what I am meant to do. I’ve had 25 ceremonies, 25 adventures, 25 (more like 25 million) happy hugs, 25 dance floor goodbyes, and 25 couples who have trusted me wholeheartedly with their stories. Your stories. So many beautiful, moving stories that I’ll always hold close to my heart. 

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I’m still a while away from Christmas vacation, and Maddie Mills Photo never stops just because weddings do! But the end of the wedding season always feels like a wave of change that deserves reflection and appreciation. Thank you SO much to everyone who supported me. You continue to make my dream not just a dream- and for that I can’t express my gratitude enough.

Journal : Two Homes For My Heart

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I always had the assumption that long distance relationships are hard, but I never truly understood until I entered into one myself. 

Last year in Newfoundland, I met my Joe through fortunate timing (and I like to think a bit of fate) and it started a journey I never could have expected, but wouldn't take back for the world.

Joe is from England (yes he has the accent, wee) and was in NL temporarily for school, and on our first date my parents and their friends coincidentally walked by the coffee shop we were in (no sarcasm here haha, this is the truth). Joe thought it would be absolutely hilarious to invite them all inside, and this show of good sportsmanship in the moment of my beet-red-in-the-face embarrassment was all I needed to know that he was going to be my person. He also had a Harry Potter watch on, and the big nerd inside me was pumped. ;)

When his time here for school was done, so began our long distance relationship and months of letters, FaceTime hangouts, and counting down from 9 million seconds in the Countdown App (9 million seconds was MUCH funnier to watch than 4 months) until I would visit during a break in my wedding season. 

What you're about to see are not wedding photographs taken on my real camera. It's not me all geared up for headshots, or snaps of Petunia, or super pretty travel photos. It's perfectly imperfect cell phone shots of one of the best weeks ever, where I simply got to exist and live life with the man I love. 

I hope you enjoy this look into my life that you all super highly requested I share- and that you have a laugh at some of the upcoming ridiculously nerdy and wonderful moments. (PS- yes I'm going back- after Christmas for a whole month. Nando's and Krispy Kreme await me!!)

"I exist in two places- here, and where you are"

 

Being long distance with your partner means compromise, working with wacky time zone differences, never giving up, supporting each other from thousands of miles away, growing together, and mostly- feeling at home in two places. Always your girl Joe x

Travel Diaries : SWEDEN + COPENHAGEN

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In April, I was fortunate enough to travel to Gothenburg, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark with one of my best friends! It was an amazing week of exploring local neighbourhoods, being by the water (you know this Newfoundlander can't stay away for long), and experiencing the local culture.

Usually when I travel, they are definitely TRIPS- a constant go to pack in as many things as I can muster. This time, me and my friend Maggie took it slow like an actual vacation for once, haha! Who else is the kind of traveller like me where you need a vacation from your vacation?

Looking at these photographs takes me back to the cobblestone walkways, vibrant houses, music in the streets, and the bustling yet peaceful vibe of the cities that surrounded us. It wasn't all a perfectly executed experience though, keep scrolling for a few funny stories that only I could get myself into!

I hope you enjoy this look into our adventures and the life that pulses through these cities. Until next time, Sweden and Copenhagen. XOX

And that's the end of this travel story! Thank you so much as always for sharing in this experience with me and reading along. Have a beautiful day and I can't wait to keep sharing weddings & love stories with you here all summer!

xox Maddie

BEST OF 2017

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Who's got red hair, glasses, is a crazy cat mom, and was supposed to write this post like, months ago? THIS GIRL!

2017 ended in a flurry and 2018 began with some relaxing and time off so this is WAY overdue, but better late than never! Last year was my best one yet, and I'm so excited to share some of my favourite moments with you.

Looking back at time, it seems to absolutely fly, but the reality is I meet so many people over the course of a year and make many lasting connections.

Due to the sheer volume of faces I am lucky to capture, it's easy to forget about all my favourite little memories that have passed through my lens and into the hands of my clients, which is why reminiscing on all the of natural moments, raw emotion, and real love I got to witness is such an emotional experience.

So, without further ado... Here are my #maddiemillsphotofamily from 2017. Love you all so much.

Travel Diaries : SCOTLAND

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TRAVEL DIARIES INSTALMENT II : SCOTLAND

Let me begin this by saying I am SUCH a die-hard Newfoundland girl, and in me is a very strong passion for our island that not many places even come close to rivalling. However, If there's one place that's felt like home away from home, it was Scotland.

I was surprised to be hit with this deep feeling of home once we arrived at our flat in Edinburgh, and now almost a year later I still feel so moved by our experience when I look back on my photographs.

Every time I go through the memories you're about to see, I reminisce on a place where a big piece of my heart still remains. I can still feel the historic charm and warm culture of Edinburgh, the enamouring beauty of Glen Coe and the Scottish highlands, the whipping wind that greeted us at every loch.

It means I can close my eyes and be transported back to the time where my soul felt its most ablaze with passion for our world and the magic it holds, and I can’t wait for the day I can once again face into Glen Coe with the wind at my back.  

I think about Scotland constantly, and am so lucky that I have these photographs to remind me of the best week of my life. I hope you enjoy this little look into it. 

xo 

 

Me and my girls standing at the most breathtaking place I've ever seen. Experiencing Scotland with them was the trip of a lifetime and one I hope I remember forever.

Off on another adventure this Friday to Sweden and can't wait to explore somewhere new. Stay tuned for that travel diary in the coming weeks, and keep your eyes to my Instagram @maddiemillsphoto for live updates!

As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, sharing, and supporting my passions. Love you all so much! 

xoxo Maddie

Travel Diaries : IRELAND

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In May 2017, I backpacked Europe for 3 1/2 weeks. At first I was joined by my family in Ireland, and then  by my two best friends in Scotland/England. It was most breathtaking 3 1/2 weeks of my life. This post will be the first of three detailing my travels, so I invite you to sit down all cozy and spend awhile with me. :) I am long-winded, passionate, and basically just a huge chatterbox, but I hope I allow you to experience some of the magic of this beautiful place and share my happiness with you. xo

 


How is it that going so far away feels exactly like coming home?

Many Newfoundlanders before me have taken the pilgrimage (so to speak) to Ireland, where our ancestors come from, where our music comes from, and where our very essence of being originated. Over time, this has become its own distinct and magical culture in NL. Travelling across the pond to a place that ties so much to our own island was a very surreal experience, and one what I had been waiting for practically my whole life.

It's really challenging for me to explain how overwhelming the feeling of "being home" was without prattling on for hours. If you know me at all, I'm not over-exaggerating here. Instead, I'll allow this following story to set the tone. Try your absolute hardest not to laugh at how much of a sap I am, but if you do, I really can't blame you, haha.

My cousins and I were standing in a massive gift shop in Dublin. It was tourist central. Super cheesy, but absolutely perfect. I was shopping around, minding my own business and getting little gifts for my friends back home, when all of a sudden a new playlist began over the speakers.  I literally teared up, people. The music was everything I grew up on here in Newfoundland. I knew every single word, and just stood in the store holding back sobs. Not very well, I might add.  Singing along with my cousins,  I truly realized how connected my people and I are to this country.

WELL, now that I've truly embarrassed myself, I sincerely hope you enjoy this little peek at Ireland and its beauty. The following images are a mix of cell phone snaps and my own travel photography, because you know this photographer was NOT going abroad without a real camera. ;)

 

And, just like that, it was onwards to Scotland!

I really hope you enjoyed seeing some of the magic that Ireland had to offer, and I'm so grateful you spent this time with me!

Thank you so much for following my journey so far, and I hope I'll see you next week for the 2nd instalment of Backpack Diaries!! Stories include trying haggis, looking for the Loch Ness Monster, and me probably crying  as I try to type out and describe the greatest day of my life, LOL. 

xoxoxo

Maddie