Curve balls, creativity and nurturing the artists spirit.

They say that you don’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.

Have you noticed that life has a funny way of throwing curveballs at you? Have you noticed how something that seems like the worst thing to have happened to you at the time often lands up being the best thing in the long run? Have you noticed that listening to your inner voice more often that not leads to personal growth?


Due to the nature of our work, the life of a wedding photographer is usually planned for months, sometimes years in advance. Stu and I had planned to move out of our Umdloti beach cottage and into our own nest in July/August this year. I didn’t take any bookings for July and August so as to accommodate all the stress of packing up and making a new space to call home. That was the plan anyway. Then life happened and suddenly we had to move in February, in the hottest month of the year and in between me shooting in the Natal Midlands, Clarens and India. At the time it seemed like the worst thing in the whole world. It was bedlam but we did it, and now that all the dust has settled I just love our new pad! Check it out here if you haven’t already seen it.

At the time I was pretty freaked out about losing so much work, but for some reason or another I just knew in my heart that I needed to keep July and August free from wedding bookings. I wasn’t really sure why, but I felt that everything happens for a reason and so I continued to turn down any weddings that came my way for these two months.


July has arrived and I now know exactly why I needed this time …….


In the last 6 months we have shot 20 weddings along with a whole bunch of other wedding related and non wedding related shoots and, quite frankly, I am tired! I know there are many photographers that shoot 50 weddings a year. I admire them for doing so, and in no way am I saying that they don’t give it their all, but I throw everything of me into each and every wedding I do and the amount of energy I give to all my jobs is insane.

People may think wedding photographers just work on the weekends but in Jacki Land it’s generally a 62 hour week; 12 hours of shooting  Saturday’s wedding and then 10 hours a day Monday through Friday on editing, admin, designing albums, proofing prints, having meetings, doing general marketing, banking, invoicing, backing up, selecting, etc etc

I truly believe that in order to perfect your craft you need to work and work hard and work a lot. You need to keep on “keeping on” …. the only way to improve is to keep at it. You need to aim high and put the hours in.

But ……. as a creative artist you also need time out from work to put back in. Over the past few months I feel like I have been giving out so much of my energy and so much of my creative spirit that I haven’t had much time to put back in.

I haven’t had time to go to exhibitions, make personal work, paint, look at books, research, read, hang out with friends, go on courses, attend workshops, network with inspiring people ………. just feed my soul.

The craftsman needs to work and work and work, but the artist also needs to be appeased. Somehow there needs to be balance. Too much work = killed creativity but not enough work = no food and no improvement!

Only you can know when too much work is too much for you.

It’s just about been too much work for me.

We have a whole load of catching up on editing and admin to do, but once that is done I will be nurturing my soul and stocking up on that creative energy. I want to ensure that my clients get the best of me and not the dregs of me!!!!!

I also want to start working towards an exhibition and to do my own creative work for myself and for arts sake!


Watch this space friends, I believe that when we listen to our inner voices great things can happen!!!!!!


  1. nicole on July 11, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Enjoy! do lots of yoga – it helps 🙂

  2. Jani B on July 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Jacki, every season I promise myself to take on less work and have more me time and I always end up doing the opposite!! This was just a wake-up call for me..thanks!

  3. Gena D on July 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Excellent – such an inspirational article!! You go Jax!

  4. Brenda Pratt on July 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You are quite right. It is only because you are so in touch with the innermost part of you that you realise this. Many people just carry on until they have to quit or have the dreaded burnout or heart attack. I thought the time you had in your tree house with friends was just the most perfect thing you could have done for then but you need more of that.
    unstressed quiet time. enjoy it. it will feed your soul, the wellspring of your art.

  5. Ronél Kruger on July 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Inspiring, as always…enjoy.

  6. Brenda Wardall on July 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Wise words – and yes – listening to that inner voice definitely makes space for the beauty in life to unfold…Thank you for your inspiration.

  7. Kim on August 7, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you for sharing this..

  8. Rachel on August 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Hi Jacki, I just found your site and I am so inspired. Beautiful work and great writing. Thank you!

  9. cara on September 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I love that you’re so open about sharing Jacki-land and your thoughts. From the outside, it seems like you’re just a natural – an eye and a talent for bringing out and capturing the best of people. That you’re so honest about your journey as an artist only makes you more inspiring. Huge love to you and from all your brides, thank you for using your talent and skill to capture one of the most memorable days in one’s life so beautifully, so respectfully, so carefully, so creatively.

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