25 Awesome Things Experienced as a 25 Year Old

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Yay, it's my birthday month!

Wow, a year does go quickly when you're having fun! So turning 26 this month has got me thinking about all the amazing things experienced in the last 12 months and getting another year older, hopefully, another year wiser too! Although being 26 is not something people would consider a 'milestone' year, for me, every year I like to celebrate the significance of a birthday as life is pretty damn precious and celebrating all the wonderful things we do is something we should rejoice more, so here's my take on 25 wonderful things experienced as a 25-year-old.

3. The youngest person to have been conferred an Honorary Degree of Master of Arts from Solent University 'in recognition of your outstanding accomplishments and commitment to photography' and delivering a commencement speech during Graduation Week to 1,000+ people

4. Shortlisted as a South-Central regional finalist for Best Wedding Photographer in the Wedding Industry Awards 2019 and the only wedding photographer from Southampton in the UK shortlisted which is awesome!

5. Getting paid to speak at local universities in Hampshire & Surrey about my experiences and expertise on becoming a freelancer and setting up a business. Never thought people would be interested to hear my advice especially only going full-time with my business last year. It's certainly something I'm passionate about and it's a great feeling spreading the message on entrepreneurship.

6. Featured in Your Dorset & Hampshire wedding magazine Jan/Feb issue 2019

8. Invited to attend the #ThinkModern launch event on behalf of Solent University at the Speaker's House, House of Commons on encouraging enterprise, innovation, productivity and student aspirations in modern universities

9. Also invited to attend the Industrial Strategy launch event at the Mansion House, London hosted by the Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin and the Secretary of State of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark on behalf of Solent Local Enterprise representing young entrepreneurs, the creative industries and spreading the message of encouraging entrepreneurship in the local region

10. Got to see the smash hit musical Kinky Boots in the West End for New Year's Day celebration in London with the other half - it was amazing!

11. Launched my Girl Boss Sessions for fearless female entrepreneurs and kickass businesswoman and it’s been a fabulous success working with fellow Girl Bosses in the region! Such a fantastic community of self-employed businesswomen.

12. Featured on the Colleagues Getting Coffee podcast talking about a personal passion of mine, personal branding photography, tips for using photography creatively in your business and my new Girl Boss Sessions

13. Finally launched my monthly Mailchimp newsletter sharing fabulous updates, wedding & #girlboss inspiration, special offers and exciting announcements. I've been wanting to create a newsletter since I started my business 4 years ago so delighted it's been received so well from my subscribers. Subscribe here if you want in!

14. Surpassed 1,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram - it’s amazing having your support, really appreciate all the engagement and love you guys share for my little business <3

15. Started my #CoffeeTableTuesday project on my passion for coffee table books, an idea I had back in university over 6 years ago. I'm so happy to have actually started it and it's a feature in my monthly newsletters. Every coffee table book and photo has a different theme which is so fun getting to be creative with still-life photography and making flatlays.

16. Properly discovered lots of wonderful things the Isle of Wight has to offer for a mini-breakaway with the other half for his birthday. Excited to shoot a wedding there this July and exploring more of the island. Definitely recommend a visit!

17. Spent a few days in Suffolk/Essex after shooting a fabulously fun barn military wedding there and explored the beautiful area of Dedham for a boating trip and delicious cream teas. Another place I'd recommend a visit too!

18. Reached out to awesome creatives in the community working on collaborative projects - exciting details coming next year! Also joining various networking groups & communities from the Hampshire Wedding Club, Elevate You and ONLE networking, it's great to get involved in the local community of businesses.

19. Documented 26 epic weddings spanning 7 counties

21. Became the official photographer for IPSE's National Freelancers Day and Freelancer Awards in London, something I entered and gone on to win the Young Freelancer of the Year 2017 category. It's great getting to meet more young entrepreneurs across the country especially knowing how it feels to be in the finalists' shoes!

22. Invested in awe-inspiring photography training and workshops, in particular, the Photography Farm's FarmShop19 event in London and getting involved in an amazing community of photographers worldwide

23. Started offering off-camera flash night-time photography creating breathtaking bride & groom portraits in the evening which is something I've always wanted to do. It's a wonderful feeling having the confidence & ability to create beautiful night-time low light portraits for my couples and having something a little different to cherish on their wedding day

24. First time going to a gig solo and loving life (I saw Jessie J in Bournemouth and she was electric!) Not having to worry about what people think of me and just living in the moment and letting the music & atmosphere take over and inspire me

25. Experienced my first professional photo shoot with the fabulous Holly Cade Photography - this time being on the other side of the camera as the model/sitter along for a personal branding shoot as well as with my other half for a couples session. It certainly was a unique and weird experience being in my client's shoes but I loved every moment of it and something I'd definitely to again in the future especially to help me better understand my awesome clients' experiences in front of the camera

Phew, it's certainly been an amazing 12 months as a 25-year-old and excited for some more marvellous experiences in the next year. :D

The biggest goal for me as a 26-year-old is hoping to buy a house with my other half (fingers crossed!) and with that, a bigger office too! But simply focus on growing my little business to provide the most fabulous experience for my wonderful clients and continue spreading the joy, love and making people feel good with photography.

Til next year folks!

Do you have any memorable moments in the last 12 months or as a 25-year-old? Leave in the comments below!

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Web: nishahaqphotography.com

Email: hello@nishahaqphotography.com

Mob: 07712604577