What 2020 looked like for me...
2020 was a bit of a blur. I know I'm not the only one who feels like this and although it was very different and not at all what we planned I wanted to write a blog to share my year, from what was a full diary of weddings to a year of 2 beautifully intimate weddings, a handful of wonderful family sessions and A LOT of admin. This may be a little long, grab a cup of tea and a pack of biscuits...
My first wedding of 2020 was the beginning of January with the lovely Magdalena and Darren, they planned on having their legal ceremony in the UK and didn't think about having a photographer (that was until my dad, who worked in the same office of Magdalena, mentioned I was a photographer and she got in touch), before heading to Italy for a big celebration. It was beautifully intimate with just Magdalena's parents as witnesses. I'm always conscious of my movements and try to be as quiet as possible at weddings so I don't distract anyone, this is particularly difficult in a room with just 6 other people. But I think I managed it! We took some lovely couples photos just as the sun was setting with Liverpool in the background. Little did I know that this was the last wedding until October! You'll be happy to know that Magdalena and Darren had a wonderful time in Italy before before Covid-19 took over.
Like most, the next few months went from being busy to sitting on the sofa binging Netflix and Sky, reading a book or two and walking with our dog to fill my time. Most weddings until August were postponed until the 2021 or even 2022. That's the thing with weddings, there is so much that goes into planning them. Venues and suppliers diaries are usually full 1 - 2 years in advance so a date a month or even 5 months down the line weren't available, plus with the uncertainty of Covid-19. Rescheduling requires a lot of back and forth between suppliers and clients, couples have to talk to their venue and many other suppliers and see what dates fits with the majority, all while lots of other couples are going back and forth too. It was and always has been first come first served with dates. I am so pleased the majority of the couples I had booked were easy to book in with their new dates. I wish I could have fitted everyone in but sadly this wasn't the case. I will think of those couples on their day and although absolutely gutted I won't be the one to photograph them I know that they will have the best day.
But what about family photography? As much as I wanted to do door step photos it was unclear on whether I would be insured during the first lockdown, this was the same for family sessions (all of my sessions are location based). To me it was better safe than sorry and I didn't do them. Then came more postponements and before I knew it all of my weddings of 2020 were postponed, well all except one - I'll get to that one shortly! I was extremely lucky when I was able to fit in a handful of family sessions and a couples session between lockdowns. All were socially distanced and outdoors. I am hoping to blog more of these so I'll pop just a sample below. We had so much fun and the weather was so kind to us, well accept one morning but I'll let that one slide...I have the best clients willing to stay under trees!
Now for my second wedding. The autumn wedding of Laura and Michael. Laura and Michael had changed their date multiple times due to lockdown and restrictions, when they got to the point of not wanting to wait any longer. Laura got back in touch and asked if I was available the following week. I was, and of course I said yes. At this point we were lucky that suppliers and venue workers weren't included in the 15 people limited, although it did have to include the couple getting married, so 13 family and friends could attend. Laura and Michael had set up a phone to live stream their ceremony which was such a good idea! It was such a beautiful ceremony and I stayed to capture some couples portraits. It was unfortunate that it rained ALL day! It did not stop. Luckily their venue, The Albert Square Chop House in Manchester, had steps leading to the foyer area keeping the couple dry while I took some couples portraits. Although the day wasn't what Laura and Michael planned it was so special, and just looking at the photo of them walking back down the aisle together with smiles on their faces, it really doesn't matter the size of your wedding.
I had planned a few days of Autumn family mini sessions at the most stunning location next to a beautiful lake, the trees were gorgeous for a back drop. The colours were perfect and I was so excited. Most of my locations are found on dog walks and what a gem I had found. I thought late October/November might still be ok for allowing outdoor sessions. And then another lockdown happened. It was clear, you could not leave your house unless it was for essential travel and work. Although I could travel to my locations (work) my families booked in couldn't, as much as I value a family and couples sessions, unfortunately they aren't essential. But I have promised myself that if it's possible this year I'll be doing Spring, Summer and Autumn mini family session weekends. I already have dates in my diary that I planned last year so fingers crossed. If you're interested please get in touch and I can give you some information on pricing and can pop you on my waiting list and see if we can go ahead.
This brings me to the end of December. We had, like most, a very quiet Christmas and New Year. We didn't travel like usual back to Cheshire and Yorkshire to visit family, it's incredible how much we take our family and friends for granted until we can't see them. I'm so thankful for facetime! November and December were supposed to be busy travelling with weddings too so it was a little strange not doing anything when my diary looked so full only months earlier.
My heart goes out to all of the couples and their suppliers that have had to postpone wedding days, I know it's not just weddings but a lot of events and businesses have been affected but just for the purpose of this blog we will stick to weddings. Many suppliers I work along side from florists to dress makers, bakers, videographers, make up artists, hair stylists and crafters, the list is endless, the majority are self employed or are very small business with a few employees to look after. A lot, including myself, didn't qualify for any grants or help. So please if you've made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this blog, go and like, share and comment on small businesses posts. You never know who might be in need of what they offer. Give those who you have bought from or worked with a glowing review. Make that person behind their phone, tablet or laptop happy dance. I am super lucky to still have my business when so many don't.
One thing that really rings true every time I see it is: love isn't cancelled. As heart-breaking as it is for your day not to go ahead, remember you have each other and after all that's what love is about. When your time comes, celebrate, eat the cake, dance and enjoy!
If you are in need of a family, couples or wedding photographer or just fancy a chat please drop me a message.