Wow, what a year 2020 has been! I have to start by saying I am so grateful to have the most amazing couples as my clients. I have been blown away by their calmness, understanding and empathy with suppliers, their adaptability and their incredible commitment to still celebrate their love with a downscaled more intimate ceremony in the midst of a pandemic and not just with a plan B but more like plans x, y and z with the guidelines constantly changing, even at the very last minute, and for some being left with just days to reduce their numbers by half to only allow 15, or of course those deciding that there is no rush and ensuring every one of their friends and family still attend, albeit in a year or two years time. You have all been inspiring and thoughtful at what I know has been an incredibly stressful time, and even those who have been through the turmoil of having to postpone, some more than once, you have all been bloody awesome, and I have most definitely connected and built friendships with many of my couples this year more than ever before. I am sure that by the time we are allowed to have all those people in one room again, your wedding will be one hell of a euphoric celebration and I can’t flipping wait to capture it for you!
Suppliers in the wedding industry have moved heaven and earth, with their couples best interests at heart, I’ve watched fellow industry suppliers fall apart and struggle in so many ways watching their household income collapse before their eyes and their business plans decimated, yet they have remained professional and resolute for their couples. I am proud to say I know and work with these inspirational people.
You may or may not know that just last year I married my love, just the two of us at Brighton Town Hall with two friends as our witnesses, this however, was just legal formality day to us – our actual wedding wedding day with the rings, the dress, bridal party and celebrations with all our loved ones was planned for 12th June 2020 in Italy. Having already moved our destination wedding to 12th June 2021, we then made the decision to postpone this further to 2022, after 75% of my 2020 couples postponed their weddings to 2021. Thankfully this was an easy decision for us knowing legally we are already husband and wife and we can celebrate any time.
I was also fortunate enough to photograph 5 weddings this year, 4 being since the first lockdown, and I can honestly say hand on heart, I loved them. These intimate weddings are something special, and the fact that for two of these I was actually one of their very limited permitted head count made me so proud, what a privilege and a reminder to us photographers of how important these photos are to our couples and that our job IS VIABLE!
The downside of these beautiful and intimate weddings for me has been not being able to give my couples a big sweaty hug before leaving! Equally, not shaking the parents and best mans hands, these little things we take for granted had me a tad overwhelmed at times, as did my viewfinder steaming up from wearing a mask (scroll to the end of this post to see which face covering I found best for the job), zoom calls becoming the new norm, and avoiding walking in front of the phone recording Facebook lives during the ceremony! Many will say the strangest aspects of “lockdown weddings” are the perspex screen and face coverings but for me these just make these wedding days all that more special – how incredible to share these photos with grandchildren in years to come – your wedding photos being a piece in history.
2020 has been unbelievably eye-opening, reminding me of the importance of slowing down and making time for the people I love. I have absolutely cherished the time I’ve had with the kiddos, I turned 40 earlier this month and my son turned 18 in the same week, and I will openly admit that it’s been a gift to have some time with him this year when he’s at an age where I know I would have barely seen him otherwise – although I’m quite sure he doesn’t feel the same! Equally, my 3 year old starts school in September so this time with her has been precious, in a summer that I would have normally been glued to my desk.
2020 has been full of so many huge stories, many sad and shocking. But in the year of the corona; weddings and LOVE have easily been the best things to happen to this year. 2020 has been emotionally draining and challenging, yet empowering, and if one thing is for sure its that my faith in humanity has been restored, the community spirit has been heartwarming, the NHS have been our rocks – our heroes – they still are! And although we are all still adjusting to the new reality of living in the times of a pandemic, we will all come out of this stronger, many of us healthier and a whole lot of us having had a reality check of what is important in our short lives.
Who knows what 2021 holds for us, I don’t think this virus is going anywhere soon, and for my couples due to get married next year, whether you choose to power on irrelevant or reschedule to 2022 guaranteeing to celebrate BIG, I have your back.
I pray you all come out of this year safe and well, surely 2021 has got to be better, it definitely can’t be any worse, so here is a sweet goodbye to 2020 with some of the best things to happen in MY 2020.
*you’ll find my favourites from the one and only family shoot I did this year at the end of this post, oh and then of course some of my favourites that I took of my own family (next year my mission is to get some of my eldest – see if you can spot him in the background of just one – on his phone of course!
BEST FACE COVERING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS…. Honestly, having now tried so many and finding no matter what, my viewfinder was steaming up, my nose was marked and I was getting spots on my chin…. I then discovered the pure silk mask by slip with bendable and changeable bones to secure it round your nose. No more steaming up, no marks on my nose or skin at all and no spots! I’ve even since then, bought myself one of their pillowcases 😉 I have the black one but they have a whole range of colours or animal print. SLIP silk face covering