Let’s cut the small talk.
If you’re reading this I can assume you know what “2020” was. If we weren’t separated by the internet or social distancing, I would give you an enormous hug, partly because I haven’t hugged anyone but my husband for nearly a year, and say something along the lines of “fuck, we made it through!”
The year where literally you could take nothing for granted about everyday life, where the thing you were going through was what everyone was going through globally at the same time. Where we laughed at how naively we’d set “goals” for the year, had dared to maybe book a holiday, even bought diary’s for the year and that we were so confident we wrote upcoming events in pen. Oh how naive we were!
I can’t say this year has been completely terrible for me. Partly because I am more often than not optimistic and proactive, and partly because it wasn’t all a shitshow.
Some of it yes, I make no secret of that. It’s probably been the most stressful year I’ve had. My heart went out to people who had lost loved ones to covid many times, as well as fellow business owners, wedding couples who had the extremely difficult job of planning a wedding during a global pandemic, the industry that I love and am a part of struggling like never before.
My mental health (and a couple of times my physical health) took a nose dive a few times. I am absolutely confident that I am far from alone in that. It’s maybe such a cliche to describe this year as a rollercoaster, but to be fair I think it’s a pretty accurate description. I learnt self care and compassion in a way I have never before, completely letting go of what was out of my control and doing my best (whatever that looked like day to day) with what was in my influence and control.
Just as the first lockdown was starting to slowly wind down, my Gramp (Grandad) passed away pretty suddenly. I wished things were normal purely so grieving and saying goodbye could be more what it would be like in normal circumstances. He was such a beautifully free spirit and such a kind person who was always absolutely himself, loved playing Irish folk music, and along with my Nan had a big positive influence on me growing up, particularly about being an artistic creative person. He was an absolute gem and I will always miss him.
Honestly there were times I had never been so uninspired to pick up a camera. But it turns out that over the year I did take photos off my own back through facetime shoots, a couple of photo challenges where people on social media joined in which was pretty cool, and I was so grateful that when lockdowns finished and restrictions allowed I was asked to take photos for some really lovely people too throughout 2020. I’ve also received more wedding enquiries this year than I have ever done, who’d have thought?! I haven't included photos from every shoot and project I did because I wanted to try and keep the numbers of photos down so the blog isn't packed with a silly amount of photos.
I also did my first solo photography workshop for beginners, which was a success and I will definitely be doing again when this covid world allows!
We also decided to get away when we could and went to the Peak District for a week - Me, my Husband Pete and our dog Scampi. Just the 3 of us, lush! New surroundings, lots of fresh air and walking, tasty food and chilling out.
I had a whole summer off for the first time in a VERY long time, don’t think that fact was lost on me when I sat in the garden for hours and took many more trips to the beach than I usually do.
I’m not “grateful” for 2020. I’ve seen this idea floating around and I understand the thoughts behind it and that’s great if it works for you. Honestly I don’t feel that way about it. Not as a whole.
BUT I’m glad I didn’t write the whole thing off and condemn the whole year as being a disaster, because as hard and scary as it has often been, there are things I am genuinely grateful for and lessons that I have definitely learnt. I absolutely have had moments where things went well, but there were other times I was determined to see the upside and to not take anything personally. Make the best of the fact that I am still here and that I am lucky to still be here.
An enormous thank you to everyone who worked with me this year and booked me for weddings, it’s absolutely kept me going as a business and personally too. As special as I knew documenting people together and wedding photography was before all of this, I got more choked up this year at every wedding I did. It seemed incredible and beautiful that despite everything that had been unfolding throughout the year, love was not cancelled and celebrations and joyfulness was still possible. An enormous boost every time.
Whatever this brand new year has in store, just remember we got through the last one. Onwards and upwards!
onto the photos! Four weddings, two proposals & A vow renewal...