It would be an understatement to say that the day COVID-19 forced it's way into our lives, it rocked everyone's world. Fear and anxiety swept homes across the world, and it only worsened when the mandated quarantine took effect.
People were faced with losing work, others afraid that the virus would take those they loved, and the opportunity to celebrate big moments in life, like births, birthdays, and graduations were stolen.
For the wedding industry, everything came to an abrupt halt. Venues were forced to tell brides their wedding day would not be happening. Emails came flooding in from concerned brides trying to figure out what to do, postpone or cancel? The anxiety to find a new date that would work for everyone was a real fear, all of us just praying that we didn't already have the new date booked.
I have been lucky enough to say, my brides worked with me, and have been so patient and understanding during this crazy time.
And on that thought, I have read a lot of articles and posts, talking about what you can do to support your local photographers. It varied from buy gift cards, buy prints, maybe an album, maybe you could write a review, and all those things are truly helpful...
But I wanted to share what has been on my heart, get a little personal, and I am hoping others can relate, because really, it's not your money or a social media shoutout (though those things are awesome and also needed sometimes haha) that we need.
Personally, this was supposed to be my first year going full time. I was so excited to pursue this dream I've had since I was a child. Full of energy and eagerness, I was going to kill this wedding season. I was going to celebrate with my couples and document every precious moment.
So when weddings started getting pushed back, it was like a punch to the gut.
I was so ready.
I was so thrilled.
And then, I was so disappointed.
So many emotions rushed through me, as I came to the realization, that the opportunity I had worked so hard for, for so many years, would once again, be put on hold.
It crushed me.
It was during this mourning period that I was reminded just how amazing people can be during times of adversity.
During these trying times, the love and support from my clients has encouraged me, and reminded me, that this is why I do this. I have gotten texts asking me how I am doing. I get thoughtful messages reminding me that my brides appreciate all my hard work. Little shoutouts saying they can't wait for their wedding day, no matter when it is, because I am awesome! Brides telling me that they will do everything in their power to make sure we get a date that I am available on, because they know this is just as hard for me as it is for them. Emails sharing how they are so happy they hired me because I have made them feel at ease during this difficult time. As someone in the wedding industry, you want to go above and beyond in all ways possible. This pandemic, has most of us feeling helpless. Our sense of purpose comes from this drive to please, create, and serve, and now we are being told we have to sit back. It's easy to feel lost. So these small reminders, these moments of humanity that share concern, these thoughtful gestures have reminded me.. this is why I do this.
So yes, there are so many ways to support a photographer, but what really mattered most when everything was falling apart was this...
My clients looked at me like a person, who was also suffering and needed love.They came with an understanding heart knowing that postponing these weddings caused me a lot of heartache too. We were in this together. I invest in the people I take on as clients. I care for them, and it has been so nice to see, that they care for me too. I was more than just a business person they hired to take some photos, I was someone they genuinely cared about, and for that I am so grateful.
Planning and styling @daniraedunn_photos