2020- A Year of Masks and Socially Distanced Love. I wrote, and rewrote the title for this blog about 15x. I didn’t want to start this blog with the words 2020- what a shit show. Even though it felt appropriate. 2020 was one for the books. At the beginning of the year I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared- being a small business with the potential of having 0 sessions this year was something I never prepared for as a business owner. March was a month of stress! Weddings started to reschedule, families rebooked in fear of catching COVID, toilet paper was scarce (probably the most annoying part of 2020 haha). The world looked different.
As the year went on we all had to conform to a new normal. For the first time in my lifetime I wasn’t able to see a subtle smile in the grocery store, or to hug my loved ones. These things are something I think we all took for granted. Then came the inevitable shut down, which had most of my brides in panic. There were hard conversations, there were tears, but in spite of all of it there was love. I often felt as a therapist to my clients, and I learned to listen and care for others in a way I don’t think I had before. Life had paused- but honestly it made me a better business person, a more compassionate photographer, and gave me a more grateful heart than I had ever had.
But love never stopped! In a global freaking pandemic brides and grooms changed their entire vision of their wedding day. Elopements became a day solely focused on two people who wouldn’t let their love story pause. I traveled more this year than ever to capture intimate ceremonies with only the people who were necessary. I witnessed Vegas become a ghost town from March to October- but love continued to shine. People were cautious, temperatures were taken, and there were masks at every turn. But LOVE NEVER STOPPED. Saying that makes me both emotional and proud.
This is going to be a long one, so settle in. Let me show you just a few moments of love I witnessed this year.
Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps. That slogan didn’t feel right for a mid global pandemic Las Vegas time. We spent the day walking the strip, in a small sea of masks everywhere you looked. Imagine your engagement session in one of the busiest travel attractions in the country, constantly taking off and putting on your mask for just a few photos. These two were champs! We were kicked out of casinos for just a few of these photos, but we made it work. Love brought us here, and although things looked different we still managed to document their love story in real time.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming was a trip I wont ever forget. Between possible travel restrictions, flights full of masked travelers, and a quiet mountain town we were able to get these two married. Kristy and Mike wanted an intimate elopement, with just a few family and friends in the Grand Tetons. The mountains were foggy, it was cold as hell, but the love between these two was unstoppable. We spent 3 days celebrating this love story. Family members traveled from all over the country to witness their love shine, all while we were in a global pandemic. This love story was magical.
10 Months into a global pandemic came the wedding of the Van Geems. We were 10 months into masks, and fear, and the possibility of this wedding not even happening. These two showed a grace and compassion that was unmatched. Their wedding was at risk of being postponed, they had to cut their guest list in half- and yet their love shined and they were married in a small ceremony. Both of them were walked down the aisle by parents in masks. The family photos that will be their first family heirlooms show relatives in masks, but you can still see the joy in their eyes. I cried, A LOT. When I was leaving the ceremony, with a piece of cake in hand, I went to my truck and bawled. Joyous, happy, relieved BIG TEARS. I was so relieved for them that they could finally breathe- they were married. That was the ONLY thing that mattered on this day. I was thankful!
My last 2020 wedding was Brooke and Connor, these two hold a huge spot in my heart. Getting to this day was probably my most uncertain wedding of the year. One of the maids of honor, and a groomsmen actually got COVID weeks before the wedding. Brooke, Connor and I had to have some emotional conversations about what this day might look like. There was traveling cross country, there was fear of people not coming- and yet this day came and went just the way it was supposed to. Everyone tested negative, we all breathed a HUGE sigh of relief, and these two became Mr. and Mrs. Small. Love won, once again.
In summary, 2020 was indeed a shit show for EVERYONE. But love continued to shine the entire year! This year I shot 15 magical love stories, contracted COVID myself in June, and took on a whole new appreciation for my job. Also, I learned that things will end up exactly the way they were meant to. That plans can change and still be perfect. This year brought a pause all of us never knew we needed, and I am SOOOOO thankful for the opportunity to be a part of these important days and memories.
I hope 2021 brings us just as much joy, and way less uncertainty than 2020 brought us. But I will forever be thankful for a year that taught us that love ALWAYS prevails. Not even a global freaking pandemic can stop your LOVE!
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