For the last few years I've written a review of the year, a round up if you like, of all the things that my little business has been up to. At first I assumed that I wouldn't bother this year, after all 2020 has been horrific hasn't it? I've lost more weddings than I care to count and 2020 will forever be the year of doom for so many... But then I started to think about what I *had* managed to photograph and took myself to my virtual photo library. Scrolling through the images I have captured this year, I couldn't believe how positive it has actually been for me. So I'm sat down with a cuppa and a mince pie (please join me, it's going to be a long one!) and am somehow going to try and get the craziest year of emotions written down so that one day, in many years to come, I can look back on how my small business somehow survived a pandemic.
2020 got off to a fantastic start with three incredible weddings. Each one was entirely unique and special, and it's hard to believe how quickly things changed afterwards. I am so, so pleased that these three couples were able to have their special day, because they were all totally perfect.
Before things went crazy
Unfortunately we all know what happened next and I'm not going to pretend that it wasn't devastating. Speaking to couple after couple crying down the phone was utterly heartbreaking. I wished I had a magic wand and could have told them their dream day would go ahead as planned, but unfortunately the government pretty much put a ban on all fun. Thankfully, the majority of my couples were amazing and worked with me to find new dates that worked all round. This was so hugely appreciated and I will forever be grateful for their support in the most difficult of times. I have no doubt that their weddings will totally be worth the wait!
As time went on, it became clear that our situation wouldn't be 'normal' for quite some time, so after a few requests, I nervously started my doorsteps project. Clients weren't able to leave their homes, but wanted something special as a reminder of the time spend indoors, and so I offered doorstep photoshoots, with a portion of the session fee going to my local NHS health board (Aneurin Bevan UHB). I could never have imagined how popular these would become, nor how much it would help me though such a mentally challenging time.
Of all the things I have looked back on that have happened this year, this series of photos genuinely took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. There were days where I was the only person that family had seen for weeks. Other times, I was marking a significant occasion such as an 18th birthday, or taking photos that would be used to introduce their newest family members to the world. Being the first person outside their household to meet their newborn child was such an enormous privilege and was not lost on me. There are so many special moments that happened on those doorsteps, or in some cases, their front gardens (always from a safe distance of course) and while it was bittersweet, I was enormously grateful for the opportunity to be able to get up and 'go' to work. The Doorsteps Project brought so much positivity and gave me a fantastic sense of achievement, but above all, I am so proud to have raised hundreds of pounds for the NHS.
The Rainbow After The Storm
After a while, many couples decided that being married was more important than having a big wedding and so I photographed two smaller weddings. There was nothing 'micro' about them though - they were full of love, family and fun!
The extra time I found myself with during what would have been a busy wedding season, was then spent working on building my business and capturing the odd photo of my own. I caught up on many overdue blog posts and launched a competition for a free family photo shoot. The most wonderful family, The Whittakers, won (you can see the blog of their photos here)! It was also at this time that I launched my monthly newsletter where I share recent updates, blog posts and any offers that are coming up. You can subscribe on my homepage.
I'm also grateful to have had the opportunity to do some lovely lifestyle newborn shoots (completely safe as they are natural, unposed moments with no physical contact from me). I also worked with the lovely Katharine Daniel Jewellery, who designs the most wonderful bespoke jewellery.
By Autumn things were easier, which allowed for some engagement shoots and my long awaited Autumn Mini Shoots. Between designing beautiful wedding albums, launching my online shop and designing my new gift vouchers, it's still been an incredibly busy time. I'm thrilled that despite another lockdown, I have spent the week before Christmas ensuring that everyone received their stunning prints and album orders in time.
It has been an odd year, that is most certainly true. But I have still very much enjoyed it, in ways I never expected. I have spent extra quality time with my family and have also been able to think about how I would like my business to grow in the future. My photography has allowed me to meet so many different families and really brought home what is truly important in life. I cannot wait for things to be how they were and am confident that most of my 2021 weddings will go ahead as normal, but I will also continue to work with more families and offer more mini sessions as they are just fantastic fun!
Thank you to every single person that has been involved with my business this year - whether you are a client, or someone who follows me on social media - thank you! I honestly have the best customers and look forward to sharing more work with you next year.
Happy New Year! Laura xxx