In this unprecedented year of a global pandemic and the cancellation of every one of my 2020 weddings to-date, going back to where it all started for me in the form of family lifestyle photography has been truly wonderful. As lockdown restrictions eased in June, I was able to advertise availability for some Norfolk and Norwich family lifestyle shoots, of course working within government guidelines at all times. For the previous 7 summers, I’ve had no time to take on family shoots and focussed exclusively on wedding season.
Until March, this year looked to be the same as the previous 7, but then it all suddenly changed. Having contracted COVID-19 in mid-March, and been confined to my bed for 3 weeks while fighting off the virus, I hit a bit of a low both physically and mentally. Watching a business, that’s taken years to build, evaporate and dealing with so many distressed couples while struggling to overcome a virus was an experience I’m in no rush to repeat. Fortunately, unlike so many others, I was able to make a full recovery and without exception enjoyed the support and patience of dozens of couples as we worked to remain positive and, where necessary, re-schedule weddings into 2021. Having only lost a couple of bookings during this process, while picking up many new ones, I’m hopeful that 2021 will more than make up for the disappointments of 2020. I have everything crossed that we have these dark days behind us come the start of the 2021 wedding season🤞
Without question, the biggest single upside of the Coronavirus pandemic has been the opportunity to get back to my first passion as a photographer – capturing families. It was documenting my own children growing up that made me realise how important photography was to me and indeed that capturing people, their emotions and their relationships was really fuelling a growing passion. Posting the offer of some Norfolk and Norwich family shoots in June, it quickly became clear that there were lots of families keen to get out of their houses and to have some professional photographs taken with their loved ones. Perhaps it was being stuck indoors for so long or maybe it was being reminded of the fragility of life and the importance of relishing every moment of health and happiness, but I’ve been hugely fortunate to be booked to shoot a fantastic run of families over this summer. Families of all ages, including many couples whose wedding days I’ve been fortunate enough to capture since 2013, have come out for relaxed and fun shoots and enjoyed some beautiful summer days and evenings in the Norfolk countryside and parks around Norwich. This run of shoots has been the very best possible tonic following the lows of the first half of 2020. Getting out with my cameras, having work to do, meeting old friends, making new ones, documenting the personalities and relationships within so many lovely families and delivering sets of images that I know they will love and cherish forever has made this a special time for me.
2020 has of course delivered plenty of time for reflection for so many of us. For me, that reflection has included the realisation that my passion for family photography is very much alive as is my love of short shoots and my weekends. Wedding days will always be the pinnacle of my photography career but, after the immensely busy season now planned for 2021, I will be significantly reducing the number of wedding bookings I take on in favour of a broader range of photography challenges. Without doubt, 2022 and beyond will see a return to a focus on family photography and a broadening of my commissions beyond wedding photography. I’m hugely excited about what the 2021 wedding season will deliver, and I have some incredible couples and wedding days ahead, but I’m equally excited to take on some fresh challenges. The second silver-lining of this unprecedented year has undoubtedly been the chance to re-assess, adjust, refresh and make exciting plans for the future.
So, with many more family lifestyle shoots in Norwich and Norfolk scheduled for the coming weeks, and at least 3 weddings now set to go ahead within the current restraints, I’m hugely grateful to be able to remain confidently in business and make plans for the future. Running a creative business that is also a passion and hobby during normal times is challenging and this year has of course been incredibly difficult. Without the support of so many couples and families, I would be struggling to continue within my chosen line of business and I will be eternally grateful for the support that I’ve received throughout the course of this year.
On a blog that has become exclusively couples and wedding-focussed in recent years, I just really wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to the many families who’ve helped me this year – you all know who you are.