For Photographers and Industry Professionals – May Not Be What You think!

“What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?

A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw — that it finally forces us to grow.

A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.

A year we finally accept the need for change.

Declare change. Work for change. Become the change. A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.” 

-Leslie Dewight

This poem is my reminder that lifts the absolute burden off my shoulders to feel like I am going to suffer because of all of this. It has totally shifted my perspective and helped me to keep moving forward when it didn’t look like there was much hope for my goals and dreams. 

I know a lot of photographers and wedding industry professionals have taken a major hit this year because of COVID-19 and government restrictions. I’ve listened to webinars where someone will talk about how most won’t make it out of this. I’ve read threads of comments in photographer groups I’m a part of with a lot of disparaging of our industry. Coupled with all the cancellations and state restrictions on gatherings, it was a pretty negative experience.

Thankfully, this hasn’t been the case for me. In fact, I had just had my biggest month ever in June and July. I created additional revenue streams and am offering heirloom wedding albums and more lifestyle sessions. Quickly, I switched gears to focus on small, intimate weddings. Personally, I feel like this has set me up to better adapt to the current economic situation and still flourish. 

Portrait Sessions for Families and Couples

I specialize in weddings BUT I have always offered other portrait sessions as well. I’ve always had a lot of different passions, and I also enjoy photographing Families and Seniors a lot! 

Clients are reaching out again, and I’ve moved to doing much smaller elopement style weddings, engagement sessions, documenting proposals, and am back in full swing with summer family sessions for families vacationing in Breckenridge. I’m actually struggling to find dates to book the oncoming of inquiries for the next couple of months!

Focus on What Really Matters

I feel like this year has boosted me and allowed me to focus on what really matters. At the beginning of this, I told my husband that I was going to allow myself space to figure out what I want to bring with me out of this situation. I say all this to not boast. Trust me, that’s not my character. What I want to communicate to my friends in this industry is to keep your focus on what matters most. How are you doing and what do you plan on bringing with you out of COVID?

What Are Your Priorities?

One thing quarantine brought to light was my priorities. I have always said I wanted God and family to be my number one priority, but to be honest, it wasn’t. I was prioritizing work and being very self-centered. For the last year, everything has been about growing my business and continually filling up my calendar with as much work as possible. I didn’t even stop to think about how it was affecting my husband and daughter. I realized very quickly that “success in my career” was driving me to say yes to everything, not think of how that answer impacted my time with family, and most importantly not making me a healthy, joyous version of myself. There was no light left in me. I was burnt out quick and unsatisfied with where my life was. 

Then in mid-March, I shot my last family session, responded to all the rest of the month-May cancellations and postponements and was forced to stop. 

Space to Feel Joy and Gratitude

So here’s what has changed over the months of quarantine. I finally have that space I needed to feel joy again in my family and my business. I have bucket loads of gratitude. Gaining time back and being intentional with my loved ones has made me very happy. I’ve had to say some hard no’s to people I want to please but just can’t. I have been way more intentional about my relationship with friends and have finally put my husband’s needs before my own. 

As we go into the last half of 2020, I’m going to keep reminding myself what I want in life and what I want to continue to leave in the past. The future may be uncertain, but I’m certain what I don’t want to take with me into the rest of 2020 and beyond. I’m so grateful for this forced time to refocus.