2020 Wedding Photography Wrap-up
See some of my favorite images from a particularly difficult year
Wedding photography is even more challenging amidst a global pandemic
Weddings, destination weddings, elopements, engagements, proposals….in some ways 2020 wasn’t much different than others. All of these events still happened, albeit with some….unusual changes. But I’ve never been a photographer who enjoys pretending everything is nothing but sunshine and rainbows, and this post is no different. After all, I am writing this 2020 summary post in March…of 2021. This is the first time I have updated my website in an entire year. I haven’t updated my Instagram or Facebook in even longer than that. Things were not ok, and in many ways they still aren’t. Why am I even saying this? Partially because I don’t believe many people actually read these intros (I wouldn’t!). But also because I pride myself on talking about the realities of weddings and events with my couples. Talking about how rewarding they are, but also how they have their own unique challenges. I can count on one hand the number of weddings in my entire career that actually went to plan. The photos always turn out beautiful despite all the challenges, but it is important to understand the challenges…because sometimes it takes a dose of reality to understand what it takes to make something work out. How is this any different?
And maybe…maybe after an entire year of silence, it helps to vent a little bit. But don’t worry, because it all ties together at the end. And despite all that talk about being open and honest about the challenges of a difficult year, it just happens that this one has a happy ending. That’s really what I want to talk about – how amazing the couples are that I have the pleasure of working with. The reality is that no one was having a good time. I was unsure if I would have a business left after all the cancellations and re-scheduled weddings. I would (And still do) worry about my future, and the future of a career in an event industry decimated by something no one ever saw coming…and impossible to prepare for. As a low-volume wedding photographer, I went nearly 6 months without a paycheck. I had to use my personal savings to handle covid-related refunds. I ate ramen like it was college, and worried about paying my mortgage like I had just been laid off from my job. It was a dark time I never want to experience again.
But on the other side of things, I was working with couples who were unsure if the wedding they spent large sums of money and time on would ever even happen. I had a couple who had to cancel their dream destination wedding in Ireland. I had couples who lost family members to covid…I photographed too many memorial tables to be ok with that. I had couples who lost thousands of dollars, and who missed out on seeing family members they haven’t seen in decades because they could no longer travel. Couples who had to change their 200 guest dream wedding they spent a year planning to a 10 person elopement in a restaurant. There are two sides to every situation, but I’ve never been in a situation before where both sides were so spectacularly awful for everyone.
2020 was a year to forget in some ways, but out of the ashes of the dumpster fire came some hope after all. The trend of large complex weddings reversed, and I got to work more intimately with my couples with their small, sometimes more meaningful weddings. The stress of rushing around for 14 hours in a day, somehow never having enough time to photograph things properly disappeared (Unfortunately replaced by the stresses mentioned earlier!). And even though it wasn’t their first choice for their wedding details, these couples still got to take home some wonderful memories to last them a lifetime.
Interestingly enough, with so many cancellations, this wrap-up sometimes shows multiple images from individual weddings – something I haven’t been able to do before due to size restrictions. In a way, this wrap-up is more “honest” than the others, where you only see a few of the absolute best images from a select few weddings. But enough stalling, take a look below to see some of my favorite wedding photos from 2020!
I truly appreciate you stopping by. This update has been a long time coming, but I am glad to have finally shared my favorite wedding photography from last year with you. I’m sure you will see more of these photos in the future, as well as more updates from me moving forward. Have fun and stay safe this year!
Some of the wedding venues featured in this blog post:
Sky Retreat, Boone NC
Hilton Garden Inn, Virginia Beach
Pretty Place Chapel
North Carolina Botanical Gardens
Downtown Greenville, SC
Homewood, Asheville NC
Sweet Magnolia Estate, NC
Cliffs at Glassy Chapel
Avenue, Greenville SC