It’s safe to say that 2020 was the craziest year, not only on a personal level – but also for my business. After shooting just two weddings in early 2020, COVID-19 hit the US and everything came to a screeching halt. I started the year off with 32 weddings and 3 elopements booked for 2020 – and a light fall schedule that I was hopeful to fill in throughout the spring. COVID-19 forced 23 of my wonderful couples to postpone their wedding celebration and 3 couples to completely cancel with me. It was, and still is, absolutely financially devastating. My revenue fell 72% for the year and I spent most of the year relying on unemployment to get by. The worst part for me, as a small business owner and Type A personality, was having absolutely no control over my own destiny. Government mandates placed heavy restrictions on large events for most of the year and I was at the mercy of my couples’ decisions. There was literally nothing I could do and it was the WORST feeling in the world. I ended the year with 16 weddings and 5 elopements – and I’m looking forward to a much better 2021. This was an extremely difficult year and I’m just glad that my business survived… though just barely.
On the plus side, I officially restarted my associate photography program and brought Emily back on as an associate photographer. This year gave me plenty of time to focus on my hopes and dreams for my business – and building a strong team of photographers to serve my clients is part of that ultimate dream. I’m excited to be able to serve more clients moving forward and I’m thrilled to start building a team to support me + my business for years to come.
On a personal level, 2020 was quite challenging. COVID-19 forced us to quarantine for 3 whole months, which was extremely difficult. As an introvert, I do love my solitude… but this was on a different level. Along with the financial stresses on my business and having no control over my livelihood, I felt the strain on my emotional well-being. I fell into a pretty deep depression and my anxiety was at an all-time high for most of the year… and I’m still feeling the effects now. I’m struggling, like most people, and I think it’s important to say it out loud. To say 2020 was hard is an understatement and I can confidently say that I hope I never have to go through this again in my lifetime. I’m so thankful for my family and circle of close friends who allowed me to vent when I needed to, and who listened when I just needed to be heard.
So of course I have to say thank you to my incredible team because, let’s be honest – I couldn’t do this alone. Sloan + Kelly… my main squad this year… thank you hardly seems adequate. You both give so much of your time + energy to me and my clients… I’m so so lucky to have you guys on my team and by my side on most of my wedding days!! You guys keep me sane, help with my crazy workload, talk me off the occasional ledge (because I catastrophize… it’s just part of who I am) , keep me hydrated + organized, give me SO MUCH peace of mind, and serve my clients so well. I am so appreciative of everything you do for me – you guys are seriously the best. To everyone else who second shot with me this year – Emily, Anna, Marie – THANK YOU for stepping up and helping me on days when I needed strong, reliable second shooters. You all are so very talented and I can’t thank you enough for shooting beside me! Jessica and Amie… thank you both for assisting me this year, as well. Having an assistant there with us on the wedding day is a HUGE help and you guys have stepped in whenever I really needed someone!!
A HUGE thank you goes out to my AMAZING editor Emily Moore. I am SO GRATEFUL that I found you… you’ve been invaluable to me over the past few years and I can’t say thank you enough!! You allow me to focus on the parts of my business that bring me joy and I don’t know what I’d do without you. To my amazing website designer/guru, Rachael Earl – THANK YOU for all of your help this year. I’m so glad I found you and I’m looking forward to working together for years to come!! To Alexa of Alexa B. Creative for always helping me with branding projects and everything InDesign.
I am so thankful to have found a new bookkeeper this year… Casey, you’ve been a godsend; Elmo, my corporate accountant; Rebecca, my amazing contract lawyer – who is probably sick of me after all of the stuff she had to help me with in 2020; and the ladies at Align Album Design. Without their help, seriously… I’d be lost. This is a team effort here and these people are such a big part of my success.
Notable milestones + highlights from this year include shooting my 298th wedding… I was on target to shoot my 300th wedding this year, but COVID had other plans. I was nominated for the Post and Courier’s Charleston Choice awards as Best Photographer for the second year in a row, which is definitely exciting.
In 2020, I saw my work featured in print in Destination I Do Magazine and The Celebration Society Weddings Southeast – where one of my images was even chosen for the COVER!!! It’s the second time my work has been featured on a magazine cover and it’s definitely a huge highlight of 2020!! I didn’t submit many weddings for blog publication this year, but I was really excited to see some of my work published on Style Me Pretty, Brides, A Lowcountry Wedding, and The Wedding Row.
Every single year, it always comes back to my amazing couples… the ones who allow me to live this dream and trust me to document their wedding day. This year’s couples are truly the best of the best. They navigated COVID, and all of the chaos that came with it, with such grace… I honestly can’t thank my #dcwbrides and #dcwgrooms enough. Thank you thank you thank you for being so incredibly fabulous and for trusting me to capture your beautiful wedding day. I love each and every one of you so very much!!! Here’s a look at all of my amazing couples from 2020…
Courtney + Bobby // February 28, 2020 // Historic Rice Mill
Morgan + Frank // March 13, 2020 // Legare Waring House
Caroline + Garrett // May 9, 2020 // St Mary’s of the Annunciation
Faith + William // May 27, 2020 // Magnolia Plantation
Ashley + Garrett // June 27, 2020 // Gadsden House
Lizzie + Eli // July 18, 2020 // William Aiken House
Emily + Chad // August 1, 2020 // Ocean Course at Kiawah
Devin + Benjamin // September 4, 2020 // William Aiken House
Erin + Benjamin // September 19, 2020 // Private Residence
Jessica + DJ // September 26, 2020 // Cypress Trees Plantation
Lauren + Max // October 3, 2020 // Private Residence
Allison + Andrew // October 5, 2020 // Planters Inn
Aly + Erik // October 10, 2020 // Boone Hall
Sarah + Troy // October 23, 2020 // Magnolia Plantation
Kelsey + Stephen // October 24, 2020 // Sea Pines Resort
Jordan + Glenn // October 25, 2020 // Middleton Place
Sarah + Russell // November 6, 2020 // Cedar Room
Catherine + Gabe // November 7, 2020 // Cedar Room
Emmy + Tyler // November 14, 2020 // Wickliffe House
Lindsay + Allen // December 3, 2020 // Lowndes Grove
Annie + Nathan // December 31, 2020 // Magnolia Plantation
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