I’m writing to you today as I head into the middle of my seventh week of lockdown. At first it didn’t seem so bad. I was hyped up about spending more time with my children, even the idea of homeschooling, jumping on the trampoline and making healthy dinners was all full of positive energy. But as the weeks of gone by and my diary has turned from green to purple to red; I can’t help but feel the stress of what is happening to the wedding industry.
This morning a card came through the post from a December client, thanking me for their beautiful pictures. I cried…. I was sitting here, taking out my dusty camera bags, reorganising them for the unknown time of when they will actually get to see people in front of them again and this little note of appreciation dropped onto my desk. My reminder. A small glimpse of past times but also an olive branch to say good times are going to come back.
It made me stop and appreciate how stressful this has been for all of my clients. As emails begin streaming in with worried couples unsure of when they will be able to start their journey as official partners for life or when they will see their families again; my heart breaks for them.
When I see nasty newspaper reports of couples who feel like they’re not being cared for by their wedding photographer or leading wedding suppliers who are having to shut down because the money has dried up, my heart cries out to each of them. This is not an easy time for any of us.
It seems that whenever I open up my Facebook feed, there is a sea of advice being given from every corner. It gets to the point where you feel completely overwhelmed. Where do you turn? What advice do you take? What is best for your family? And how do you survive this? Where is the bottle of wine!!??!
It’s only until you’re in the thick of it do you realise the best advice is to stop looking for the best advice and do what is best for your own heart and your mental health.
I believe that the wedding clients I currently have and I will have in the future years to come, will resonate to me because of my personality that has been the foundation of my wedding photography brand. I hope that when they meet with me they know I am a genuine wedding photographer and I am not in it for myself but rather to make the experience of their wedding day photographs the best they could possibly have.
Does that mean that it might hurt me financially? Yes.
Does that mean that I’m going to have to maybe work long weekends or change my family‘s plans in 2021 in order to help make postponement dates possible? Yes it does.
Does that make other wedding photographers who aren’t able to do this in the wrong? No.
We are all just trying to survive.
So if you are a wedding photographer or wedding supplier and you’re reading this – keep going. Keep believing in yourself and keep believing that all the time you’ve put into your wedding business is going to pay off. Believe in yourself and the brand that you have built and your clients will believe with you.
If you are one of my clients and you’re reading this – I’ve got your back. As I write this I actually hope you can feel the emotion in my writing. You are not just two people to me. You have names, you are a face and I am part of your experience. Coronavirus is part of our experience. But when we bundle it all up together – we will make this a good experience. Through good times and bad. (I won’t marry you – but I will be there for you.)
If you’re a potential client reading this. What can I say. If the above sits well with you and you know you want to be well taken care of, to feel your voice is heard through all this, to know your future plans are safe with me; then let’s talk. I am honoured to be a Gloucestershire wedding photographer and I am proud of what I do. It’s so much more than a job to me. So much more than a picture.
If you have been on the frontlines, working crazy shifts, crying, smiling, listening to our crazy clapping – I thank you. Thank you for protecting my family. For keeping us safe. For making my once a week grocery outing a good experience (right down to the disinfected shopping trolley). For giving me comfort in knowing that I can use the NHS if I need it. I am safe. I am cared for. And I promise when it is my turn to give back, I will care for you the way you have cared for me during lockdown. If you are a frontline worker and are looking to inquire. Tell me what you do for our country in the contact form. I want to thank you personally for your help.
I can’t wait until I can photograph your wedding day and all the amazing celebration pictures that will come from it. Your day will be so much more than just a wedding. It will be the celebration of life, family and friends.
Your wedding photographs are your first family heirloom. They are the first documentation of your future family.
You are my future.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. See you soon. X