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A Note From This Wedding Photographer During COVID-19

Hi, couples! Hi, Friends! Hi, Family! HELLO, ALL!  Can you hear me screaming these “hellos” from my office?!

I’m just so happy to be blogging even though it’s not the blog I wanted to be posting this time of year.  This time of year is usually the “new” and “fresh” blogs for me with lots of spring engagement sessions and photos and the joy that a new wedding season (and pretty wedding photos) is upon us!  For those of you who have watched my live videos or attended my virtual wedding workshops or scheduled a personal, virtual meeting with me lately, you all know this extrovert is struggling with this quarantine stuff.  My entire life I’ve been a talker.  I’ve always been a people person.  I’ve always loved to be out and about and enjoying life and the people who live it!  I am 110% a hugger (you can find my picture beside the definition)!  So, while these are scary times and “social distancing” is necessary, I’m embracing the “You’re not stuck at home but safe at home…”  thought process because perspective IS everything!  BUT…you all need to watch out.  As soon as I’m allowed out, I’m going to have extra hugs and squeals and love for you ALL!  Thank you for all the Facebook posts letting me know all my friends who are NOT huggers.  You’ll just have to put your arm out and block me basketball style when I come at you because I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop myself!  I’ll try though!

Speaking of perspective, a month ago and before all this virus madness started, I kept looking at my calendar and smiling and laughing but all while cringing because I had set myself up for not one weekend off from April 18th until the beginning of November.  I was bracing myself for the 40+ hours a week of sitting in my office doing nothing but editing wedding photos, blogging engagement sessions and weddings, and keeping up with that dreaded bookkeeping.  That’s right…during busy season, I’m sitting in my chair for 40+ hours Monday through Friday……..which is what I’ve been doing lately with homeschooling and rescheduling weddings BUT it feels different, right?! It feels so different! Again with the perspective!  AHHH!! And like many of you I can NOT wait for the chaotic and busy days of “normal” to begin again!  It’s going to come!! Fall is going to be insane!  So, feel free to remind me of how much I wanted those 50-60 hour weeks when I’m backed up with beautiful weddings and editing like a mad woman and haven’t been able to feel my butt for a week from sitting in this chair!  Again, perspective during these times is everything!  I can’t wait to be with people again!

So, I figured I’d do a blog post about what it’s like being a wedding photographer during these very uncertain times.  It’s “different”…that’s for sure!  I’m SO thankful this career dropped in my lap almost five years ago because I was previously a nurse and my heart is breaking for all my nurse friends.  I can NOT imagine living the life of a nurse (or any medical professional for that matter) right now while also having a military husband who goes to work 3 out of the 5 days of the week still!  AHH!! Talk about stressful!

So, what’s going on with me lately?  Well, I haven’t been doing the normal wedding work I’m used to but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy!  I’ll do a little Q&A and answer the questions I’ve been getting a lot lately!  Let’s do this!

SO, WHAT’S HAPPENING DAILY IN YOUR OFFICE?

Emails, phone calls, Skype calls, Zoom calls, Facetime, texts, messages….you name it!  I’ve been keeping up with it!

WHAT ARE COUPLES DOING ABOUT POSSIBLE RESCHEDULES/CANCELLATIONS?

It’s chaos!  It’s VERY stressful for all parties.  I can tell you that!  April weddings have already been rescheduled due to the government mandates.  May weddings are nervous with some having already rescheduled and some are pending.  I’m working with every single couple to figure out how to best pick up their wedding and drop it on a new date.  The goal here is to change the date only.  THAT is going to be the least stressful for everyone involved…especially the couple.  Couples spent a lot of time choosing vendors and it would be extremely unfortunate to have to find new ones all over again…that’s like planning a wedding all over again!  ACK!  So, high five to Megan and Jordan who were my first couple to have to reschedule and they did it flawlessly!  They literally just lifted up their wedding from April 18th and dropped it on October 18th!  Give them a digital high five…they nailed it!  If you want to throwback to their engagement session, you can do it here!  They would have been getting married in just 11 days….UGHHHHHH.  It’s ok though!  I have a feeling it was ALL meant to be because October at Bella Amore has light opportunities JUST like this!

HOW ARE YOU HANDLING RESCHEDULES?

You all know me!  I’m doing my best to make sure my couples are happy at the end of the day.  I’ve even been calling vendors and coordinating behind the scenes so the couples can make less calls.  I’ve created a calendar with all my available dates that I’ll pass to anyone (vendor or couple) who requests it!  That calendar can change daily, of course, given how many people are trying to move dates so I do my best to keep everyone up to date!

WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE FOR RESCHEDULING?

Choose a Friday or Sunday.  No, it’s not ideal BUT it’s your best bet for getting all of your vendors available again on the same day!  No one wants to lose money because of this crisis and having to find new vendors means new deposits/retainers and new contracts.  YUCK!

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Ewww.  Ok.  That’s enough.  Now, let’s move on to the fun stuff and happy stuff!  That was enough doom and gloom for me!  Let’s talk happy things!

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO PASS THE TIME?

Well, I’ve been doing my Aisle Be Ready Wedding Workshops virtually!  We’ve been blowing through a year’s worth of topics having one meeting once a week.  Last night was “MOST COMMON MISTAKES COUPLES MAKE” and we went live at 6:00 PM on Zoom!! Let me know if you want the link and password for next week!  We even had special guests last night…TWO of my VERY FAVORITE DJs – DJ Brian Oliver and Jonathan Mihellis of Finest Events.  They even taught me a thing of two!  So, thank you, gentleman!!  Like I always say, our vendor circle is STRONG and we have a ton of fun!  I especially love when Jonathan popped in with a beach background and Brian had the (real) skies behind him while doing dad duties!  THIS is just the kind of personality and interaction I need when I’m all cooped up! SO, THANK YOU ONCE MORE!

Here’s a quick shot of all of us.  I think we’re missing a few people who were getting cut in and out…but you get the picture!  If you want to come with us next time, let me know!  Apparently Emily Z. missed the memo to smile! HA!  Yes, I call the Emilys “Emily B.” and “Emily Z.”…Bachelor style for any of you who watch it!  It’s a ton of fun and I’m so thankful they all keep logging in and listening to be jabber along…because you ALL know I LOVE to talk…and about weddings! EEEKK!

NEXT!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING PERSONALLY?

Everything and anything!  I’ve been reading (I do that on a normal, non-virus day).  I’ve been touching up my house and painting trim and making it “fresh”.  I’ve been working on learning piano!  I’ve been binge watching TV series with my husband.  I’ve also been sprucing up my flower beds and getting ready for planting season!  Staying busy is important for me on a normal day.  Add in this virus?  It’s even more important.  I have a hard time staying on track when my schedule gets thrown off.  Times are tough…we all need to stay busy!

WHAT’S YOUR PLAN AFTER THIS IS ALL OVER?

Getting back to real life, of course!  I plan to come FLYING out of my house with Hannah energy!  I can’t even imagine what I’ll be like on my first wedding back!! AHHHHH!

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Well, it seemed like such a random blog, right?  I just needed to TALK to someone and DO something that felt “normal”.  I have been missing photographing couples SO much.  I’ve been missing editing.  I’ve been missing BLOGGING.  Most photographers don’t like blogging to begin with but you ALL know I LOVE it.  I LOVE IT SO MUCH!  Most photographers have been very very VERY quiet lately too but I just can’t do that.  It’s not in my personality to EVER be quiet.  I’ll say it again…the word “quiet” is not in my nature…even during a time like this.  So, thank you to everyone who has reached out and chatted with me.  Thank you to all who have attended my virtual meetings!  Thank you to ALL who are reading this!  We’re going to get back to normal one day…WE WILL!  WE CAN DO THIS!  One day I’ll be surrounded by beautiful, stunning wedding things again!!  AND YES…I totally dressed up like I was going to a wedding and took some photos…because I can!  I’m bored, ya’ll!  AND I need some sun…Oy!

In the meantime, I’m going to start my “WHERE ARE THEY NOW” series.  Starting with January-April couples from the past!  EEEEKKKKKKK!!!  It gets me so excited!  Check back soon!

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i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a s n will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

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