Well, what a year this has been. I’ve added a whole new bunch of new words to my vocabulary – social distancing, furlough, herd immunity, pandemic, lockdown, micro weddings, asymptomatic – the list goes on. Looking back, this year actually started off amazingly, with a family holiday and destination weddings in Hong Kong, Bali and Oman – and 19 more weddings scheduled through to November. Perfect.
But the universe had other plans. In the end, I only photographed ten weddings, two of them before the world went pear-shaped and eight as micro weddings in the so-called ‘new normal’.
The two weddings I did early in the year were a real pleasure, and I was absolutely ready to make 2020 my best year ever. I thrive off weddings – the pressure, the problem solving, the fact that every new challenge and situation is completely unique. So once the C word hit, times were definitely hard. As they were for everyone in the wedding industry.
When I finally got back to work in July – after not shooting for four months – it was like being able to breathe again. Then suddenly I had another seven more, each one very special – especially so because of the conditions and the effort required to bring it all together.
I felt extremely privileged to be part of those weddings. I know that none of the eight couples who soldiered on got the wedding they wanted, that they had dreamed of. But each of those occasions was brilliant in its own way. They all deserve to be recognised in my best of post, which I’ve done every year and I will certainly not be stopping now!
2020 hasn’t been the best, for sure. But all these weddings deserve to be celebrated, more so than ever. These couples are superheroes. They chose to rock on and reschedule, reschedule, reschedule, until the time was right. I’m so happy that I was able to capture their memories for them.
It’s a cliché, I know, and I’ve said it so many times before – but these are all amazing unique stories that my couples will be telling to future generations. I truly hope I’ve created images they can all look back on and feel nothing but happiness, as they reminisce and travel back into the beautiful atmosphere they created in the face of adversity. They took 2020 on, and created some of the best moments I think they could have ever asked for.
Behind the scenes
Just like those couples, I’ve taken 2020 on too. I’m used to being busy all the time, to travelling constantly, and the inertia of this year has been really hard. But I’ve refused to let my cameras gather dust. I give it my all at every wedding, and I’ve found that I’ll give my all even when there isn’t a wedding to shoot.
I’ve hardly had the cameras out of my hand this year, and have been determined to carry on doing what I love by taking photos of my family. That’s just me. Despite everything, taking pictures is what I do.
It’s impossible not to reach for a camera in seeing my wonderful kids growing up and discovering the world, oblivious to what’s been going on. But also, this year needed to be documented. I want my daughters to know what these strange times were like. What we all went through. Amelia (my eldest) keeps asking, “Dad, what did you do when you were young and Coronavirus was there?” I have to tell her that this is a first for us all. That we’re all learning as we go along. To really know me, you need to know my family. Which is why, for the first time, I’m sharing my favourite 50 wedding photos from this year along with my favourite 50 or so family photos.
Capturing precious moments, of the familiar and unfamiliar, has never been so important. I hope you’ve managed to cope with 2020 in your own way and I’m sure you’re looking forward to waving it goodbye as much as I am!