This is My Business Story, Part Twelve And Now, We PIVOT!
And evil takes a human form in
Regina George 2020… How in the world do I explain 2020?
2020 was a Dumpster Fire.
She was a Garbage Heap on top of a Crap Pile.
I heard she cost 6 million people their lives.
I heard she also started a worldwide phenomenon of people quitting their jobs.
Her favorite movie was Little Women.
One time, she turned the entire wedding industry on their head.
And one time, she punched me in the face… It was awesome.
Mean Girls monologues aside, 2020 was supposed to be the year that everything fell into place… and, as we all know, it ended up being the year life as we knew it fell apart.
I headed into 2020 full of so much hope… so much optimism… so much naïveté and blind faith. It seemed like everyone I knew was finally getting their *ish together (myself included) and the world ONCE AGAIN came down and slipped the rug out from underneath us and said, Nope. Not this time.
Fourteen was my magic number that year. It was the number of weddings I had booked for that year, the big red number at the very top of my business goal spreadsheet, and 2020 was my fourteenth year wielding a camera to create my dream life. In January, fourteen seemed like magic.
On March 15, 2020, life as we knew it changed forever when statewide shutdowns began to take effect.
As soon as it felt like I got my bearings on rescheduling my entire spring calendar, the emails started rolling in from my wedding couples…
Subject: Possibility of rescheduling…
Subject: COVID Wedding?!
Subject: Corona fun-sucking virus update
And with every email, every cancelation, and every reschedule, my heart broke a little bit more.
During lockdown, quarantine, whatever you want to call it, I felt that familiar ache in my bones that comes whenever I can’t use my camera. I dove into my favorite depression shows, marathoning Grey’s Anatomy and Gilmore Girls while I had nothing to do all day but check my email and watch my couples big wedding dreams fade off into the sunset.
Something else I got into during quarantine that even I didn’t see coming?
The Duggar family.
Seventeen Eighteen Nineteen Kids and Counting, later rebranded as Counting On. That TLC family who made a spectacle of themselves by following the cult IBLP wherein they have “as many children as God grants them…” Wholesome Christian values with a seedy underbelly and a dark side that certainly no one ever expected to come from them, a la the sisters scandal involving the eldest son, Joshua Duggar. That same Josh Duggar involved in the Ashley Madison scandal that disgraced his wife, Anna.
And, well, the rest as we know all unfolded with the Internet watching their every move.
Yes, during quarantine, I dove down the Duggar rabbit hole — and I’m not sure I ever fully recovered.
But what does this have to do with photography?!
Excuse me — have you ever SEEN a Duggar wedding? They pull off these enormous feats with ginormous bridal parties and extravagant ceremonies — and often in less than three months! The Duggar family wedding science is like a car crash that I simply cannot look away from.
Plus, who could forget that time Jill Duggar-Dillard wanted 3,000 root beer floats during her reception and they all melted because someone forgot to close the freezer door? Classic wedding day blunder.
You could say, I live for a good damage control narrative. Bless the Duggars for having at least one train wreck during every wedding. (We won’t talk about the crock of Josh singing about loyalty to Anna during their wedding ceremony. That is a WHOLE OTHER BLOG POST, BABE!)
Observing TV weddings where normal everyday things go wrong, a la the Duggars and other TLC wedding shows, helps me to better serve my couples during their problem moments on their own wedding days!
In 2020, I ended up photographing nine weddings — scaled back, scaled down, rescheduled with changed dates, changed venues, mask requirements and all. The 2020 wedding season opened my eyes to how much fluff we put into weddings these days when all that really matters is you and your person, your loved ones, and that special promise of forever.
And then after wedding season winded down for the year, I put my headset back on and once again assumed the title of Drive Thru Queen.
TO BE CONTINUED