As of today, April 21, 2020, I am sure you are already aware of the severity of COVID-19 and how it has affected all of us in some ways: physically, emotionally, financially.
This blog post is to share a piece of my heart and my steps to ensure safety and an amazing experience for all my couples. These are my Action Plans on how I will do my part to advocate for not only myself but also you, my couples, my clients, the ones who trusted me enough to hire me for to photograph you whether it’s an engagement session or an elopement /wedding.
MY PROMISES TO YOU AND WHAT I CAN DO AS A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER TO HELP DURING THIS COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Safety for you and for my family are my main goals during the pandemic. Therefore, here are my promises to you:
I am STAYING AT HOME per “Stay at Home” order from the Indiana State Governor to keep myself safe and to keep you safe.
If I am sick and the Pandemic is over, I will make sure to find a replacement who’s equally skilled and experienced in the way I photograph to photograph your event. I will personally edit every single photo so your photos will have almost, if not exact, the kind of vibes/mood/colors you were seeking for when you booked me.
If you need to POSTPONE + RESCHEDULE, I will:
Not charge a rebooking fees
Allow you to change to any new dates within 2020 and 2021 (some vendors in the industry won’t let you book a weekend date due to loss of business from other couples, hence, loss of income). I am here for you, everyone is losing in this pandemic and I am trying my best to accommodate for your needs
If I am no longer available on your new date, I will find you a replacement photographer in the same context as above (equally skilled, experienced, and trusted) and you won't need to worry about rebooking a new photographer. Nothing about your contract, image release, or what you expected in your photography coverage will change.
In event of a cancellation, please refer to our contract to view terms and conditions. I hate awkward conversations, trust me, no one does. Unfortunately, those non-refundable retainer fees won’t be refunded. Therefore, this is why I really want to work with you on finding a new date that would work for all of us even if the future is unforeseeable, I am 100% down on using what you already paid as credits for a future session together.
WHAT I NEED FROM YOU:
Just as anything in life, success is not one directional. From my very first email to you, I already said “We are doing this TOGETHER. I'll offer my insights, feedback, advices, opinions, resources and whatever else you guys need help with. But in the end, the quality of your photos 100% depends on your effort” and those statements are true in moments like this. Here are something I need from you:
If you are thinking about rescheduling, I would love to only reschedule about 60 days or less before your original date. For example: right now is April 21st. If your wedding is anytime between now till June 21st, I would love to reschedule to a new date in one heart beat. If your elopement is August 14th, we are bit too early to determine anything since the situation might get way better.
With rescheduling, before confirming a date with your venue and other vendors, please let me know as soon as possible as well as a list of 3 - 4 potential dates so we can work together to find a new date. All I am asking is, please give me some options since other couples are on the same boat as you and they are trying to reschedule as well.
Please keep in touch with me and communicate. If we have ever emailed one another, you already know how over-communicate I can get. I type my thoughts and my feelings so you can see where I am coming from. During this tough time, you might learn new info or make changes that I am not aware of, please keep me in the loop so I can make adjustments accordingly
WHAT I'M DOING FOR THE FUTURE:
Looking ahead, I think it's fair to believe that the industry will be changing. Weddings may become smaller events. Elopements may gain popularity. At the end of the day, joining together with the person you love is what's to be honored and carried through. . . and I think our ideas of what a "wedding" is about may start to evolve and change. In line with that, here are some of my plans for the future of my wedding photography business:
Creating smaller, more intimate wedding packages. Not only to accommodate smaller guest lists and wedding parties, but also to keep in mind the possibility that some couples have been affected financially. I don't want anyone to have to sacrifice their photographic memories because of their budget. Of course I need to make a living as well, so finding a comfortable balance will be my end goal. I'll be posting new packages on my website within the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned!
I'll be perfecting my verbal directions. I feel like twelve years has made me pretty good at directing people, but I'm sure this pandemic will change how we see physical contact and stepping inside other people's "bubbles". Let's be real; I'm a hugger and this is really hard for me! Luckily, as a lifestyle and photojournalistic photographer I PREFER keeping my distance in that, and truly believe that's where some of the most beautiful images are produced. Finding creative ways to direct, coach, and describe what I'm looking for to ensure you still have the most beautiful images possible will be something I refine!
Offering split coverage. Maybe you've decided to do a smaller ceremony now and save a larger reception for later. Or maybe you've shortened your day, but still want lots of pictures of you and your new spouse a few weeks before or even after. I would be more than happy to shoot multi-event dates for you! We can have bridal shoots, trash-the-dress, ceremony-only coverage. . . I want to be there for it all and I want to give you as much flexibility as possible.
IN TIME LIKE THIS, PLEASE REMEMBER, LOVE IS NOT CANCELLED, HUMANITY IS NOT CANCELLED, OUR CLIENT/PHOTOGRAPHER RELATIONSHIP IS NOT CANCELLED
I am not going to lie. As a small business, I am very shaken and very worried about what the future might be. One thing I do know, we will get over this, we will beat this, and life will be normal again. However, we cannot go through all of this alone. Each of us have to do our part to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.
Your love is not cancelled, humanity is not cancelled, rather, it’s just another obstacle to show how strong we can be when we work together.
You have my promises to be your advocate and to do what’s best for you. So please keep in touch and keep me updated with what’s going on.
In the meantime, please wash your hands as often as you can; avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth; and stay healthy.
I cannot wait to document your love and your story soon :)