2020 was a big lift.
How many things did we take for granted before the pandemic? Did we assume that our lives would march forward in some predictable, linear way?
2020 certainly upended my assumptions and priorities. It also challenged me to be more capable on all fronts: as an artist, a business owner, a member of my community, a friend, and a family man.
Back in July I sent you a mid-year-in-the-thick-of-the-pandemic update. I was adjusting my photography business to a flood of reschedules, and doing my best to accommodate 2020 couples. I was doubling down on homeschooling my son Dov, and relishing the opportunity to be a more involved and present father and mentor to him.
Two things loomed large in mid-summer: The kickoff to what should have been “peak season” for weddings (August – October), and the start of the school year.
The Shutter Kept on Clicking in 2020
Many wedding couples evolved their thinking on what was truly important for them, and chose to celebrate with intimate, scaled-down, outdoor celebrations. I visited a lot of beaches, parks, and backyards. I struggled to figure out how to capture emotion in photographs when faces were hidden behind masks. I innovated and adapted to capture maskless and safe family photos. I learned to work in a mask and got over the frustration of condensation on the back of my camera.
Home Is Where The School Is
When it became clear that my son’s school would not be back in person, I tripled down on a complete homeschool approach. After seeing the “zoom school” experience in the spring, I knew this would not be an acceptable approach for my kid. Like many pandemic parents, I became an educator. I embraced opportunistic learning. I was not reluctant or resentful of this role, however. I made my son’s learning my number one priority.
On both fronts – business and school – I am proud of what I achieved. There’s no question that compromises had to be made. While many couples asked for my flexibility and patience with their wedding plans, I asked for flexibility and patience with editing and other deliverables.
It’s All About Family
The biggest event of 2020 for our family was not the pandemic, however. In October, my second son, Ira, was born. It’s been an incredible blessing, and we are overjoyed and filled with gratitude. I have never felt so thankful for my family, for their health, for our togetherness.
I felt this from my clients, as well. November brought a flood of requests for family photos, engagements, and surprise proposals. It’s as if so many people were striving to capture this spirit of togetherness, in a time dominated by isolation and fear of one another.
Cleared For Landing
As we glide through the last days of this turbulent year, I am ultimately filled with hope. Together, we have been navigating one of our generation’s biggest challenges. It’s forced us to grow in unexpected ways, to find untapped reservoirs of grace and patience, and to untether from rigidity and complacency.
We may not have been able to travel this year, but what a trip it has been nonetheless.
Flight 2020 is cleared for landing.
As we begin our descent, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position…