Happy New Year everyone! I’m proud to present my Best of 2020 Wedding and Portrait Photography and storied reflections on a year during great uncertainty.
What a wild ride 2020 has been.
At the beginning of 2020, my year was lining up to be the best ever for my business. I was looking forward to photographing a full schedule of wedding dates and also had a dozen or so portrait sessions already on the books.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread its way across the country and quarantine began, most of my clients, rightfully so, made the difficult decision to postpone their celebrations.
Suddenly, I was forced to pivot.
With the uncertainty of how to move forward weighing heavily on many. I too wondered how I would support my photographic livelihood moving forward. It was also a heavy time for my family with the realization that my grandmother was to be admitted into hospice for her end of life care.
An ironic twist to an already surreal time in our world.
I was at home with my family in Missoula in late March, giving support to my grandmother the week before stay-in-place directives kicked in. During that time, I came across some old, favorite family photos that I had made of her throughout the years.
I kept thinking about the nearing end of her life and all of the great times we’ve had together. I realized those photos had suddenly become priceless to me. Captured memories that brought up so many wonderful emotions of love.
I wanted to make sure that my clients had the same chance to celebrate their own relationships.
It was a reminder that good storytelling photography can be that bridge to tap into all those emotions we hold dear towards our loved ones.
How many of us have made excuses over the years, not making the time to be present with our families? And in doing so, have we missed an opportunity to celebrate them and this time together with photography?
I think we’ve all been guilty of it.
Yet, once those loved ones are gone, we would do anything to be back in their presence once more. Crave just one more time to savor their cherished expressions that encapsulates who they are.
Looking back on 2020, I think as a society, we came away with many gifts from the year. For many families it was a time of heightened awareness that while we were socially distancing from our neighbors, some of us were getting to experience the precious moments of togetherness. A new appreciation of our families, loved ones, and pets during this time of unpredictability.
That was something to celebrate.
Giving Back and supporting local charities
During quarantine, I decided to create the Bozeman Front Porch Project. I was looking for a creative path to give back and use my photography skills to help my community in any way I could. The premise of the project was a brief, socially-distanced mini family photo sessions. I photographed families on their front porches, offering it as a chance for them to refocus and celebrate all the good that surrounds them while raising money for local charities.
At the conclusion of the project, I photographed a total 55 different families. Together, we raised almost $3,000.00 that was donated to One Valley Community Foundation and Greater Gallatin United Way.
It was such a joy and highlight for me to give back to the community that has given me so much.
Best of 2020 Wedding & Portrait photography – Positivity comes to fruition
As the year went on, I was blessed to meet an assortment of new clients. Families that wanted to capture and celebrate this time in their lives. I also helped businesses and professionals put their best selves forward by creating fresh business portraits and engaging photographic content for their business websites.
While most of the weddings in 2020 had been postponed, I was still able to photograph a few wedding with their close immediate families present.
As we’ve seen from 2020 worldwide pandemic, sometimes the best-laid plans don’t always work out. But it’s amazing how we can adapt to life’s changing circumstances.
Harley and Amanda were so excited to have a snowy winter wedding at the Gallatin River Lodge. When their wedding day arrived, unfortunately there wasn’t any snow on the ground, only a frigid cold outside . Making the best of situation, we wandered out to the frozen pond to remedy the problem.
When the pandemic canceled the big wedding plans of Addie and Nate, we changed course and instead rode up a backcountry mountain on horseback to photograph their small, intimate wedding ceremony. It ended up being better than they could ever imagine.
During Jordan and Raven’s elegant wedding in the Bridger Mountain foothills, a fast-approaching wildfire forced an emergency evacuation just hours before their ceremony was set to commence. Thankfully, on short notice, another venue was secured. Despite the hiccup, we rolled with it and celebrated their relationship well into the night.
The year seemed to be full of unexpected challenges but in the end, everything worked out. Each of these unique weddings was wonderfully imperfect in its own way.
Despite the struggles of 2020, I think as a community and country we have realized some of the hidden gifts of this pandemic like cherished time with the people that give our lives meaning.
Looking back on my Best of 2020 Wedding & Portrait photography, it wasn’t the year I expected. But all of it was a blessing and a well-needed time for reflection.
Now, with hope on the horizon for the vaccines being distributed, I look forward to the possibilities of 2021. The love I’ll get to document, the families I’ll get to celebrate and the businesses I’ll be able to make shine even brighter.
I’m optimistic about what the future holds.
I’m so grateful for the clients that supported me this past year. I cannot wait to embrace my friends safely again once this storm fades.
Above are some favorite wedding and portrait photographs I created this past wild year. I hope you enjoy them. And when the time is right, I look forward to helping you celebrate what matters most in your life. Happy New Year everyone! -M