It’s currently 12:25 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting on my balcony sipping sugar free Red Bull, listening to birds chirp and feeling the soft fur of my German Shepherd laying lazily at my feet.
Normally at this point in late April I would be deep into my editing cave, as I like to call it, fine tuning happy memories for my clients. But now the happy tears and soft laughs at the images on my screen are suppressed sobs and small smiles to hold back the tears. This pandemic that the entire world is trying to crawl out of has been devastating to the wedding industry and small businesses alike. My heart doesn’t leap during images of the first kiss, it’s riddled with palpitations induced by anxiety. Instead of shooting weddings and engagement sessions, I’m at home wondering when I’ll be able to legally work again. Even then, I have my fears about what future weddings will look like–will they all be strictly regulated at a cap of 50 people or fewer? Will I or one of my clients get sick? Or worse, everyone in attendance? My mind is typically a dark place, so adding to the stress is making my outlook kinda bleak. Since I don’t have anything new to post, I go back through past weddings and re-edit my favorite shots. It’s comforting to think back to that little bit of joy and sunshine; I try to cling to it as long as I can.
When everything got shut down in March, I had just come back from Antigua, Guatemala with Marc. Being in Latin America was such a wonderful reprieve from the “real world” back home… until we almost didn’t make it out of the country. Their borders were shut down the day after we flew back to DFW. I assumed that it would be 2 weeks max that we would be quarantined. But then it got extended, again and again. Tomorrow the Governor of Texas should be letting small businesses go back to work. Part of me is ready to shoot everything that I can and call all of my clients that had to postpone; the other part of me wants to keep waiting until things are clear. But when will that even be? I don’t think anyone knows for sure.
So what does a photographer do when working is illegal? To keep my creative juices flowing and to appease my stir craziness, I’ve been photographing my two boys. Normally it’s just from our living room or third floor balcony, but a couple days ago I “treated myself” with a trip outside of the complex. The sunshine! The wildflowers! The smell of the breeze coming off the nearby creek! It was lovely and something my soul needed oh so much. Everett and Callum weren’t too thrilled at me making them be my models, but they were good sports overall. When I look back at their portraits, I don’t feel the stresses of quarantine–I feel happiness knowing that I’m raising these two beautiful humans; I’m overwhelmed with how handsome they are; I’m cherishing these moments in their lives because I know that they’ll be gone in the blink of an eye. Callum is already 8 (going on 18) and Everett is on his way to the terrible twos. They’re my light in the darkness. My sweet boys (including Marc, who I just celebrated 10 years of being together with) and Zelda, our dog-daughter, are who keep me going. When Marc hugs me during a panic attack, he gently reminds me in his deep, soothing voice that everything will all be ok. We are in this together. While I know I’m not the only one hurting, I do find comfort in the knowledge that everyone in the world (crazy, right?) is going through their own hardships in relation to this pandemic. We’ve formed a community, finding common ground through our struggles. And we will get through it, together.
I love and miss you all. I can’t wait to celebrate all the little and big things with you again. If this lockdown has taught me anything, it’s that when the world re-opens, we will see it all through brand new eyes and will have a much bigger appreciation for life.
See you soon, lovebirds. In the meantime, here are some photos of my little lights. There’s more of Callum than Ev, since he didn’t really want to cooperate. Also, peep that at home haircut Marc did for Callum… ha! This is why you hire a professional, y’all.