2020 was a year unlike any other, as it ushered in the beginning of the COVID-19 era. We started to rapidly see cancellations in the beginning of March for everything from family shoots to weddings to conventions and corporate events, which carried on throughout the rest of the year. All of our staff at JPG Photo & Video hunkered down in our separate homes, working from home on projects we had already photographed and filmed, wondering what the rest of 2020 had in store for our industry.
Our industry was changing rapidly and before we knew it, laws forced weddings as we knew them to completely cease for months. Outdoor weddings resumed when they were legally able to with masks, social distancing, car parades, Zoom and livestream ceremonies, for some—day of COVID-19 tests—and many other protocols in place to protect everyone involved. And forget koozies and matches, the 2020 top wedding favors were masks and hand sanitizer for sure.
We also had to make many personal and business changes, and we started having to stock our camera bags with hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for our equipment, extra masks, and we had to prepare ourselves for shooting a little bit differently than we always have. On the positive side, we’ve felt more connected to our couples and their families than ever before. It’s hard not to when sometimes there’s only 10 people at a wedding! These small, intimate weddings have become a wonderful way for these families to celebrate together in such a difficult year.
While we know there are much worse things happening in the world, life still goes on and milestones continue to happen. For this reason, we continue to help our couples with their wedding photography and videography needs as safely as we can.
2020 forced us to implement a tremendous new tool for our weddings—livestreaming. Our Video Production Manager Andrew took it upon himself to learn and create a foolproof setup so that our couples could share their big day with any and all friends who couldn’t physically be there. Several weddings we livestreamed last year even had international viewers as families lived abroad and couldn’t travel due to COVID-19.
We understand the difficulty and uncertainty couples are facing with their dream wedding plans in these difficult times, so we’ve been trying to remain as transparent, flexible, and empathetic as possible to all of their needs.
We also celebrate our couples who took the proper steps and worked over and over again with their venues to ensure everyone’s safety, including one couple who provided on-location COVID-19 rapid testing for everyone at the (small) wedding, just for piece of mind. Many other couples are choosing to ask their family, bridal party, and guests to get tested for everyone’s safety.
While we realize a lot of people had to make sacrifices in the name of health and safety in 2020, we know we will remember photos from 2020 for many years to come. We wish everyone a safe and healthy 2021, and let’s just say we can’t wait for our normal big weddings to return!