Vermont Family Photography- Highlights of a Challenging Year

Oh 2020, What a Year...

If you asked me in January 2020, what I had planned for my business in the year ahead, I could have talked all day. I started the year out with tons of excitement, anticipation, and plans for the families and high school seniors I would photograph throughout the year. I know I'm not alone in admitting that January isn't my favorite month. The excitement of the the holidays is over, my business goes into mild hibernation, and the skies are pretty darn gray here in Vermont. The highlight of the month is my business planning- getting caught up on blogging, planning my calendar, and getting on top of everything behind the scenes. This past January was no exception...I was excited and I had plans.

kristy dooley and her daughter smiling

kristy dooley and family on beach

fireworks behind father and daughter

Hello Covid-19

Like everyone, March hit hard. I started the month finishing up a family vacation in Florida. I was at Disney World in insane lines and crowds just a couple of weeks before they shut down. We obviously had no idea. The day we flew home was the day Florida had its first case of Covid-19, and I vaguely remember thinking, "yikes, we should really get out of here." We used a little extra sanitizer on the way home, saw a few more masks than normal at the airport, and truly, didn't think much beyond that. We arrived home on March 3rd, ten days before our schools shut down. As homeschooling began, my husband moved into my office, and my March newborn sessions were cancelled, I started to wonder what this year would look like for my business. As someone who loves to plan ahead, the lack of certainty around my work, (and really, everything) wasn't sitting well with me.

kristy and daughter sitting at table

girl with covid mask on in car

children visiting grandparents social distancing

at home school father and daughter

Photography Sessions Resume

As things got a bit better in Vermont, I was given the go ahead to resume my business in June. I had so many concerns about how I would interact with kids behind my mask while keeping my distance. Would I still be able to get them to smile? How could I get them to laugh when I couldn't whisper silly things in their ears and run in to tickle their bellies? I bought way too many masks (neutrals for my senior sessions, and patterns of pizza and dinosaurs for my families). After a few sessions, many of these worries were fading. I discovered that kids are amazingly adaptable. I could still get the engagement I wanted, even with a mask hiding my own smile. Despite my March worries that no one would want photos during a pandemic, I started to realize the opposite was true. If anything, I found that capturing special memories was a bigger priority for many families than ever before. Sessions were outside, and therefore felt quite safe. They weren't seeing family, and more than ever, wanted photos to share with their loved ones. The biggest reason I think it was at the top of people's list this year? It was a happy thing to do. Together, we were able to capture the joy that was still quite present behind all the stress and unpredictability of 2020.

family of four in backyard

family of four sitting in field

three kids in field holding hands

parents and daughter in field photography

mother and sons by the lake

two girls smiling fall in vermont

family of five in backyard

mother and son photograph

parents holding little boy hands

father holding his son

family portrait with dog

two sisters hugging in field photography

Thank You

As my business is once again approaching its slower season, I'm reaching that same period of excitement and planning for next year. Before I'm ready to move onto plans for 2021, I want to thank all of the families and individuals who stuck with me during this year. Masks and a foggy camera aside, capturing your joy and memories has truly been the highlight of this year for me. I love what I do...thank you for all your support, trust, and smiles in 2020.

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