April 14, 2020
The first quarter of the year is always quiet. Those first three months of the year just never have a lot of portrait sessions scheduled. While I did shoot a few studio and headshot sessions and one outdoor signature session, the gray skies and wet cold make it difficult to get the most out of the outdoor sessions that I love so much. So instead, those months are always spent mixed between tying up the loose ends from the previous year and traveling to photography conferences. Because these months are always quiet, when the first stay-at-home orders went into place my daily workday didn’t change much – other than suddenly having to share my office with my husband and trying to support my kids’ daily distance learning activities.
But we’re halfway through April now. Flowers are in full bloom. The skies aren’t so gray. Even though fall sessions are by far the most popular with my clients, I have such affinity for spring portraits with their soft light and beautiful pastels. With each day that passes I’m forced acknowledge the sessions and events that were once on the calendar – opportunities for me to capture memories and create treasure for clients and friends.
This past weekend I was supposed to photograph a family who I photographed just last year, and life has brought so many changes in such a short time that they wanted new portraits, but now we’ve had to postpone indefinitely and a session this year may not happen. I was also supposed to photograph families at church on Easter morning as part of a family mini-session event of sorts to help raise money for our church’s Habitat for Humanity build we do each fall. And yesterday I had to send an email to my first ever high school senior spokesmodel team to tell them that I’ve had to cancel the fun kick-off to their year on the team that was planned for the end of the month.
I also can’t help but reflect on what I was working on one year ago – busy preparing for what I had hoped would become an annual celebration of motherhood through photograph each May. And while our stay at home orders currently only extend to until the end of April, it’s hard for me to think beyond our current circumstances or plan for an event or even a series of separate sessions until we know and understand what our new normal will look like on the other side of this.
Last year when I was planning that first motherhood event I came across this quote: “I never knew I could grieve the passage of time until I became a mother.” Perhaps becoming a family portrait photographer has made me even more aware of time passing as I watch not only my own family grow and change but also my clients’ families. I joke that my superpower is the ability to freeze time and turn it into treasure, but if I’m being honest, I think right now I am grieving the passage of time — as the days have become weeks and the weeks have become one month and we really don’t know when this will end — and I have no ability to stop it despite how I define my superpower.
I have also struggled to know how to serve you well in this time since Covid-19 appears to my kryptonite.
I’d love to hear from you with your ideas as well.