Recently I wrote a few words about photographing couples. The holidays, from Christmas to Valentine’s Day in particular, are what some consider “Engagement Season.”

No doubt, you or someone you know is making plans to tie the knot in the new year, or maybe sooner.

Then comes this sh*t storm of a global pandemic.

I hear you.

It’s hard to make plans when there is so much uncertainty all around you. There’s uncertainty about work, and health and home life.

You’re worried about your loved ones young and especially old.

I am too.

There’s little to do but ‘keep calm and carry on.’

Follow the advice from the CDC and your local and state governments.

Stay home as much as possible. Hopefully, the ones you love are near.

I’ve been thinking about the weddings that are already planned. It’s a little early in my part of the world, and there’s nothing on the calendar for which I fear immediate cancellation or postponement, but folks do get married year-round.

Recently, a bride-to-be that I expect to photograph in the fall shared photos from the weekend of a siblings wedding. It wasn’t the wedding they planned. Not everyone could attend, I think. I suspect the at-home venue in which they held the affair was not their first choice.

BUT Everyone looked happy. Elated, even. Your wedding is one of the happiest days of your lives, and at the end if it what really matters is the love you share. 

I’ve photographed big weddings and small ones like this – smaller even.

In each and every case, that wedding was a very special day.

A week later, a friend share photos from a wedding she attended via ZOOM. I’m not sure I get it.  Sure, these are uncertain times but in most cases, I’ve got ask. What’s the hurry? So wedding planners are now planning virtual weddings, seriously!?! C’mon. It can probably wait. How are you going to celebrate that first dance via webcam? Will your father cry when he gives you away via SKYPE?

Not too long ago photographed a wedding at which the mother of the bride had recently been diagnosed with cancer. I think it impacted the scheduling of the event, but not so much that the couple said “O.k. we’ll do this next weekend.” (which by the way is about the timetable my parents offered my grandparents – and no, it was in fact several years before their first born arrived)

Two years back I photographed my latest wedding of the year in December. I photographed a separate proposal that morning. Last year, the local season seemed to be over by October as the barns, farms and fields that are so popular for weddings soon after succumbed to the cold.

I’ve often said I’m not a factory photographer.  My season is starting late this year and I’ve had no cancellations. I’m most thankful that that means no heartbroken brides fretting on the phone. But if the phone does ring, with the need to make a change due to this crisis, I’ll probably say “Your big day will come, and it will be even more special because everyone there got through this nightmare.”

Through the natural course of the passing of time, we experience loss.  However, life continues on as it will this time.  We will get through this! 

I still have availability this summer and fall, and it occurs to me as some spring weddings are rescheduled to summer some photographers may face conflicts with potential double bookings. 

I’m here for all of you. If I’m available, I will work with couples hustling to get their weddings back on track.. If you’re a professional in a jam, note I’ve worked in various crew capacities for years and subcontracted in for others when something unexpected came up. (Always with the couple’s blessing, of course.)

This pandemic will be hard on everyone. Worse on some. Freelancers, such as event workers (those that prepare for concerts and festivals for instance, or the vendors within those shows), the self-employed (not-just photographers), caterers, restaurants, dishwashers, busboys and wait staff whose employers simply can’t keep them on the payroll while there are no tables to wait on; theater owners, bowling alleys, barbers, gyms and fitness studios (The first bride I ever photographed now runs a Pilates studio and started coaching online.) The list goes on and on.

I doubt fees or deposits will be lost due to providers. Even my contract calls refunds “discretionary.” BUT something like this is so far out of anyone’s control there’s really no question of how to proceed. Refund or reschedule.

However, if your new date is a conflict for your photographer, I imagine they’ll cut you a check.  I don’t photograph 50 weddings a year, but many people do – their calendar will be less able to accommodate rescheduled events later in the year.

No matter,  wedding photography should not break the bank or the budget.

My affordable rates might even be less than the balance due on your current contract. If you end up facing the necessity of rescheduling your special day and your photographer is unavailable, well – I pledge to help anyway I can.

As everyone is, I look forward to happier days.

Thanks for reading. Reach out, if I can be of any help. You can also find, follow & like Jonathan Ment Photography on Facebook & at www.catskillsphotographer.com and check out the broad-topic’d “Observational Ramblings” of the Ment Media Group’s “Business Blog.”

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