Love, family and friendship in 2020  

What a roller-coaster, what a year! The year of the Covid-19, micro weddings, elopements, new living!  But throughout it all love won!

2020 what can I say?! You've been a blast but not really the kind I like. However, tucked in between all the upheaval and uncertainty were dollops of love, tenderness, celebration and joy!  

We stayed at home and rarely ventured out, made banana bread, painted rainbows for our windows, waved at friends from afar, bikes were ridden, brains exercised via Zoom quizzes, we home-schooled, we worked from desks in our bedrooms, possibly in our pyjamas, we clapped for carers, we learnt how resilient we actually are, we were kind to one another and ourselves. We loved, we laughed, we celebrated from our doorsteps and virtually - sometimes in sequins!  

During the first lockdown, in the beating sun I cycled around and documented families, couples outside their houses. Some were taken on special days: the date they would have been marrying, a birthday, days after a new baby had been born. Several times I met the baby before any of their extended family had! 

Its been tough, there's no denying that, but the joy sandwiched in-between the hardship, sacrifice and worry has been an honour to witness.  

Before the wedding restrictions were put in place, I photographed several amazing, big weddings! Yes, weddings of more than 15 people or any restrictions at all - hard to imagine now isn't it?! The sun shone, people hugged, and roared with laughed whilst standing close. It seems a life time ago.

Many of the large weddings I had booked decided to go ahead and still marry, adjusting their plans with the restrictions and shot to the Covid guidelines at the time. Admittedly with a smaller group of friends and family often wearing masks, but what shone out from those days was that no matter what, love wins! I found the restrictions and the pandemic made couples really focus on their love for one another and why they wanted to marry. Of the micro weddings / elopements I photographed every couple said it still felt super special, it was still personal, it was still important.  

Goodbye 2020, I'm think I'm stronger because of you, but I wouldn't want a repeat.   

EDIT: Okay, so since I wrote this a third lockdown has been put in place! As we Brits say "keep calm and carry on!"... reaching for the banana bread recipe. Let's take each day as it comes. x

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