2020 was a difficult year. I won’t miss it.
I am tremendously thankful for all of my friends and customers, who, amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic helped my business adjust and survive. I am often asked “How did you do it?” Being a newborn and baby photographer, some of the pandemic-imposed restrictions and concerns made many things difficult or impossible. This is how I did it.
I closed the studio for over two months. I refunded and rescheduled all my clients, watched the news with my fingers crossed, I dipped into some of the business savings and restructured some of my accounting. I got a puppy (ok, the puppy was a pre-covid decision but he arrived in early April, just in time to keep us all sane and distracted). I researched industrial strength cleaners appropriate for my line of business.
When it was time to re-open, I re-opened after much hesitation. As my clients’ safety is always my top priority, I only agreed to take on a very limited number of newborn clients. Nobody else allowed in the studio. Masks on at all times. Sanitizers, wipes, extreme deep cleaning protocols, scheduling adjustments to allow several days’ between clients. Getting used to the new normal.
In 2020, I cleaned more than I photographed.
I toned down my social media presence (ok, I completely stopped all social media and blog posts). I was afraid of backlash against opening. Some of my clients felt guilty and afraid of possible backlash and negativity because they chose to do a newborn session (so I tweaked my contracts and assured them of anonymity). I had no time for online presence as I spent time cleaning and sanitizing at the studio, and trying to keep my own family safe and sane and okay in virtual school. My kids stayed sheltered and learned to wear masks even on walks where we didn’t cross paths with anyone (they also went without haircuts longer than they should have).
The puppy grew (a la Clifford the red dog, he doubled in size every week), chewed, and I started using our home videos of his adventures on my phone to keep my littlest clients entertained at the studio. “Wanna meet my doggy?” has become one of my new studio go-to’s when I work with toddlers, replacing silly faces and peekaboos (not as fun with a mask on).
Right now, I am taking it one day at a time, and keeping my fingers crossed that the end in sight. I cancelled my gym membership as that got replaced by endless dog walks. Whether we ever return to pre-covid, or we have to adjust to the new reality of elbow bumps, masks and virtual doctors visits, we are all doing our best. The studio is open, fully operational and taking newborn clients with due dates into summer (so, 6 months in advance) and baby/toddler clients for short milestone sessions. No maternity, older kids, headshots or family sessions just yet, sorry.
2020 is now over. I still clean more than I photograph. I am open full-time, by appointment for newborn and baby clients. I just had a client drive 2 hours to see me from Maryland (thank you!) Most of my clients come from Northern Virginia, so shout out to Fairfax, McLean, Herndon/Reston, Alexandria, Arlington, Great Falls, Ashburn, Chantilly… you name it. Email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 202-251-6368.
Thank you all for choosing me as your photographer. Having been a studio photographer in business full time since 2010, I hope to keep Chasing Moments up and running another 10 years (or more)! May you all have a safe and healthy 2021! And of course, it wouldn’t be a newborn photographer post without some sweet baby photos – so here are some of my favorites from a newborn session with one of my favorite clients! Done a few weeks before the pandemic, the session turned into a printed album to match the one I made for her sister just a couple of years ago! Here we go, I am back in the blogging business!