Austin Photographer March 2020 Recap

Career Updates

-More Wedding Bookings-

March was a wild month guys, for everyone, I know it wasn’t just me.  We started the month with a vacation that we had been planning for months, but everything that could go wrong, did.  We ended up pivoting, going on a vacation that was entirely different and still had a great time. Maybe this was foreshadowing for what was/is to come lol!  I talk about our vacation more below, but I want to start off with career updates. I really want these recaps to show what it’s like as someone who’s going through their first year in business.  I’m not here to only show the upside. I want to show all the sides!

At the beginning of March, things were really going great.  I booked more weddings in one month than ever before. You heard me!  I am really excited about it. I am growing and can see that what I’ve been working so hard on is really paying off.  I have more exposure to my ideal clients than ever before and it’s been really cool to see the results of that. I’m getting to shoot at venues like Ma Maison, Knotting Hill Place, Stagecoach Inn, and Old Bethany and I am beyond excited, as these are the kind of venues I want to fill up my portfolio with.  All of these couples and vendors are totally my ideal/dream clients and team and I’m so excited that I was chosen for these events! I feel like everything I’ve been doing marketing wise has been so worth it and I just can’t wait for the opportunity to add all of these events to my portfolio and work with such wonderful people!

Knotting Hill Place in Little Elm, Texas
Photo by Emily Chappell Photography

-Coronavirus-

With all of that being said, the obvious took a toll and it’s not something I ever expected.  I had no idea when I made each and every intentional goal this year, that I would have to face this as well.  Coronavirus took over like wildfire and the wedding industry, along with so many other industries, are suffering.  Fortunately we are stable and doing just fine, but all the plans, goals, and dreams we had for this year seem like they’re on pause.  I had goals for how many weddings I wanted to book, plans to elevate my marketing strategy, places I was going to travel, all the things. All of these got pushed to the side when I (along with everyone else) was forced to slow down and quarantine.  

It’s been hard.  I almost felt like I was mourning my goals this year, as dramatic as that sounds.  I’m worried we will go into a recession and my dream of doing wedding photography full-time will be put off so much longer than I had hoped.  Something that gave me comfort was a quote I found that was written by Morgan Harper Nichols. If you’ve never heard of her, click here.  Her words are amazing. The whole poem is wonderful (click here to read it in this Instagram post!), but the part that stopped me dead in my tracks was when she wrote, “So I will trust and believe, I have not missed out on what was meant for me.”  When I read that, I felt like she was talking to me.  

Anyways, everything is okay.  I haven’t booked anything more since the pandemic started but I’m continuing to work on my marketing efforts and I’m hopeful that when this clears and the economy picks back up, so will my bookings.

Personal Updates

-Crazy Vacation-

At the beginning of this year, we had planned a vacation for us to go to Tennessee!  We were going to check out Nashville, go to Dollywood, stay in a cabin in Gatlinburg, and hike Smoky Mountain National Park.  We were going to relax, get deep tissue massages, do all the things! Then…chaos ensued.

We started the trip off by going to Avery’s family ranch.  We had a blast! From there we went to the San Antonio International Airport where we were planning to fly to Knoxville and then rent a car to drive to our cabin in Gatlinburg.  Turns out, we didn’t even get to leave the airport.

We left the ranch at 7:00 am that morning and got to the airport around 11:00 am.  Our flight was set to leave at 1:30 pm. We got on the plane around 1:15 pm and then just sat on the plane until almost 5:00 pm – going nowhere at all.  Something was wrong with the plane – some pressure gauge – something way over my head, and they were trying to fix the plane while we all sat on it waiting.  Finally at 5:00 pm they told us that the flight was completely cancelled and we needed to go back to the ticket counter and rebook flights. Everyone was angry.  It was mayhem!  We rebooked our flight for 8:00 pm that night and had time to kill, so we went back through the security (we were super wary because there was already news of Coronavirus spreading into the US at this point and you always hear that security bins are the dirtiest things, like ever). The airport gave us each $12 food vouchers because of our cancelled flight so we found a Mexican restaurant to grab a bite to eat.  We ordered margaritas (which we later found out were $14 each…and not covered by the food vouchers) and then soon after I got a call from baggage claim telling me that our 8:00 pm flight was cancelled and we needed to come pick up our bag. I 100% ugly cried in the middle of that restaurant. No shame.

The airport put us up in a hotel that night and the next day we were over it.  Nashville was ravaged with tornadoes that night, turns out that Dollywood was closed for winter still, and it was going to rain all week anyways so hiking would have been interesting. We just weren’t meant to go.  We cancelled our flights and Airbnb (we were able to get our money completely refunded back to our bank for the flights, but still haven’t gotten our money back from Airbnb) and we made a super last minute decision to drive New Orleans instead!  

It ended up being such a fun trip after all of the craziness!  We stayed in the cutest little place in the Garden District, went to the French Quarter and ate all the gumbo, muffulettas, and beignets we could fit in our tummies, and saw amazing live jazz on Frenchmen Street!  We decided we will never fly again if we can help it after all of that nonsense. We love road trips anyways and had the best time.

Man dumping corn into a deer feeder at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
Man climbing a tall windmill at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A cute baby boy laughing and playing with a water bottle at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A family picture at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A couple portrait at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A family photo at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A photo of a baby boy and his mom at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A photo of a baby boy and his grandpa at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A baby boy pretending to drive a truck at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A family photo with a donkey at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A family walking back towards their ranch house at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
View of the Texas hill country at a ranch near Uvalde, Texas
A beautiful white home in the Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana
Avery smiling for a picture on St. Charles Street in New Orleans, Louisiana
Posing for a picture in front of pretty flowers on St. Charles Street in New Orleans, Louisiana
A beautiful home on St. Charles Street in New Orleans, Louisiana
Beautiful houses on St. Charles Street in New Orleans, Louisiana
Taking a selfie in our Airbnb in the Garden District in New Orleans, Louisiana
The oldest cathedral in the United States in New Orleans, Louisiana
Avery posing with a local on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana
The oldest cathedral in the United States in New Orleans, Louisiana
A hotel in the French Quarter The oldest cathedral in the United States in New Orleans, Louisiana

-Renting Again-

In my last recap, I talked about how we were planning to buy a house this year.  On our first day of vacation, our landlord let us know that she was planning to move back into our rental so we needed move out in April.  We were already on such a short timeline and then things got so hectic with Corona that we decided it’s just not the right time. Which is totally fine!  We are a little worried about how moving during a pandemic will go, but we’ve already found a couple of houses we are interested in and will be getting ready for an April move!  Fortunately, renting is much easier than buying and if there is a recession, I’m hopeful that the ridiculous cost of housing here in Austin will go down!  

This month was wild, more than I ever could have planned for, but I am so thankful for all of the time at home that we’ve gotten.  There is always an upside!