Updated: May 22

Excited to have Zach & Ashley's Bend elopement in the books for 2020! Engagement photo by Mindy Arnholt.

When COVID hit I had no idea what it would mean for my business and for the wedding couples I was working with.

I think we all held our breath for a bit, waiting for the dust to settle, looking for a path forward.

I really wanted to write this post in honor of them and talk about the ways everyone handled such a tough situation and what my business looks like now.

I read articles about what other business owners were doing.

How do you handle this? What if everyone cancels? Do you give back their non-refundable deposit?

It's a lot to sift through, and I braced for it... One thing I decided, was that I would give them their money back. Yes, it would absolutely put me in a really tough place. It would take my income and everything I had budgeted and laid out well... but the fact is, this is nobody's fault. They didn't cancel on me and I didn't cancel on them. What matters most to me is having their back. It's not about me, it's about caring for them.

I decided that I'd rather keep integrity and have them remember me well, help them and maybe one day they would come back, knowing I cared.

Anyway. That was all going on in my mind.

I waited for the cancellations.

However, they never came!

I'd get the sweetest messages.

Everyone was dealt a hard hand from COVID but not one of them complained, panicked or cancelled. I am amazed at how adaptable and positive every single person was.

They got creative and made things work.

I am SO proud of them. :)

Some of them decided to get married right away in their back yard and set a later date for a ceremony and reception.

One bride sold cinnamon rolls and did all she could to finish her payments and is faithfully sending me checks in the mail.

I'm just so touched by humanity through this.

I didn't go to these back yard weddings, but they kept me hired for the celebrations that will follow later. I will do my BEST to make these photos just as originally planned! Getting ready photos, family photos, wedding party photos, reception photos and even re-enactment of the ceremony photos. :)

One couple came to Bend for their honeymoon. They wanted to get their photo taken ON THEIR WEDDING DAY. Who wouldn't?? So we made sure it happened!!

It was pretty special and funny- check out the pics!


Some couples didn't get married in their backyard and set a new date instead.

There's been a variety of responses and everyone has handled it so well.

I've always enjoyed simple, small weddings.... so COVID is making all of my photographer dreams come true! ;) haha!

Photography is, by nature, something you can do from a safe distance, which is GREAT!

There is a LOT of room to accommodate what’s allowed & what each person is comfortable with, yet still be really creative and get amazing photos!

When everything was in lock-down, Micah had the idea to take photos of people on their front porch. We called them "Front Porchraits". ;)

We wanted to give back to the community and build camaraderie.

Plus, historically, photographers have always documented history. We thought that looking back, this would create a time capsule for everyone, having a photo in front of the house they spent SO much time in!

The "Front Porchraits" has been a huge positive. Everyone was so welcoming & responsive.

We met over 300 new people from a distance... and now we LOVE seeing our new friends around town!! The project also got featured on TV which was pretty cool!

These new acquaintances are wanting to book "official" photo sessions now that restrictions are being lifted. Weddings, families, graduations, babies, portraits- things are really speeding up for me!

New friends L to R: Dylan, Sofia, Kami & Micah

All in all, everything is going well and I'm currently taking bookings.

I am so thankful to everyone I have met through photography, COVID, and how positively you effected me during this time of uncertainty! Thank you.

Cheers to you!!

When Micah first met me he knew I was sick.

I've shared a lot with you guys... about how I went through a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever diagnosis when I lived in Tennessee and then was faced with the possibility of Lyme.

What I haven't shared yet is a health update about my past year and how my life has changed!

Rewind a year ago.... to my second date with Micah. I kept falling asleep because I was so fatigued.

Micah ask if I would come to Bend because he wanted to take me to see a Doctor he knew would help me get well.

Looking back, I think it is pretty romantic that he did that. That's why I thought it would be such an amazing story to tell. :)

My first scan brought up Lyme. I remember feeling devastated when the Doctor told me... but the more I talked with him the less concern I felt.

In fact, I felt really good about it! I felt excited to have answers and Bob (the doctor) had the tools and knowledge to get me well.

How could I not be looking forward with new hope?

Bob is calm and sure.

"So many people have Lyme, Kami. They just don't know."

It made me so happy to hear about the results people were having from seeing Bob.

He was changing lives. One patient went from being on a liver transplant list to being taken off the list and now has a healthier liver than 90% of people.

Not to mention his mom is almost 100 and going strong (still coming to family BBQ's!) and he is in his 70's and you'd never guess it.

Instead of feeling like I was one person in a thousand with Lyme, I realized that I was probably 1 out of 2 or 3... I was just the one that knew about it and was doing something about it.

Lyme is SO OFTEN misdiagnosed or unable to be diagnosed.

That means most of us are walking around with fatigue, headaches, brain fog and maybe even depression (Lyme can manifest that way.) and people just never know WHY. Crazy.

I felt at peace with it. I felt that we were on the path to getting my old self back and everything was going to be ok.

Bob and his wife Jan

Bob helped find and kill the Lyme using his F-scan. Every parasite has a frequency. This uses frequencies to identify what you have, and then it runs a frequency back through you that kills them. Lyme is so tricky to get rid of, this is one of the few ways that works.

I made sure to detox as much as possible. I got a portable sauna, took aloe vera, drank lots of water, Burber & Pinella.

Another scan helped identify what vitamins & minerals I was deficient in, and so I started taking those exact ones.

Things started getting better. I started being able to do more and more!! I was no longer falling asleep during the day and my major symptoms went away.

I was better but still not 100% like my old self. There was something else.

It's funny looking back.

The first day I ever saw Bob, "dental" came up on the scan and he told me I should go get a checkup at a dentist. It didn't seem like a huge deal. I didn't feel any pain or anything so it didn't seem urgent.

I scheduled appointments only to have them re-scheduled. I kind of played dentist tag for a year, plus COVID hit. I couldn't get in unless it was an emergency.

This wasn't an emergency.

Haha! Well, that changed overnight!

One of my half grown lower wisdom teeth got infected. It happened so fast. I was in so much pain I was crying. :) Micah took me to the ER and as soon as they could get my mouth open wide enough they took out my teeth.

A week later I went in to see Bob.

The "dental issue" that came up on his scans for a year was now gone from the scan.

I smiled. "You knew it. You told me." I said to Bob. :)

The good news, is that ever since then I have felt like A NEW PERSON!

The Doctors said they think I've probably been fighting a low grade infection from the wisdom teeth for a long time.

They said half-sprouted wisdom teeth create an environment that IS IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean. It was keeping my immune system busy. Probably suppressed.

So that means a lot of the symptoms that seemed "Lyme" related were very likely actually related to this, and fixing this has seemed to come full circle on bringing my health back around!

Honestly, the surgery and recovery was easy. I wished I had done it long ago. It was the infection that made it so, so bad and painful. It was 100 worse than the surgery and recovery.

I'd just like to say this because I wished someone had warned me-- even if your half-grown wisdom teeth aren't bothering you, look into getting them out ASAP. The older you get the higher the chance is that you will lose feeling in your lower lip when they take them out because as the teeth mature they attach to the nerve in your jaw. By your late 20's there is a 50% chance this will happen and that percent gets higher each year- so don't wait. Also, who knows if this is also giving you a suppressed immune system and is keeping you from great energy!

This has been such a journey of ups and downs and sideways.

I understand the medical frustrations a lot of people are facing, and just want you to know that if any of this resonates with you, feel free to send me a message to talk or ask questions. There so much to health and healing!

I am so thankful Micah helped me find answers, and I am so thankful for Bob's care and knowledge. I wouldn't be the same without it!

It feels so good to feel so good again. The best yet.

It's not even just like "my old self coming back", it feels like a whole new me! :)

At the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by Micah Frazier

It's been a year since my last blog post! Being out of the habit has made the idea of a post really daunting. Life has so many facets it's hard to start with one post because there is so much to it.

I keep getting this image in my mind, that life is like a map. You have all of these roads that intersect. I think of those roads as stories and circumstances of your life, each are their own road with their own name... but then they all connect at some point, and in the end, it's like a web.

That web is your story.

Anyway, that is just a mental image I was trying to find a word for (like "facets"?) and then realized I should just explain the picture I had in my mind.

I can find it hard to share sometimes. I'm still figuring out where I came from and where I'm going. I don't mean in an eternal mindset. That's locked in, thank heavens. But what I mean is that life is continually changing, and new paths and choices are being forged. Some choices are small daily ones. They add up. Some are once in a lifetime. You're growing and stretching and changing, moving & climbing. You know? It's a lot!

You meet a new friend and they teach you new things.

You live in a new society and you learn new ways of living.

Or the Coronavirus hits. You see your life in new lights.

It would be nice to just package it all up as a finished novel, knowing the beginning and end, and THEN share it, but you can't really. I can only share this chapter.

There is vulnerability in that hanging space of unknown.

Of course, I can share past chapters, but sometimes I hesitate to, because the more life I experience the more I seem to be able to interpret my past. So let's just wait until I'm 80 for that. haha ;)

Back to my point about the road map. We don't know exactly where each road is leading, and so, it's hard to invite others on the road trip. We feel scared and vulnerable, I think, because WHAT IF we don't want to take them to where the road ends up going? There are a lot of uncertainties in life...

But I think if we're open to knowing that it's about this journey we are on, together, then it feels ok to share.

The destinations aren't the point as much as the ways we've journeyed, and hopefully journeyed together. No one has full certainty (except hopefully they do in Jesus) so everything here on earth can crash and burn at any point, and we are left with pieces.

Gah! Sorry to get dark and scary. But I say this because I think the exciting part is that we are given the chance to live again. Maybe your life won't go on as before, and that can be excruciating sometimes... loosing who you use to be... maybe through lost health, or someone you loved.

Life leaves you burned.

That's been a really interesting (maybe shocking is a better word) ;) part of growing older that I wasn't expecting.

Meeting new versions of yourself and life.

When you are a child looking forward, childhood is a lifetime to you. It is all you know. It is everything. You feel essentially the same... Time moves slowly. You don't really meet new versions of yourself or life.

But once you are grown, the same amount of years that were in your childhood can fly by in a moment, and suddenly, you have been stretched and morphed into this person you don't recognize. You are handed experiences you didn't ask for faster than you can breathe.

I think sometimes that can be hard to come to terms with.

Who am I now with this new condition? Car wreck? Relationship? Children? Body? That person who left me? Lost dreams? Maybe you even got famous over night.

We can wonder why we're not like who we use to be... Maybe life was simpler and you were kinder. I think we should take into account all of the new and extend a hand of grace to ourselves. Because truth is, who we use to be didn't live and experience what the current you has. You are dealing with more.

At some point in our lives our magical, childlike view of the world will get smashed in an instant.

I'm rambling now. But what I'm trying to say is that life changes us and sometimes the weight of change is fast and heavy. I think it can be easy to move forward hating the new and hating what it has done to us. Maybe we want to run from people, hide parts of us we don't like, be safe from their offenses... and sure as heck don't invite them on your journey with you!!!

I think life gets harder as you get older.

There is this tendency to back down from life because you are not strong enough to face it as it becomes more intense.

So, I started thinking that if life gets harder that means we have to get stronger. We can't expect to face it like we did before. It's new. Welcome to level 2! ;)

I guess what I'd like to say is don't back down. This struggle you feel is real and you are not alone. A lot of growth comes through acceptance. I am NOT saying to be apathetic in acceptance, more like, put on your boxing gloves!

Get strong. Face the new life, the new you, the new battles. KNOW that it won't be magic-easy-land and that you are going to have to throw punches, take hits, draw closer to God, get back up again even harder than before...

Man, it's easy to wish for someone to bail you out.

I do think God always sends us an angel, a blessing, in some form. People do bail us out.

Light comes.

You know, and maybe through all of these hard changes, we just peeled back layers and found problems within ourselves that we have now faced and fought to end. That's a good thing. Maybe these hard things in life helped you to level up as a human.

I did not intend to say all of this. In fact, I was just going to share about my new life in Bend, Oregon! But as I thought over my year, how I've grown, and what is happening right now in the world, it all came to mind.

Just going to hit publish on this, so stayed tuned for the Bend Life Update next!

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© 2019 by Kami Couch