How COVID Affected my Photography Business

Updated: May 22, 2020

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!!

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