Share Happiness Not Germs
Updated: Feb 5, 2021
February 2021 Update: I just wanted to thank everyone who purchased access to this gallery by donating amounts from $5 to $400 - seriously. & I plan to continue adding to this gallery until North Carolina lifts all restrictions on weddings, whenever that may be. Already this year 2021 couples have started to postpone to 2022, and many newly engaged couples are waiting to set dates until restrictions lift. So every single donation is very appreciated and helps this mama continue to support her kiddos no matter what COVID brings with it.
While my wedding calendar looks lucrative for 2021 the reality for me, and many in the industry, is that a good chunk of the weddings have already paid or are smaller than usual because they are Part Two of weddings - so it's going to feel a little like I'm working for free at some point this year because they money has already come in. Basically, income for 2020 was stretched between 2020 and 2021, versus two years worth of income. Which is crazy, but I am SO prepared for that. The couples that paid early? LIFE savers last year. & I spent most of 2020 budgeting in case I didn't have a single spring wedding this year JUST in case.
So again. Thank you, truly, everyone who has made sure that was possible.
Images like this one have been added recently.
Original Post; March 2020;
When the lockdowns started and weddings were forced to cancel I had a true panic moment - like... freaked out, sat down, wrote down every single monthly expense and then cancelled anything I could. I wasn't sure how I was going to continue paying my bills if weddings couldn't happen and if photo shoots couldn't happen because of COVID and restrictions. There were tears shed, anxiety attacks came on strong, and I was truly afraid I would end up living with my dad again.
& I shared that with you all on social media.
& then so many of you assured me I would be okay.
That my business would survive this.
That WE would survive this.
& then you asked how to help.
& then someone asked me to send them some of my favorite landscape images because those images help cheer them up when I share them as wallpapers on Instagram - and when they asked me how much it was for that gallery I told them they could tip me if they wanted, but that I was happy to share images that make me happy and bring feelings of calm at a time when anxiety was all consuming.
They sent me $100.
& I cried again.
I realized that a lot of people are in the same boat I am. The boat of "every dollar I make could be the last dollar I make for awhile" boat. Looking through the gallery I started to feel a little better. Probably because I wasn't overwhelming myself with COVID news, answering texts from frantic clients, or staring at my spring calendar wishing I had written things down in pencil. Instead I was thinking about how pretty it is here in the fall, how Waterrock Knob has the best sunsets, and how pretty Rainbow Row is even when it rains.
SO I decided that instead of loading every image people ask me to sell to Etsy I would share the links to the gallery and ask people to "Pay What You Can" for access to them. Monetary Payments made to Venmo (Victoria-McFall-1) or to PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org) help ensure I still have some income coming in while North Carolina is under a mandate that says non-essential business must halt. As of now, that's until April 29th [[[I am currently laugh/crying re-reading this blog post and updating it here in 2021 and can NOT believe it's been almost a year and we are all still impacted greatly by this virus. 2020 Vicki had no idea. NO IDEA]]]]. Which means that coming out of my "off season" these mandates happened right when I would have started picking up for my spring season, one of my two busy seasons for the calendar year. Spring wedding season/portrait season is now non-existent and I haven't even allowed myself to calculate how much income I'm actually losing - I don't want to know if I'm being honest.
As of now at least five weddings have officially postponed until fall of 2020 or Spring of 2021, which means that not only is that income delayed but those are wedding dates I won't be able to add new clients to for 2021. So paying $5, $10, $100, or $155098.72 (if you're a millionaire without anywhere else to spend your money) all goes to our monthly bills right now and groceries until this summer (hopefully) when things normalize.
The printable sizes can be found in this gallery and the size that works best for phone wallpapers and social media pages (like cover photos or sharing on Instagram) can be found here. I would LOVE to be tagged if you post online so I can see where they end up. If you order prints, please send me a photo of where it ends up in your home one day. The images in this post aren't all of the images in the gallery - and if you make one donation or leave one review you are still welcome to download all of them. I'll add more to it as I clean out hard drives, so save the link.
For those of you who love the photographs but are like me and can't afford to spend money on anything but the necessities until this is all over, I would love if you could leave a review on my Facebook Page, on Google (just go to Google and type "Victoria Grace Photography" into the search bar - you'll see the business page pull up and a "write review" option), on The Knot, or on Wedding Wire.
You can also copy and paste the review onto the other areas so that you only actually have to "write" one. By doing so you help with my SEO (which is basically just how quickly I pull up in online searches) and you also may end up being the deciding factor between myself and other photographers. Plus, everyone likes to read nice things about their businesses.
Other ways you can support my family during this time are to;
1. Purchase a gift card for a future session. Right now they are $100 off (so for a $550 session the gift card cost is only $450). They are delivered on the back of a pretty beach sunrise picture or a snowy barn photograph if you are a repeat customer so it doubles as something pretty for your fridge or desk.
2. You can make payments on your weddings for 2021 and 2022 if you can. Some people prefer to do things in small payments anyhow. I'm thankful to the couples who have already done this - it has been so helpful in minimizing the from spring income being postponed/cancelled.
3. You can share my blog posts/business posts to help me reach new potential customers for when this dies down. This blog post (the one you're reading) is a great one to share to your social media or with your friends. Please & Thank You!
4. You can like and comment on FB and Instagram posts (truly - this is SO helpful).
5. SAVING Instagram posts and re-sharing them to your stories is SO helpful. & sharing reels. Weirdly my first reel to hit over 10K views in 2020 (and ever) was how to glitter-fy a Christmas ornament. So strange. It's free - and really does boost SEO.
[These 5 things have been updated now that 2021 has started and prices are current]
Many, many people have suggested I do Front Porch Sessions/Front Porch Portraits/Pandemic Porch Portraits/etc - but they aren't something I'll be doing even though they were a great idea started up north a few weeks ago and even though there are many, many photographers doing them. I've seen news articles from all across the US about them and they are all over social media, but just because something is trending doesn't mean it's right (or right for me and my family at least).
All of you.
For every single thing you've done to support my family and I during this time.
From buying hand-me-downs to sending me encouraging texts to purchasing gift cards to downloading images to sharing posts and all of the things in between.
[Our family photos by Jen Burrell Photography]
PS; if you try to print images from the full resolution gallery on certain sites it will tell you they are too large. Try this version of the gallery if you run into that issue.