We’ve made it to 2021 – I hope you’ll join me in breathing a huge, collective sigh of relief! So as the New Year dawns, I thought now would be a great time to do a 2020 review.
You know – like they do in the film magazines – a round-up of the year. But then last year was no normal year – so is this 2020 review going to be super short?!
I think it’s fair to say that 2020 was a difficult year – for everyone. Especially if you launched a new business, were made redundant or, like me, you launched a business in a new country.
A tough year
I’m not going to lie – it has seriously sucked. I have asthma, so the conflict between having to hide away indoors to stay safe, but also needing to earn money, has been a very tricky tightrope to walk.
I did manage to complete a few safe, outdoor, socially distanced family photo shoots before the second wave hit. And I’m so grateful to the families who trusted me to shoot them.
But I’ve really struggled with my mental health. And I know I’m not alone. It’s not easy staring at the same walls for 9 months – not being able to explore my new home, see friends, or visit even the closest city. My world shrank to my flat, the supermarket and the local park.
My emotions have ranged from being scared to step outside my own front door and utter dismay at rising death rates, to raging anger at those not following simple rules like distancing/wearing a mask/wearing a mask properly or going about their lives as if nothing is wrong. They are the ones who are dragging this nightmare out for the rest of us.
But I’ve also felt gratitude – that my loved ones and myself are safe and healthy. That I’m still able to connect with them via technology.
Sheltering the storm
I do miss my family though – I haven’t seen them in more than a year. I haven’t seen any friends either. There have been times I’ve wanted to jack it all in and move back to the UK (when safe to do so). Although even if I still lived there, I would not have not have risked seeing them – it’s not worth it.
But I stuck it out. I persevered. I sheltered the storm, battened down the hatches and learned some new skills. I’m very fortunate that my husband still has an income – but it’s by no means easy relying on just one salary.
That’s why we have to work together this year to end this once and for all. We have to care about each other. We have to follow the rules otherwise we’ll never be rid of it. A bit of self-restraint now means this will be over much sooner and we can get back to normal.
Perseverence pays off
So what else did I do last year to flesh out this 2020 review? Well, aside from watching the Netflix back catalogue, I’ve been surprisingly busier than ever!
I completed several online business-related courses – I laid the groundwork for my business so that there’s a solid base when I am able to work properly again.
One of those courses taught me how to blog – fast forward 14 blog posts later, and here we are!
So let’s ditch the doom and gloom for a few minutes and take a look back at my top 5 blog posts in my 2020 review. Pop the kettle on, grab some biscuits, make yourself comfortable and enjoy.
As a dog photographer, I always like to help clients and their pooches. So when Instagram sensation Archie the Shih Tzu cross made a guest appearance across three of my blogs back in September.
His lovely mum, Sophie Dunne, is a dog trainer and kindly agreed to share some of her secrets with us. I interviewed her about Archie’s training and his special, raw diet.
In the first blog, she explains a bit about Archie’s behavioural problems and how his training best suits him. You can read all about it here.
In the second blog, Sophie shares some simple dog training techniques you can try at home. She explains a bit about different types of training, and shares her top 5 tips for nervous dogs or those with behavioural problems. You can read it here.
In the third and final part, Sophie explains how a raw diet helps Archie’s digestive and allergy issues. Read all about Archie’s doggy diet here.
Back in June I shared beautiful baby portraits from a newborn shoot with gorgeous Arabella.
Her parents welcomed me into their home and I was honoured to spend a few hours with this little beauty.
Read all about what she got up to during our shoot here.
2020 saw the launch of my very first freebie!
One question I’m asked all the time by clients is how can they take better portraits on their smartphones.
Well, look no further. My top tips for perfect smartphone portraits will give you the tools you need to make the most of your phone camera.
Click here to take your first steps to better smartphone portraits.
As a Frankfurt family photographer, I want my subjects to make the most of their time in front of my camera. So I collated my top 5 best props to bring to a family photoshoot.
From toys to glitter and bubbles, I show you the best props to really make your family shoot shine.
Get more inspiration here.
Rescue dog Candi charmed everyone on her dog adoption photoshoot.
I love photographing dogs, and nothing gives me more joy than being able to give back and help dog or animal shelters.
Candi, a Pedenco/Lab mix, was rescued from a shelter in Spain by charity Perrera Dogs UK. She needed to find her forever home and I was more than happy to take some purfect portraits of her to help!
Read her story here and find out if she found her forever home.
Hope for the future
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 2020 review. The year was memorable for sure, but perhaps not in the ways we expected.
I’m super grateful to all of you who’ve followed me during these crazy times. You can keep track of my expat antics on Instagram. And let’s keep our fingers crossed that vaccine rollouts will enable life to get back to some kind of normal in 2021. I really want to get back behind my camera!
So until that time, please wear a mask or visor, keep your distance, and wash your hands.
Stay safe everyone.