Day 81, I think?

I think I read somewhere that today was day 81 of the lockdown. To be honest it feels like day 1081. Anyway, just thought I’d add a bit of content, not only to update on weddings and my current situation photography wise, but also from us as a family. Remember, I am the stay at home Daddy/Referee/Chef/Teacher/Washing Machine Operative/Rabbit Keeper/Peace Keeper/Mediator/PS4 specialist so it has been written in 5 minutes between outbreaks of arguing in the house (see below)

Weddings. What are they?

Early March was the last time I actually attended a wedding with my camera. It seems like an eternity ago now. When will the next one be? Who knows!?!? There have been whispers in the photography/wedding underworld that maybe outdoor ones may be on the horizon. But as we all know, ceremonies, although being an absolute vital part of the day, is only a small part of the day. There are other things to consider such as the wedding breakfast, evening reception etc etc where we are all generally in a small indoor area.

Many people think that wedding venues that are they key to the return. This will only be the case once they have gotten the green light and also the guidance from the Government. Then from the guidance, all the safety measures have to be put in place as well as no doubt lots of training and briefing for their staff. The staff at venues are human beings just like us Mums/Dads/Brothers/Sisters/ Friends etc, so their safety is just as important as ours. As Mrs MNP is a Health and Safety advisor, my Risk Assessment’s and Safe Systems of Work are in good hands, so when we get the nod, we will be good to go and will do so as safely as possible.

Please remember without the go ahead, the venues simply cannot open. They also will not have any clue when this is likely to happen. They do not have a direct line to SAGE (someone will be chuckling when they read this). All they can do is to accommodate as best they can any date changes.  I think the key to this whole situation is for everyone to be as reasonable and as patient as possible. None of us in the wedding industry want to be sat at home, we want to be out doing what we enjoy and what we do best. Simple as that.

Here at MNP, like most, we have suffered huge losses. Huge in terms of being a self employed sole trader. We stopped counting when it hit a certain amount back in early May. We just take everything as it comes now and try not to worry about what’s coming. People have suffered loss of loved ones so would be wrong to dwell on financial losses.

We have always said, we really do get to work with the best Brides and Grooms. I think that boils down to the fact that most people who book me, have in fact already been a guest at a wedding I have photographed. Many have worked with us to agree a new date, in their words ‘Whatever happens, we want you there taking the photos’. Some however haven’t, and that is absolutely fine. As I always say, ‘Its your wedding, you do things your way!’

Those who we haven’t been able to accommodate have had the refund the are absolutely entitled to. I have also tried to help them to get a replacement photographer. Many have gone on to book those I recommended and I look forward to seeing photos from their day.

As it stands we have retained far more weddings than we have lost. We thought 2020 was going to be big year, well 2021 is even bigger!!

One little bit of advice is that if you haven’t yet booked your suppliers for next year, do it now. Dont hesitate or you may be disappointed. Also, dont be afraid of a Thursday or a Friday wedding, I think I shot just as many Friday weddings as I did Saturdays last year. You and your guests get far longer to recover before heading back to work!

Also, the extra year may give you a bit of time to save a bit more money and add things into your wedding. Things such as a Videographer, Singing waiters etc etc. You’re having to wait that bit longer, make it even better!!!

Some may have seen the Doorstep Shoots. They came about after we saw on the local news that food banks were being used and that some were running low. Steph and Myself agreed we should try our best to support the local food bank. We did just that giving families some amazing memories of lockdown and also raised around £200 for the food bank in Ossett. Thanks to everyone who supported the shoots, and sorry to those who I was unable to get to. Those who follow my FB will see I had a nasty, anonymous message through my website about me not respecting NHS frontline workers. Totally not the case and he/she may have missed the competition I ran a month or so ago. Rebecca Morrison an A&E nursing assistant is having her wedding shot by yours truly and won’t be paying me a penny.

The only other thing I have done photography wise, is to do something I have wanted to do for a while, photograph my daughter Poppy in a Poppy field. Despite her being in a foul, non compliant mood I got some great stuff of her and Grayson that I am sure will be going on the wall at some point

Wakefield Wedding Venue
Wakefield Photographer Children in Poppy Field
Photography during lockdown
Wakefield Wedding
The Coniston Wedding in Yorkshire

Nicholls Juniors!!

“What day is it Steph?”

“Day after the day I told you it was yesterday love”

Sound familiar anyone? Wow, we loved the first four weeks of lockdown. But now the kids are bored. Bored of me, bored of each other and bored of being at home. The in fighting has spiked, in fact they’ve had 3 arguments whilst I have been writing this post. Each argument needing some sort of intervention from me. Yesterday, it took me 4 hours to finish off designing an album. 4 hours!!!!! Album design is something I am usually pretty slick at, not with Poppy and Grayson in the hood. Roblox fall outs, Tiki’s Tok is too loud, one is laughing at the other or hit the other blah blah blah!!!

School work has slowed down despite the enthusiastic start.

I have always maintained that I wanted to keep the house as conflict free as I could and that they dont remember lockdown as that time Daddy was really strict. But more we all got to be together, laughed together, played together and did random things such as 9pm visits to Starbucks to pick a hot chocolate up and then go for a cruise up to Emley Mast, or all belly flopping into the paddling pool that sort of thing. Not me getting cross and dishing out consequences because they haven’t done enough in my opinion.

I think what Im trying to get out there is to the stay at home parents amongst us, dont worry, its ridiculously hard and make things work the best you can. Have fun, do random things and don’t let the pressure of school work make you feel guilty or get you down.

I totally had no need to feel guilty, as my kids school’s have been extremely supportive and understanding. But a few weeks ago the stress did creep in and made me feel like a crap parent. I am sure most reading can relate to that.

This seems such a weird thing to moan about, but we have also lost two holidays, potentially three. Anyone who knows us, knows that holidays are our thing!! We work extremely hard so that when were not working, we have the most amazing family time ever with the sun on our backs. The other day Grayson said he wished he was at the beach riding the waves again. Me too Son, me too.

Whilst many have taken to home workout etc, the light in my days has been food!!!! The workout being my right foot, accelerating down to Zucchini’s regularly. Check them out, the most amazing Italian food to take away. On my birthday, they even slipped in a couple of Peroni’s. Next time you see me, you may have to double take, despite a shrinking income, the belly has certainly inflated.

Anyway, got to dash, fight number 4 has broken out, Stay safe everyone!!!!!