Erika + Sanj | Home Ceremony in Hayward via Zoom

2o20 has been a difficult year. January, February, and March were particularly slow this year and we didn’t have any large weddings scheduled until the very end of March. Then the shut down happened around mid-March and we shot one small wedding at a restaurant right before everything was permanently shut down for over three months.

All of our bookings either postponed or canceled. We thought the shutdown would probably be a temporary closure that would affect our April and May weddings but not the rest of the summer. Week after week, more cancelations and postponements came. At this point, we are probably not shooting a large wedding for the rest of 2020 unless the miracle vaccine is released!

Fortunately, some small events are allowed depending on the county and it is events like these that are keeping our sanity! What the shutdown has taught us is that more than anything, we enjoy photographing people and happy moments. We miss the interaction with the couple, their families, directing portraits, and telling stories with our cameras.

After being a photographer for over 16 years, I never thought something, like we are experiencing now, would ever happen. What would have been our best year yet (every year has gotten better year over year), is now probably going to be our worst, but we are thankful for the pause and to stop and reflect and realize that our path in life is exactly as we hoped it would be.

After three months of no hired shoots, it is nice to be shooting these home events. We get to interact with the couples even more because instead of guests they are only having the photographer there. Instead of inviting close family, we are like a family. Instead of hundreds of witnesses in attendance, the witnesses are all online watching attentively from the comforts of their own living rooms via video conferencing apps like Zoom.

What we do is even more important to capture the history and legacy. It reminds me of my own parent’s wedding who held their small ceremony at home in 1969. There was only a few guests and it was extremely simple. Something is so pure and real about these home events that I almost feel in no hurry to go back to the days of large events where everything is less personal and more for the guests and not the couple.

For this event, Erika and Sanj invited me to their new home in the Hayward Hills. They recently moved back to California from New York and decided to have a small ceremony in their yet to be furnished living room with their friends watching online via zoom. Their close family came over and they quickly started the zoom call so friends could see them take their vows. A friend of the couple officiated the wedding, also via Zoom, and prompted them to repeat after him and to say their “I do’s” followed by a ring exchange.

After being pronounced husband and wife, Sanj kissed his bride and a row of happy smiles lit up on the monitor as all their friends watching online congratulated them!

It was quick, to the point, simple, and so beautiful!

After the ceremony, the couple popped champagne and said a toast, to which their friends virtually cheered them through the screen of the laptop. The couple then waived and thanked their friends for viewing and the zoom call ended and the couple proceeded to have some photos of them in their new Mercedez which was decorated with a “Just Married” sign.

We drove down to the end of their street to capture some portraits in a total of one hour and fifteen minutes, the shoot was done!

The smaller intimate weddings we have shot during this Covid-19 time have taught us that it is more important than ever to be a good, relatable, personable, professional, and candid documentarian. Fortunately, I feel like these are some of our best qualities and why we enjoy working with our couples during these difficult times. We are easy-going, fun to work with, and respecting of the situation at hand and make it fun for our couples throughout the short amount of time we are with them to document these at home events.

Love is not canceled. If you can plan a small at-home event I say do it! Everyone can wear masks and social distance. Everyone can do what is comfortable for them and the ability to either be there in person or virtually online is so important to the couple. If you are planning in at home event please contact us and we will send you a quote based upon what you are looking for!

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