To my sweet friends and Clients,
We have all stepped into uncharted water the past few weeks, and I want to reach out, especially to those that have booked a wedding or a session with me. During this time, the last thing you needed was a global epidemic. Trust me, I get it, I really do. The first thing I want to stress is this: I am here for you. These events are something that non of us ever counted on having to worry about, and my heart aches for humankind’s weakest members in this compromised time.
I’ve spent the last few weeks, as many of you have, reading up on COVID-19 and after much care and thought, I wanted to reach out to give you an update on how this global epidemic is impacting Gretchen Bell Photography, upcoming sessions, weddings, etc.
My primary objective is to honor the services you have contracted with me and give you the beautiful photos you deserve. As of now, I can tell you that I’ve been in touch with couples whose weddings are most likely to be immediately impacted by the outbreak of this epidemic, but I know that everyone getting married in 2020 is worried about how this might affect their day.
Right now, I plan to photograph your wedding as planned. That being said, I’m not a public health professional or epidemiologist and I have no control how things will change. I’m keeping myself up to date with information involving outbreak developments on a daily basis and monitoring how this may impact weddings and events.
In the case we become ill, there are restrictions put in place for large events or if the national/state/local government institutes any bans/ordinances/laws that keep me from attending your wedding I will proceed with alternative arrangements, as outlined in your contract: “If the Photographer is unable to perform this Agreement due to impossibility, illness, emergency, fire, casualty, strike, act of God or causes beyond the control of the Photographer, the Photographer will make every attempt to provide a Substitute Photographer per the provisions in this Agreement. The Substitute Photographer is chosen at the discretion of the Photographer and does not constitute a breach of this Agreement. The Photographer warrants the Substitute Photographer to be of comparable quality and professionalism.” Your contract also details what happens if we cannot find a substitute photographer + what happens if you cancel your wedding, this can be found in your contract, and I am happy to look over it with you.
I am not saying any of this to worry you, but instead arm you with information and know that I am here to respond to what ever life may throw at us in these uneasy times. Should I learn of anything that could impact your wedding day, I will reach out to you.
Some of you have come to me with questions on how better prepare for your wedding. I suggest hiring a wedding planner to help you navigate uncertain times ahead – logistically this is a complicated issue and the more people in your corner the better. If you need referrals I am happy to send you several options. I also feel that reaching out to your venue to discuss their policies, and safety measures they have in place for sanitation, etc. If you are even close to considering a date change, please contact me ASAP to discuss options. The more quickly I am involved, the better chance we’ll have to reschedule you successfully.
What else can you do? Stay informed with trustworthy non-partisan news sources, follow recommendations from the CDC and World Health Organization, wash your hands, practice social distancing, avoid large crowds/events, and please be mindful of the immunocompromised and elderly at-risk. Even if you can survive it, this is the time to take care of our vulnerable populations by decreasing the spread of COVID-19.
As you know, photography is my full time job, it’s how I support myself and my beautiful sons – I’m taking this very seriously. Please know that all of you are in my heart and on my mind. I’m on your team and in your corner.
And finally, it is so important that we move forward, together, as people. We must cherish our loved ones, have kindness and compassion for strangers, and do what we can to care for our fellow man in this uncertain time.
We will get through this together.