Goodbye 2020, Hello New Year! | South Florida Wedding and Elopement Photographer

2020 Year in Review

What a completely insane year. Between Covid and Quarantine and a very reduced income, the Presidential elections and more Covid, I think we are all anticipating what the heck 2021 will have in store.

2020 wasn’t the worst year ever for me (2018 will probably always have that title), but it definitely wasn’t the best either. I learned A LOT this year about myself and my business and I’m ready to take these lessons and move forward with vigor.

I am SO GRATEFUL for so much this year.

My amazing clients for choosing me, supporting this dream of mine
My parents for saving me time and time again
Lori for trusting me, building a life with me and choosing me every day
Gigi, the most extraordinary human for going out of her way for me this year when I need it most

And if I’m being honest, alone time. Sorry, extroverts… a nice long quarantine was exactly what this introvert needed. I am however, ready for dinner parties so looking forward to getting that Covid vaccine.

My heart definitely goes out to everyone who lost someone this year. Loss is not easy and I’m pretty sure loss during a pandemic has to be even more difficult. I watched so many friends and family members also struggle with cancer this year, which is INSANE to add in on top of a pandemic. For those of you who struggled, I see you.

I also feel for all of the couples who had to postpone, cancel and pivot their wedding plans. Thank you to the couples who were flexible and kind to their vendors. Running a small business is not easy and the event and wedding industry has been decimated.

Apopka-BTS-Wedding-Photographer-2.jpg Stephie in her element-1.jpg BTS-Megan-In-A-Glimpse-3.jpg

thank you for the lovely behind the scenes photos, Megan, of In A Glimpse Photography!

2020 Tiny House Photo Love Stories

The year started off strong with some incredible weddings. After my Leap Day Wedding I didn’t have another wedding until the end of September due to cancellations and postponements. It was definitely a heartbreaking year for the wedding and event industry having to take a seat and not work. I luckily was able to secure a M-F job to make ends meet until October when my calendar filled back up and I was able to go back to work full time with Tiny House Photo.

Magda-Mario-North-Bay-Village-Intimate-Wedding-Tiny-House-Photo-Sneak-Peeks-6.jpg Greynolds-Park-Intimate-Wedding-LGBTQ-Miami-Tiny-House-Photo-34.jpg Wedding-Reception-Details-Hidden-Barn-Venue-Tiny-House-Photo-34.jpg

Definitely ending 2020 on a high note. So many amazing couples, families and branding clients. My heart is full. Thank you to all of my 2020 couples for choosing me.

Before Shut Down Above – After Quarantine Below

Click on photo to see the corresponding blog post if you’re interested in seeing more!

Engagement-Session-South-Florida-LGBTQ-Photographer-33.jpg Palm_Beach_Courthouse_Elopement_Tiny_House_Photo-108.jpg Bride-Groom-Portraits-Tiny-House-Photo-1.jpg Two-Brides-Dancing-at-their-Naples-Zoo-Wedding-Reception Port-St-Joe-Beach-Wedding-Bride-and-Groom-Portraits-61.jpg Two-Grooms-Holding-Umbrella-Elopement-Day-Fort-Lauderdale Homestead-Backyard-Wedding-Melly-Nick-Tiny-House-Photo-37.jpg Devon-Biz-Backyard-Wedding-Day-Deerfield-Beach-Florida-Tiny-House-Photo-3.jpg Miami-Design-District-Engagement-Portraits-Tiny-House-Photo-52.jpg Groom-Portraits-Backyard-Wedding-Sailboat-Bend-22.jpg Fort-Lauderdale-Couple-Session-Eucalyptus-Gardens-Fun-1.jpg Stephanie-Michelle-Proposal-Coral-Gables-Church-13.jpg Engagement-Session-Wilton-Manors-Tiny-House-Photo-19.jpg

2020 Sessions

A normal year would be DOUBLE the amount of weddings and sessions, but 2020 was far from normal. I am grateful for every client that chose me this year for their session. It’s so crazy looking back at the blog posts from before March, how different life was before the pandemic.

Purple-Eagle-Branding-Portraits-Fort-Lauderdale-Couple Documentary-Family-Photography-Portrait-Family-Hollywood-Home Sound-Healer-South-Florida-Branding-Photography-Nature Utamilla-Florida-Documentary-Session-Day-In-The-Life Salon-Branding-Portraits-Hair-Cut-Tiny-House-Photo Dania-Beach-Day-In-The-Life-Session-Documentary-Photography

Before Shut Down Above – After Quarantine Below

Click on photo to see the corresponding blog post if you’re interested in seeing more!

Plantation-Pregnancy-Portraits-Tiny-House-Photo Hollywood-Family-Portraits-Masks-Tiny-House-Photo Fort-Lauderdale-Goddess-Portraits-Red-Tent-6.jpg Wilton-Manors-Cake-Smash-Session-Fort-Lauderdale-Family-Photographer Dana-Jerry-Caylee-Family-Portraits-Tiny-House-Photo-4.jpg Cathea-Barry-University-Virtual-Graduation-North-Miami-Beach-9.jpg Personal-Branding-Photographer-You-Tube-Influencer-Portraits Charcuterie-n-chill-South-Florida-Private-Chef-7.jpg Headshots-Fort-Lauderdale-Real-Estate-Tiny-House-Photo-92.jpg Branding-Session-Nature-Healers-Spiritual-South-Florida-Tiny-House-Photo West-Palm-Beach-Pregnancy-Photographer-Tiny-House-Photo Fishman-Family-Portraits-Lauderhill-Florida-1.jpg Miami-Beach-Family-Documentary-Experience-Sneak-Peeks-13.jpg Fort-Lauderdale-Family-Portraits-Mass-District-Tiny-House-Photo-170.jpg Portrait-Session-Birch-State-Park-Fort-Lauderdale-11.jpg

Highlights of 2020

-Got to spend March at a friend’s house quarantined with the most amazing Siamese kitten
-Found an office job to hold me over from April to September while photography wasn’t essential
-Moved in with Lori in April / celebrated 1 year of dating in November
-Finally had a successful sourdough starter (she has since died, but she was alive for a few months!)
-Watched Hamilton at least 1,000 times on Disney+ (or listened to the soundtrack on Lori’s spotify)
-Puppy sat for Chloe-doodle for 8 glorious days (my puppy fever is realllllllll)
-Drove to Orlando for lunch for my 41st birthday {breakfast at Dixie Dharma lunch at Dajen Eats}
-Watched 12+ Seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, my new obsession!
-Got a new car lease, goodbye CR-V, hello Civic Coupe! (Downsized to save $$$)
-Went to Butterfly World over the summer after quarantine (it was EMPTY and MAGICAL)
-While driving home from the Panhandle, I got to see a butterfly migration. It was INCREDIBLE.
-Implemented new routines: sitting outside for 10 minutes daily & waking up early to meditate
-Put up our Christmas Tree the first week of November, a new yearly tradition I think

Sunset-Silhouette-LGBT-Couple-Florida Birthday-Adventures-514-23.jpg

I cannot make you happy, but I can commit to support you in the creation of your own happiness.

-yung pueblo

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

-The Sourdough Cookbook I photographed in 2019 was published and had HUGE success. If you didn’t pre-order it on Amazon, it was extremely difficult to find. It was published in June and I didn’t get my copy from the publisher until the end of October. (NPR Best books of 2020, The New Yorker Cookbooks of 2020. Even Jenna Fischer from The Office posted about it on her Instagram!) Proud would be an understatement. Photographing a cookbook has been on my professional bucket list for years and having my first one take off with so much success just left me speechless. Definitely one of the highlights of 2020 for me and I’m sure Bryan too! Here’s my blog post about it!

Stephanie-Warga-Photographer-New-World-Sourdough-Cookbook.jpg

Books I read

Every year I challenge myself to “read” (listen to audiobooks from the library) as much as possible. I didn’t start an actual challenge this year but just read or listened when I felt like it. Here is my list of books I finished. This doesn’t include the 20 books I started but didn’t finish yet, ha ha! It’s also missing the first half of the year.

-The Mesh by Lisa Gansky
-Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
-The One Minute Entrepreneur by Ken Blanchard
-The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julia Yip-Williams
-Relentless by Tim S. Grover
-Lagom by Niki Brantmark
-Hold Still by Sally Mann
-The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
-Start With Why by Simon Sinek
-Mindset by Carol Dweck
-Inward by Yung Pueblo
-Stamped From the Beginning by Imbram X. Kendi
-How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
-Women Who Think Too Much by Susan Nolen-Hoeksema
-It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn
-Where The Crawdad Sings by Delia Owens
-Twilight (for the 5th time probably) Stefenie Myers
-Atomic Habits by James Clear
-Talking to Strangers Malcolm Gladwell
-Untamed by Glennon Doyle
-The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
-Resistance by Tori Amos ****IF YOU ARE A TORI FAN and/or POLITICAL – READ THIS****
-Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
-Before Happiness by Shawn Achor (Super great read!!!)
-10% Happier by Dan Harris
-The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
-The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
-Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty (such an amazing listen to bring in the New Year!)

Travels in 2020

Clearly, I didn’t even get on a plane this year. I did drive off a few times to Naples, Orlando, and the Panhandle for weddings. I brought my can of Lysol, Clorox Wipes, extra masks and tons of hand sanitizer. Definitely scary to travel and sleep in beds that weren’t mine, not knowing how “clean” these places really were, but my many Covid tests of 2020 have all thankfully been negative, so I’m doing something right. Here are a few of my favorite photos from my few road trips!

Gorgeous-Botanicals-Morning-Light-Fern-Mount-Dora-Florida Self-Portrait-Stephanie-Tiny-House-Photographer Tiny-House-Photo-Adventure-Mount-Dora-11.jpg Butterfly-Beach-COPYRIGHT-Stephanie-Lynn-Warga.jpg Lighthouse-Port-St-Joe-Scenic-Drive-Florida-Photography Port-St-Joe-Florida-Scenic-Drive-Lighthouse Lighthouse-Panhandle-Florida Butterflies-Florida-Gulf-Migration-Port-St-Joe-Florida

New Year… New Goals!

Here are my intentions for 2021

-Book more intimate weddings and elopements for more awesome couples
-Continue to build Tiny House Photo
-Learn something new every day
-Make time for the important stuff
-Photograph another cookbook (a vegan one!!)
-Upgrade to the Canon R5 Mirrorless cameras
-Start (and finish) a personal photo project
-Build a new photo brand for Boudoir (ooh la la)
-Find & open the perfect studio space
-Save money (Tiny House / Farm / Bed & Breakfast)
-Find an awesome volunteering position & commit to give back to the community weekly
-THROW ALL THE DINNER PARTIES (once I’m vaccinated and/or it’s safe to gather)
-ADOPT THE PERFECT PUPPY
-Continue my path of self work & spirituality
-Continue to thrive in my relationship

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

Photo by RKM Photography

Cautiously Optimistic

Definitely not going into 2021 with a “Bring it on” Attitude because well, we don’t need anymore insane 2020 energy.

I am excited about a new year, don’t get me wrong… but just like 2020, I’ll be taking everything one day at a time. Cautiously optimistic I suppose. Excited to see my business thrive and live my best life every day. Really hope we can make hugging a thing again in 2021 but for now, sending you all the virtual hugs!

Miss you my friends! Have a beautiful New Year!!

SHARE THIS STORY