Well, it was a year, peeps. Straight off the bat, here are some crazy stats from 2020!
1,000 hours working at Shades
500 hours spent editing
300 hours spent shooting
45 portrait sessions
19 ESP weddings
15 Sundays watching church online
3 weddings as a second shooter
3 weddings attended
3 domestic flights (California, NYC, Ohio)
2 new states (Nevada + Ohio)
1 house move
1 Christmas TV special with Shades
A bajillion emails
Favourite Online Content
Whew, this one’s going to be quite the wrap-up!
Where to begin?! I listened to so much new music this year, but here are some of my favourite finds.
Would it even be a year if I didn’t mention Madam Secretary?! My roommate Kelly and I got hooked on Madam Secretary and never looked back. It’s been so fun watching it with Kel and Jordan. I also watched New Girl all the way through, started Brooklyn 99 and watched a ton of new movies! Turns out, I work really well and focused when I have a show or movie on in the background. Strangely, it keeps me on task because I can track along with a storyline! Who knew?!
Favourite Quarantine Hangs
I lived with Rachael and Ethan Milner for seven weeks during quarantine and it was one of my favourite things of the year! We worked day and night, took Lainey on a lot of walks, created Bitmojis, watched Tiger King (remember that phase?!), ate breakfast under blankets in the living room, tried cooking new recipes and overall just had a ton of fun. I love these two and am thankful that they’re family for me here in Birmingham!
Despite a pandemic, I was still able to travel more than the average person! I snuck in a trip to New York City to visit my best friend before the pandemic hit — my second time in the city but first time that I really got to see some sites. We didn’t have much of an agenda, but we ended up seeing a lot of iconic places while talking and walking and eating our way across the town.
Secondly, I visited Lake Tahoe for the first time! Flying into Sacramento and then driving two hours through mountainous terrain was a highlight, and as I listened to the lyrics of “I’ll Give Thanks” driving through the mountains, it reminded me of God’s love for me: “Every breath I breathe an invitation, To believe You are creating something good, Though this season doesn’t tell my story, I know You’ll move mountains for me, You’re just that good.”
Thirdly, traveling up to Akron, Ohio for Vanessa + Zack’s intimate Stan Hywet wedding was a treat! Pulling up to the estate with my mouth gaping wide, walking across the grounds with the breeze whipping through my hair, sitting in the hotel bed eating wedding cake and capturing their tear-jerking ceremony are some of my favourite memories from that weekend.
Favourite Life Update
I moved into a townhome! Back in May, it all happened very quickly, but providentially the Lord provided a new place to live. It’s been so fun decorating, creating a cozy boho place to work, sleep, host and spend my days. I moved closer to Shades, a short walk away from Rachael and Ethan and on the cusp of Vestavia/Hoover. My life activities migrated over that way a little more, so it’s been a convenient, safe and cozy spot to settle in!
Now the part you’ve been waiting for! This year held the whole gamut of celebrations due to COVID-19. Immediate families only, 300-person weddings, mid-sized weddings… I’ve seen it all! It’s been a joy walking through engagement and newly-wed-dom with couples. They’ve handled this season with patience, grace and trust and it’s been sweet to watch a pandemic force couples to be more unified and close.
Conner + Mike | Rockhurst Farms
Kaitlyn + William Chenoweth | The Club
Katie + James | Cat-N-Bird Winery
Caroline + John | Gwinnett + Environmental Heritage Center
Fran + John | Vestavia Country Club
Clint + Christena | Regions Field
Anne Louise + Will Howard | Wynlakes Country Club
Anne Lyle + Robert | The Illges House
Vanessa + Zack | Stan Hywet Estate
Allison + William | Vestavia Country Club
Molly + Joseph | Lake Ley
Mary Catherine + Matt | Camelot Manor
Ann + Jackson | A2 Church
Caroline + Seth | Mallard Stables
Nicole + Michael | The Barn at Shady Lane
Leah + Preston | Shades Crest Baptist
Melanie + Keivan | Cheaha State Park
2020 Personal Images
To get a more comprehensive breakdown of each month, click here for a month-by-month review. But here are a few sweet moments I don’t want to forget.
Trip to NYC before the world shut down!
Michael + Nicole’s wedding the day before the pandemic hit!
Life with friends pre-covid. Can anyone remember it?!
Living with Rach and Ethan for seven weeks during the first part of the pandemic was the best. So many walks, creating bitmojis, going on walks and working day and night!
I moved houses and Kelly moved in! It’s a sweet little place and I’ve loved all the fun we’ve had together as roommates.
Anne Lyle and I went to the beach for five hours!
I started working at Shades again in February. I love our team.
Mum and Dad came into town for a few hours.
So proud of my peeps! Rach, Ethan and Jordan got new jobs this year and all turned 30!
Our Community Group played a lotttt of cornhole this year. Thankful for this group!
Abby became my first employee!
19 weddings. 45 sessions. Countless days of fun.
Annie girl got married!!! It was a privilege to photograph my roomie’s wedding.
There were a lot of FaceTime sessions with these littles this year. They always brighten my day!
Turns out our friends are all friends! Anne Lyle (former roommate) and I had some mutual friends, so we had a great girls weekend!
Just trying our hands at being #videogirls.
Got to meet one of my bestie’s baby this year! I love Andrea and this sweet girl!
It wasn’t as much as usual, but the visits home were so great this year.
Lake Tahoe!!! I flew to California for a few days to photograph one of my favourite families on earth. So thankful for time with them and the beauty of creation!
I quarantined for a total of 15 days in 2020 and it was AWFUL!!! But I had some precious visitors.
For work, Jordan and I drove around Birmingham to photograph different families as they were in the midst of quarantine. We met some awesome people!!!
IF 2020 WERE A PICTURE:
One of the best purchases of my life happened this year! This couch has seen a lot of love working from home.
Sarah turned 21 AND graduated college this year! Big things happening for this babe of a sister.
One of the Windsor crew got engaged!! So thankful for my time living on the same street as these peeps.
Big Thank You
Of course, I couldn’t do my job without you. I say this all the time, but I work with the best people in the world!!! This job is a complete gift and I love working with people who love well, value my work, trust me to document important seasons and share my work with others. A true gift, it is!!! Thank you for supporting Eleanor Stenner Photography and I cannot waittttttt for next year’s wrap up already… it’s gonna be a great one! Happy New Year, peeps!