With cherry blossom peak bloom dates being announced this week, it felt like the perfect time to share this very special series and the story behind it. These images are incredibly special to me, and it’s my hope that they bring you some joy, too! The Cherry Blossom series was created on March 16th, 2020. I think we all collectively remember that week as when the world stopped, don’t we?
I was supposed to be on the west coast for a destination portrait shoot that day. As COVID descended upon us, flights were getting canceled in droves and the situation was spiraling rapidly. In the space of just a few days, schools were shuttered, toilet paper was in short supply, and non-essential gatherings were illegal. This meant, as a wedding photographer, I was literally not allowed to do my job. My family depends on our business, and as much as I hated to admit it, this was scary.
So, with my schedule suddenly wide open, I found myself in wandering around the Tidal Basin during peak cherry blossom bloom. I was lost in thought, coming up with contingency plans and pointedly keeping my distance from the few people around me. It was high noon on a beautiful day during peak bloom – the Tidal Basin should’ve been swarming with tourists, but instead, it was the emptiest I’ve ever seen it. The scene was jarring yet beautiful.
Though I hadn’t set out to do so, I happened to have a camera with me and so I created a few images as I walked. The next day, in a historic move, the Tidal Basin was closed due to COVID. I posted my images online, with a few thoughts about how scary the world felt, and a link to purchase small loose prints from my rarely-used online print shop.
For some reason, this post resonated and went viral. The images were viewed by over a million people! I received hundreds of comments from people relating to my feelings, a piece or two of bizarre hate mail, and – to my surprise – countless print orders.
Those print sales buoyed my business financially through the COVID lockdown phase, but more importantly, it was just the win I needed to keep going. Truthfully, I’d gone there that day to contemplate closing my business and going back to a desk job with more security. This experience motivated me to push through, and now three years later, I can’t even think about all the incredible things I would’ve missed if I’d given up.
Since March 2020, my business has exploded. I’ve been able to book out my calendar, scale past six figures, go full time, work with the most incredible clients, and travel the world doing what I love. This series of images will always have a special place in my heart, reminding me that there’s always beauty to be found and the best still lies ahead of us.
If you love this series as much as I do, I invite you to bring it into your own home! For a limited time, this framed set is available for purchase as shown for $699. Email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase yours today. Prefer to book a portrait session? Learn more about DC cherry blossom portraits HERE!