For all of the cancellations, replanning and delays, Hannah Eden assures that not even Covid-19 can stop love.
Eden, a Yellowknife-based photographer, opened her business to wedding bookings for the first time in 2020. While almost all of the weddings she was set to shoot were cancelled, Eden said the one that did take place was intimate and just as, if not more, lovely than other weddings she’s seen.
Eden recalls being contacted by the couple at the height of the pandemic. She said the pair were not clients who had initially booked her services for 2020, but that they had been planning to get married on the east coast and didn’t want to give up their wedding in spite of travel and large gatherings becoming impossible.
Eden describes the wedding on the shore of Frame Lake with their two daughters and one other couple – a pair already in the bride and groom’s Covid bubble – as their witnesses.
“It was a real honour to photograph,” Eden said. “There was a real joy about that day.”
More and more, Eden said she’s hearing couples looking to opt for that kind of “elopement style” ceremony. Fewer guests means the bride and groom can have just their closest family and friends, and it “can still be incredibly beautiful with a small number, and maybe, I would argue, even more beautiful with just your close people around you,” she said.
Eden has a been a professional photographer in Yellowknifer since 2015. With her business Hannah Eden Photography, she said she loves capturing memories because “everyone deserves to have beautiful memories and beautiful photography.”
Eden’s background is in photojournalism, which she suspects is why she leans more towards a candid style of photography, as opposed to something staged in a studio.
While her 2020 business was not half weddings as planned, Eden said she was still busy photographing family sessions with new babies, or engagements, and couples who had never before had their portraits taken professionally.
With some residents having a few extra dollars of disposable income from cancelled vacations, families this year opted to document their time together and capture life as it was in 2020.
“There was still so much joy about this year,” Eden said. “You, as a client, in a natural setting with your family, in your garden, on a walk, those are the moments we should capture. Let’s capture you at your happiest.”
She said that all 2020 photoshoots were taken outdoors, which allowed Eden to maintain a distance from the clients.
“The Yellowknife community has really banded around local businesses and I was one of those businesses that the community supported, so I’m feeling really grateful,” Eden said.
As the fate of weddings and other gatherings continue to be uncertain in 2021, Eden suggests moving ahead with a smaller wedding anyways.
“If a wedding is something that’s on your heart and you want to celebrate the love you have, then just go for it,” Eden said. “We can party with a bigger group later.”