2020 YEAR IN REVIEW | YEARLY REFLECTION | DETROIT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER


Elopement wedding in Mackinac City Michigan at Black Rocks

Wow. To say that 2020 was a crazy year is an understatement, but even though it was an insane year like never before due to the pandemic, it was a spectacular year for personal and business growth, more than any year prior. While there is a lot that I can focus on from the past year, I’m choosing to reflect on all the good that took place. This year had extreme challenges, pandemic aside, with personal illness, racial injustices, and a major job transition. It was a year filled with grief, change, and uncertainty. Yet, this year had overwhelming exciting moments that I want to share. It’s so important, especially in challenging times, to focus on and celebrate those moments.


I’d be lying if I said I made it through this year with successes and celebrations alone. I had the support of my friends and family, especially my loving and undeniably supportive husband. I also had the support of others in my industry, who challenged me and encouraged my growth. But ultimately, my success comes from God and God alone. Seriously, I give God all the glory for my personal and professional growth. He is the one who has given me these strengths and passions. He is the one who gave me a burning desire to help others and provided clarity in uncertainty. He is the one who deserves the shout out, not me. He is the one who deserves the praise.


I know that some of you are reading this thing thinking, “Dang, this girl is one of those crazy Jesus believers who thinks God blesses her life and business. What about your hard work? What about the success of people who don’t believe in God?” Well, I believe every good thing comes from God, and honestly, I don’t know about the rest. And that’s okay. I don’t have to be able to comprehend everything.


What I do know is that I love Jesus; He is my source of joy and comfort. I know that God has turned the challenging circumstances of this year into abundant blessings in disguise. I know that He is in control and this year was filled with glorious surprises and glimpses of hope! So, with that, I’d love to share my 2020 yearly reflection. Yes, only the highlights! Remember, reflecting on the positive thing? It’s not to build a facade that my life is perfect, it’s far from it. But it’s to celebrate what God has done with this mess of a year.


PHOTOGRAPHY | WEDDINGS


Due to Covid, weddings rescheduled, couples planned micro weddings, minimonies, or elopements, and some couples canceled their weddings altogether. It was an extremely challenging year for couples getting married and every vendor in the wedding industry. Yet, while I “lost” over half of my weddings scheduled this year, it was a tremendous year for weddings. I absolutely loved documenting intimate ceremonies and elopements. I had the opportunity to travel in Michigan to Marquette and Mackinac Island for elopements and weddings. After having our travel plans canceled this year, getting out of the city was refreshing!


Presque Isle Park in Marquette Michigan. Photo by Nicole Leanne Photography
Bride holding wedding dress walking on Black Rocks in Marquette Michigan. Photography by Nicole Leanne Photography
Bride and groom holding hands on Black Rocks in Michigan during sunset looking at the lake. Photography by Nicole Leanne Photography

I had the unique opportunity of documenting a wedding virtually and absolutely enjoyed directing the couple through my iPad for photographs. I began a partnership with Basic Invite, to provide quality wedding invitations to my couples. I created resources for couples, like my favorite wedding planning apps guide and my tips for planning your wedding during a pandemic. I also curated two stylized elopements this year. You can see all the beautiful moments captured from my July Eastern Market stylized wedding here. I also partnered with The Borrowed and Blue Project for another stylized elopement in November, which you can view on the blog. I loved the opportunity to partner with talented Detroit vendors. This year, I also had two weddings featured in Metro Detroit Weddings Magazine, which was a huge honor!


Truly, it was surprising that so much good came out of this year. Having more time to focus on God, myself, and my business helped everything flourish!


iPad showing couple on wedding day with masks during 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. Photography by Nicole Leanne Photography
Bride and groom exchanging rings at Eastern Market in Downtown Detroit. Photography by Nicole Leanne Photogtaphy
Bride and groom cutting cake at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan. Wedding photography by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Eastern Market Detroit bride and groom photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride holding flowers looking out window at Eastern Market Detroit.
Couple laughing during wedding celebration at Eastern Market Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Couple at Eastern Market Detroit for wedding photos. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography
Couple embracing for a kiss during wedding pictures. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom walking through Downtown Detroit during wedding photo shoot. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
A couple holding hands walking in Detroit for wedding photos. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bridal bouquet by Bride and Bloom in Metro Detroit. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Couple sitting on couch with wedding bouquet. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Couple dancing outside under patio lights with view of Detroit skyline. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Nicole Leanne Photography holding Metro Detroit Wedding magazine which featured her photography in 2020. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.

Despite all the changes for weddings and couples, love was not canceled. I am extremely proud of my couples who persisted through all the challenges of wedding planning during a pandemic. I know that their relationship will be stronger after going through this experience. And I continue to pray for all my couples planning their weddings for 2021 and 2022 that they too will overcome each challenge and be drawn closer to their future spouse in the process. As I reflect back on this past year of weddings, it’s hard to choose my favorite photographs, but here are a few of my favorite moments captured this year. Documenting those raw emotions, little whispers, loud laughter, precious memories, and sweet interactions is more valuable than the perfectly composed photograph.


Bride peeking out door to hold groom's hand on wedding day. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom wipe happy tears as they see each other on wedding day. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Groom with family members and Michigan intimate wedding. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom cheers with drinks on wedding day. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Groom with groomsmen in casual attire for backyard wedding celebration. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.
Bride and groom with officiant at Metro Detroit park weddiing. Photographed by Nicole Leanne Photography.