2020 ~ Year in Review

2020 ~ Year in Review

The year began with us flying to Melbourne, something that was illegal most of the year and you couldn’t pay me to do now. I have a beautiful memory from my last ‘normal’ wedding as everyone sang me happy birthday.

Then, old mate ‘rona came to town.

Plans for how many weddings I’d shoot or how much super I’d pay disappeared. I was thankful to have a backyard that let us soak up the sun, even in lockdown. I was thankful to live in a lucky country, to have a healthy family, to talk to my friends. 2020 was the year that platitudes became genuine. Living life without regular work & weddings was unsettling. We painted the downstairs of our house and cleaned up the garden. We forgot which day it was. We watched Hazel truly become her own person as she doubled in age.

My Netflix binges were Sex Education, After Life, Schitt’s Creek, Queer Eye, Derry Girls & Love on the Spectrum. I rewatched AOC a few times (Knock Down the House) in preparation for the sweet sweet defeat of Donald Trump (easily a 2020 highlight). I listened to a stack of NPR’s Tiny Desk. Without being able to travel, I watched soviet adventures and ghost town restorations to scratch that itch.

I am proud of building a business that could withstand 2020. I offered refunds to couples who paid in full but had to reschedule. I postponed weddings for free, whatever day of the week their new date would be. With everything 2020 couples had to deal with, I wanted to be the easiest item on their to-do list. It’s easy to be a helpful business owner when things are going well, it’s when shit hits the fan that the pressure is on.

To all of my couples forced to postpone or tweak their plans, you are absolute legends. I am beyond excited for all of your weddings in 2021-22.

And the final speed round of 2020 trivia :

  • We managed to avoid COVID even with a holiday in the northern beaches
  • I shot my largest wedding ever (450 guests) and my smallest wedding ever (zero guests)
  • Hazel continues to worship at the altar of Bluey
  • I purchased no new cameras
  • I reached the 10-year anniversary of my first wedding. I’m finishing 2020 at a count of 343.
  • Liv is pregnant again. Baby Howland #2 comin’ at you, March 2021!




  • Marsha Zuhorn
    It was such a delight to meet you Ben! Despite the challenges of 2020, these photos warm my heart. You’ve done an amazing job to capture the love, spirit and celebration we have for marriage, family and joy of being surrounded by special people. Thank you xxx BTW...how could you not binge on Schitt’s Creek - “Alexis, don’t be ridiculous!!”
  • Amazing as always Ben.! Congratulations on building such a great name and business that you made it through 2020. Well done. Looking forward to seeing you soon. x PS and congratulations to you and Liv on the news. 2021 is going to be amazing!
  • Rachael Higham
    Amazing, congrats on 10 years my dude!
  • Oooohh Ben another baby! 😊😊 Love your work and I hope we see more of you in 2021! Thanks again for the wonderful photo album you made for Stanley Park. Prospective couples have loved browsing through it and visualising their own wedding day. See you in 2021! Cheers from Jasmin X