By Mitchell Clarke
A Cranbourne North wedding photographer, whose small business has been decimated by the pandemic, received some consolation during a tough year when she was recognised for a prestigious industry award.
Monica McQuitty, who owns the boutique wedding photography company ‘love by shae’, placed fourth in the annual Victorian Australian Bridal Industry Academy (ABIA) Awards, which were held in early October.
Ms McQuitty received an impressive rating of 99.85 per cent from her clients, who were invited to rate and review her quality of product and service, attitude and value for money.
“I always say I feel like I have the best job in the world and feel privileged to be doing such an important one,” she said.
The award has proven to be a “great reminder” for Ms McQuitty, who looks forward to bouncing back in the wedding game, once restrictions ease and celebrations can take place in a greater capacity.
“It has come with it’s challenges, as a wedding photographer trying to navigate around the ever changing rules, has been extremely confusing and exhausting,” she explained.
“As a small business owner, it’s been really tough, financially and emotionally. With the wedding industry on pause, on average and at this current stage, there is still a 78 per cent revenue loss.
“Most couples book in advance with a deposit to secure and lock in their date, however postponements have now delayed the closing of those invoices, which has impacted cash flow, new enquiries are few and far between, and the bills still keep rolling in to run our businesses and keep them alive.”
The dedicated photographer has been forced to spend the past seven months consoling couples and helping them reschedule their special day.
“2020 was meant to be the year for a very busy wedding season in our industry. I had no idea that we would be in a position we are now,” she added.
“Now more than ever, our industry needs love and support. I would still encourage brides to keep planning.
“Take this time during lockdown to explore and find some amazing wedding vendors – who can help design your dream wedding day in the future.”