Best of 2020 | James Tracey Photography

The Universe, Gousto and Trampolines

The best of 2020? If I am honest, that phrase feels like an oxymoron. It’s been a pretty wretched year for many people, especially those whose lives have been severely affected by COVID19. In comparison to many, our year was nowhere near as terrible as it was for others and for that I am both fortunate and grateful. However, at times it was a challenge. My industry was halted overnight, 2020 income disappeared and there were more than a few days where it was hard to not swear a lot (mainly around being excluded from government financial support).

It all started on my birthday, I’d decided to take a day off then 9am happened, the phone started ringing. It never stopped ringing as I spent the day re-arranging  weddings. That set the tone for 2020, optimism shattered by the reality of a pandemic punctuated with wedding rearrangements. Soon after that day everything closed down. The girls school and nursery closed and in the following months I learnt a lot of new things. I learnt that I am not a great home teacher (unless the subject is Space and the Universe, that lesson I was apparently excellent at), that the red Gousto box became the most exciting and uplifting thing to happen every week and that buying a garden trampoline was the best money we could have spent in 2019!

Life Through an (iPhone) Lens

My 2020 started with 45 weddings, more film bookings than photos for the first time and some amazing weddings including one in TriBeCa in New York City. Needless to say, the weddings were postponed or cancelled and I went from film maker and photographer to full time day care for my two girls, Ana, 5, and Jaime, who is now 3. With a tsunami of furlough questions from pretty much every employer in the country, Mrs T comendered my office as her world went into overdrive whilst mine ground to a halt.

With my work cameras not seeing much action it was my iPhone that became my go-to camera for 2020 and the subjects weren’t weddings, but Ana and Jaime. So my Best of 2020 isn’t going to feature one wedding photo. Instead here is the best of 2020 from my iPhone 11. This isn’t a collection of technical, well composed photos using great light, instead it’s just a bunch of moments I managed to capture on my phone, somewhere in between remembering to dress them both before 10am, following the step by step instruction on the Gousto recipe cards and the never ending tidying up and cleaning and tidying up and cleaning (repeat ad infinitum).

Science Rocks

The shot above was taken early on in the year. Behind our house is a disused quarry that you can walk through and up to the top of where you will find amazing views overlooking Oldham and Manchester. As we took our government authorised walk back in April, the sun broke through the clouds as we watched and I quickly caught the light emerging over Greater Manchester from the dark storm clouds.

Right now, as vaccines start to roll out this shot reminds me that things will get better. At the moment it happened it felt prophetic, that better things were coming. It’s taken longer than we all hoped for and we’re still not there but there is light at the end of this storm. The end of this difficult time is coming and when it does, real life can return featuring fun, spontaneity, joy, hugs, parties, holidays and positivity. Thank you science and the amazing people who have worked tirelessly to develop the vaccines and to the staff who will helping to get the vaccine out into the public. As we turn into a new year I am confident we have turned the corner with the pandemic too and the vaccine will help return us to normal (no more of that new normal rubbish either). Science rocks!

So here’s my best of 2020 in the order that it happened, dedicated to my two little girls.