COVID-19 Statement

Originally posted: March 30, 2020
Updated: November 16, 2020

COVID-19 Update

Hey everyone – hope you’re all staying home, wearing a mask, and keeping healthy.

There’s not much that can be said about the coronavirus pandemic that ya’ll haven’t heard already, but I wanted to share a bit of information about what this means for my small business. This is not something any of us have experience dealing with, so I wanted to write out a quick business update followed by some policies that are being implemented around COVID-19.

Policy Updates

The coronavirus outbreak has prompted a lot of change to the 2020 and 2021 wedding seasons not only for couples around the world and other wedding vendors. I’ve had to work with my team to make some tough decisions around policies and what to do looking toward the future of Nikki Schell Photography. As of February 1, 2021, I’ve had to reschedule 19 weddings and many engagement and family sessions. Thankfully, as of Summer 2020, all engagement and family sessions have been able to occur.

Situation 1:

Clients reschedule to a non-peak season date (Friday, Sunday, or dates in July, August, December) that I am available within ONE YEAR of their original wedding date. There will be no change fee. I will have to update your contract to reflect the new date and you will have to confirm those changes. Your remaining balance will be split in two and you will need to pay the first half one month before your original wedding date and the second half one month before your new wedding date.

Situation 2:

Clients reschedule to a peak season date (Saturdays and dates in April, May, June, September, October, and November) that I am available within ONE YEAR of their original wedding date. There will be a change fee required to reflect my yearly price change. (My prices are reevaluated every year to accommodate for inflation, cost of doing business, increase in experience, increasing second shooter fees, and more. It isn’t fun to ask clients to pay more money, but it’s required in order to keep the business afloat.) This fee will be $400-$600 depending on your wedding collection. I will have to update your contract to reflect the new date and you will have to confirm those changes. Your remaining balance will be split in two and you will need to pay the first half one month before your original wedding date and the second half + the change fee one month before your new wedding date.

Situation 3:

Clients reschedule to a date further than one year out from their original wedding date that I am available. There will be a change fee required to reflect my yearly price change. (My prices are reevaluated every year to accommodate for inflation, cost of doing business, increase in experience, increasing second shooter fees, and more. It isn’t fun to ask clients to pay more money, but it’s required in order to keep the business afloat.) This fee will likely be $400-$600 depending on your wedding collection – however, depending on timing this could change (for instance if you’re looking ahead 2 years).

Situation 4:

Clients reschedule to a date I am not available. The client has the opportunity to use one of my associate photographers (you still work with my business but I’m not the photographer on your wedding day. I still do the editing and help with planning your timeline) and keep the existing contract OR cancel in full. In the case of cancellation due to COVID, the retainer fee will not be refunded, however, any other monies paid will be returned.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask. I’m happy to dive deeper into any of these situations.

From Original Post: March 30, 2020

The Bad:

Currently, Nikki Schell Photography is temporarily closed. With the stay-at-home orders and non-essential business closures in Maryland, DC, and Virginia, I’m unable to photograph sessions, weddings, and other events until June 10. That date is a moving target but that’s where we’re at for now.

Also, print orders are currently on hold. The lab I’m partnered with for prints and albums is currently non-operational so if you try to order anything, you won’t get it for a while. You can still place orders, they just might take a while to get to you.

The Good:


While I’m unable to capture images, I’m still working hard to field questions, book future sessions and weddings, and support clients and other vendors during this time of uncertainty. Want to book a 2021 wedding? I’m around!

While prints and albums can’t be developed or built right now, they can be submitted or designed. Haven’t printed images from your session? Now would be a good time to pick out your favorite 10 images and work with me to design a gallery wall. Haven’t ordered an album… let’s chat and we can get a design with your favorites done!

The Heartfelt Note:


Please be sure to stay home and do what you can to stop the spread of this virus. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Keep healthy. Take your vitamins. Practice social distancing. We’re all in this new weird norm that’s isolation… the quicker we all band together, the quicker we’ll actually get to be together.

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