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San Diego Engagement Photographer | End of 2020 Recap!

Hi, I'm Vanessa!
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Well, here we are….

WE MADE IT OUT OF 2020!!!!!!

I mean, we all deserve a Dundie for surviving 2020!

While I did my Best of 2020 image recaps ( If you missed them, check out the Best of 2020- Portraits, Best of 2020- Couples, and Best of 2020- Weddings!), I debated on doing a End of Year recap like I always do.

2020 was hard. Overwhelming. Beautiful. Stressful. Successful. Draining. Uncertain. Loss.

It was so much wrapped into a year.

There were times I felt like my business wouldn’t survive. Then there were times that my business felt unstoppable.

There were days I felt great. Days I felt like I couldn’t survive. I was drowning. Mentally drained.

But as I sit here, the final day of 2020, I look back and I can’t help but laugh. I can’t help to look at myself and see a strong woman who survived a dumpster fire of a year. Who, through incredible odds, found herself this year, was still successful this year, and I survived.

I’m stronger. I’m more confident. I’m more resilient. I’m capable. I do feel unstoppable.

And while I know that 2021 isn’t a magic year. January 1st isn’t going to make everything better. Obstacles are coming. Hard times are ahead. But, I truly believe if we made it through 2020, my hope and goal is that we will make it through 2021 as well!

San Diego Wedding Photographer | Vanessa Hicks Photography

So, let’s recap 2020!!


Like I mentioned, this year had incredible highs and lows! But, especially for our personal lives, I don’t feel like we celebrated or really took in all that happened to us personally, at least I didn’t! Here’s a recap of 2020 personally:

  • We moved from Hawaii! Yes, at the end of March, in the heart of the pandemic, from Hawaii to San Diego! It took 4 cancelled flights and a tsunami warning before we could get off the island! It was SO much fun….lol!
  • WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST HOUSE!!! Again, yes, in the heart of the pandemic, pretty much site unseen, only through Facetime! We even signed our documents in a parking lot in Hawaii, 6 feet from the notary, in the back of the trunks of the car. Again, fun times! But we love our home!
  • My daughter’s have not attended school or been around kids their age since Mid March. Hawaii was on spring break as we were leaving, and when we got to California, everything was shut down. And in our district, schools have yet to reopen. Imagine being a preteen/teenager, in a new location, no friends, and no social interaction….to say it hasn’t been hard on them would be a lie….but, they’ve handled it like champs and I am so proud of them !
  • WE GOT A FRENCHIE! If you follow me, you know Koa has just taken over our lives and our heart! He is really the best joy 2020 brought!
  • Our love for Hamilton rose when it came out on Disney+ in July!!! Taty still has Hamilton tickets from her birthday that she hasn’t been able to use, but when Broadway opens again, we are there!
  • I officially have a teenager!! Jasmine turned 13, and look at these photos! In January, when life was normal and 13 smelly kids were partying in my house!
  • I ran another half marathon at Disneyworld! Again, looking at these photos before the world turned upside down is crazy!
  • Taty met Phillipa Soo and Daveed Diggs! Well, virtually but still! If you didn’t know, my youngest started a Sticker company this year selling on Etsy! She used her money to make donations to stop Systemic Racism, and because of it got to chat with them!!! To say it was her dream come true is an understatement!
  • And finally, cause if I don’t post this, my husband will have something to say….Josh played 113 rounds of golf this year!! 😏


Yall, business this year was the most craziest, scariest, roller coaster ride of emotions I’ve ever been on in the last 6.5 years! While it ended up being an incredible year for my business in many ways, it was an overwhelmingly hard year.

Out of 41 weddings that was on the books this year, I only (and so happy I did) shot 9 of them.

There was a lot of tears, both from my couples and myself. A LOT of money lost. Like, an almost unbearable amount of money that when you think about it makes you sick to your stomach.

As a small business owner, your income always fluctuates, and you have to be prepared for that. When a pandemic hits and your weddings essentially come to a halt, yeah, there’s no plans for that….

bridal portrait by door

But, here I am…last day of 2020, business still standing. And to be honest that is what truly matters!

  • January started on a high note! I started my beta testing for my mastermind which then led to teaching 4 masterminds this year, one a quarter. I knew being a business educator brought me joy but this year, it lit my soul on fire! I am so happy that I can say 50 entrepreneurs went through my mastermind, and I hope that their businesses are better for it!
  • I photographed 9 weddings this year, and a handful of wedding editorials as well! Check out the recap on the blog!
  • I did get the chance to speak at several conferences this year! While a few I did get to do in person, we did a lot virtually and I am so happy that I was able to serve our industry! And, I did get my very first speaking opportunity to speak outside of my industry at Alt Summit in Palm Springs! Literally, the world shut down a few days later!
  • Podcasts were the THING this year!! I still sit here and pinch myself about the opportunities that presented themselves this year! From Speaking on the Heart University podcast, Hustle and Heart, to Brands that Book Podcast, the Breakthrough Brand Podcast, Showit United’s New podcast, and finally, a dream come true, Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast! Such incredible opportunities!
  • I hit my financial goals! Look, even I had to recount the numbers because I don’t know how, but I did! With passive income, affiliate income, and my business, it happened! With being in a new location and then a pandemic, I’m damn proud of that!
  • I had incredible mentors this year. Thank you to Darcy Benicosa, Amy Porterfield, Laura Neff, Jordan Jones, and Candice Coppola for helping me make through this year and grow my business to where it is now!
  • I opened the San Diego Floral Tub, and OMG, this tub brought me so much joy this summer!!! I can’t wait to open it back up!
  • I launched a beautiful new website thanks to Davey and Krista!! I love it so much!
  • I am launching my Vanessa Hicks Education site soon!!!! And pre sold my Blogging with Strategy Course!

I’m still here. I’m still standing. And so are you!

I am so thankful for that!

I know that we made it out of this year, we can survive anything that 2021 brings us! Tomorrow isn’t a magical day. January 1st 2021 doesn’t truly mean anything.

It’s all about what’s inside of us. If we are going to believe in ourselves. If we are going to put in the work.

I’m ready if you are! Let’s get to work!



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I'm Jessica and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, fashion, and style. Stay a while and say hello!

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