Ararat photographer Justine Missen openly admits she has a spring in her step this week.
In what would typically be her busiest time of the year, Ms Missen shot her first wedding in five months, following arduous COVID-19 restrictions and an effective shutdown of her industry.
On Saturday, she captured the special day of Ash and Aaron Banks, who got hitched at a modified wedding in their hometown.
"I have so much renewed purpose now," she said.
"I was starting to get down ... I was just really really missing what I do, so I've got a lot more vigor this week."
The couple celebrated their day at The Common, a popular mountain bike trail north of Ararat, before completing the photoshoot at a private property.
"It was nice to be part of something like that again; I really like the small weddings," Ms Missen said.
"This year has made me really realize the parts of a wedding that I love and it's not all of the big expensive and elaborate parts of the wedding, it's the quiet intimate moments that I love."
Losing your primary source of income is difficult, regardless of the industry. Ms Missen did what she could to stay busy.
"Between photography jobs, I tried to keep active by posting on my blog and social media." she said.
"There was the odd booking coming through, but I think a lot of people have lost confidence.
"They are unsure whether they should book or not. I've got a lot of couples who are on their second postponement, which is really disheartening for them."
As restrictions ease across the state, Ms Missen said she would shoot more memorable days for local couples.
"After the first wave sort of died down and things were looking up again, like I couldn't keep up with the bookings," she said.
"But then the second wave hit. It's taking a bit more time. The bookings are starting to sort of come in again but it's not not like it usually is for this time of the year. I think I've got three more couples who are hoping to go ahead.
"The mask rule is making things difficult for some couples. I believe I heard that couples can have their photos taken at a wedding without their masks, but I can't find it in writing. There's so much confusion."
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