A New Brunswick photographer whose business slowed due to the pandemic has found a creative way to turn the tide.
When the shutter closed on Moncton photographer Sarah Mitchell’s wedding bookings, she pivoted like many businesses had to because of the pandemic.
Only for her, the change also helped realize a childhood dream.
“If this had been around when I was a kid I would have been just over the moon. So, I am happy to bring this dream alive for other ones,” said Mitchell, the owner of Sarah Mitchell Photography.
Mitchell has been taking wedding and family photos for the last eight years. But her newest creative venture is making quite a splash in the community.
Last summer, not long after the pandemic hit, Mitchell said she starting taking in clients at her cottage in Grand-Barachois, where her subjects are treated to a full mermaid makeover, including hair and makeup and head dressing. She calls the sessions “mermaid minis” photoshoots. She said her clients are also fitted for a mermaid costume and venture down to the beach for a photoshoot.
“It really is a good experience and I think other kids dream of being a mermaid as well,” said eight-year-old Addison Jardine, who recently had her images taken by Mitchell.
Mitchell said it was her sister who came up with the idea because the two spent hours as little girls dreaming of becoming princesses of the sea.
“We wanted to be mermaids our entire lives. we would spend days watching mermaids on YouTube and on Instagram when we were kids,” she said.
Mitchell has been booking mermaid mini photoshoots in waves with adults and kids of all ages, she said.
“We bought one tail and bought a second one and it turned out to be a sold-out summer and we are looking at another sold-out summer,” she said.
As COVID-19 restrictions loosen into the summer, the tide is starting to turn and Mitchell said she is now seeing a resurgence in the number of wedding shoot bookings as couples are rebooking their nuptials. But, she said, the mermaid mini shoots will continue because watching kids realize a childhood dream is just too magical and popular to give up.
“I could have never expected beyond my wildest dreams that mermaid minis would have turned into what it has been but I am so grateful.”