Lockdown has been challenging to say the least. It’s been challenging for people staying at home, often on their own, away from friends and loved ones. It’s been challenging for businesses trying to stay afloat, taking Government loans and furloughing staff while their premises stay closed for business. And it’s been challenging for the smaller business owners and sole traders who provide their services to businesses and the public.
If you rely on events like weddings and corporate fundraisers to make a living, you may have seen your income drop to nearly nothing in the past few months. In that last category, Photographers are amongst the hardest hit. A recent lockdown survey of workers in the creative industry showed that the income of 67% of photographers has dropped by 80% or more.
Down to Zero
In my own case as a freelance photographer specialising in Wedding Photography, I saw a calendar full of bookings and a promising income reduced to nothing, virtually overnight. That was a big blow, and I’ll admit I was unsure what to do for a while. I did start looking for another job at one point. However, I feel very grateful and fortunate that none of my brides-to-be cancelled, they all postponed until 2021. That’s lovely because next year is set to be my busiest year yet – Corona permitting!
As it stands, I now only have a handful of premium dates left for 2021 weddings, so if you’re getting married and want to have a chat to see if we’re a good fit, be quick and call me on 01502 218828.
I think for most of us during the lockdown it was easy to get a little despondent. I haven’t seen one of my sons for 3 months. The ‘socially distanced’ meetings with my daughter and son-in-law and grandkids were great, but there were no hugs and kisses. The regular coffee shop meetings with Dad were cancelled, and I really miss them. As a social person, not being able to see friends was so upsetting. My weekly business networking meetings were carried out on Zoom. That was better than not at all, but it wasn’t like meeting my friends and colleagues in the room.
And I could probably go on…
Attitude is Everything
However, like anything, I feel it’s all about attitude – and staying as positive as you can makes all the difference. I tried to use what spare time I had wisely. My accounts are all up to date. My office is tidy with everything where it should be. And I’ve spent a lot of time working with the Lord Kitchener’s Holiday Centre, the charity with which I’m a trustee.
I’ve also found time to learn new skills and hone my existing ones so I can create more value for my clients in the future. I took some time to walk about the ‘ghost town’ that was Lowestoft and shoot some interesting lockdown pics. It was strange to see the normally busy town and beach so deserted. I bought a new macro lens so have been practising with that. I’ve been cooking and baking a lot, and that has given me an excuse to pursue my interest in food photography. I love doing that, and have a course booked in October with arguably the UK’s finest food photographer so I can get even better at it. Can’t wait!
Now it looks like the lockdown period is coming to an end. I may not be shooting weddings or big events any time soon, but I can work so long as I follow Government guidelines, and that’s the main thing.
Some of the things I’ll be looking to do are:
Commercial Photography – working with businesses on their product portfolios and marketing materials. Shooting the exterior and interior of buildings and premises for property listings, corporate brochures, and more.
Family Photography – Family Photo Shoots are something we can do outside and are fun for all involved. Look out for a special Father’s Day offer coming soon!
Food Photography – Do you own a restaurant? Café? Takeaway? Bar and Grill? If you’re planning a new menu, or you need images for your website, ads, and social media, I can take care of that for you.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to during lockdown. I’d love to hear your experiences too. Has it been difficult? Did you miss regular life? Did you enjoy it? What are your plans for the post-Covid future? Will you be making some changes?
Enquiring minds want to know! ????
Denise B x
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