The world stopped when the pandemic hit on March 2020. We halted operations and stayed at home. Like many businesses, photographers were deemed non-essential tossed aside like a used rag. Many big-box stores, on the other hand, were allowed to operate curbside or digital sales. I ask myself, "who's taking those pictures for the digital stores?"
When the second lockdown happened, photographers could operate but under stipulations. We could only offer commercial photography (i.e. headshots, product and editorial photography) to brands, business and people who provide services. At last, it seemed that photographers were deemed essential. But what if you're in the situation where you are just starting your business? Not everyone has the client list to support commercial photography. We are working hard to get there and to build businesses that are sustainable in the long run. We all know this is a work in progress and, it takes time. At the same time, not everyone wants to pursue commercial photography and, to those individual and those who are starting their businesses, we are waiting.
What happened to retail photography for the everyday man? Well, you are left behind waiting for some hope to get out of lockdown. Wedding and family photography is a definite no. Expect a hefty fine if you even attempt to offer these services. Photographers' are hoping to get back to normal and get back to creating unique photographs for their Clients'.
As much as I an many other photographers' want to make sales, it's not about that. Photography for the everyday man is ESSENTIAL. Photography is what we hold near and dear to us. Photography helps us remember good memories. Photography is to be cherished.
I received many phone calls from people looking for photography. I have someone looking for editorial photography, just for fun, who is on a waitlist. I had a young girl wanting an 18th birthday session, but the pandemic got in the way. I had an expecting mother who wanted to celebrate her pregnancy, but I turned her down. It broke my heart to turn the expecting mother down. I was practically telling her that her pregnancy wasn't important enough. She will never have photographs to commemorate her pregnancy.
Many of the people who called me will never have photographs to celebrate their memories and special moments. It makes me sad. As a photographer, it is my job to give my clients memories that will last forever. It's a difficult situation. I hope we get out of this pandemic safely and back to operating to provide those beautiful memories for our clients to treasure.