You and I both know that these are strange times- and we have had to adapt to circumstances quickly and with skill that many of us probably didn’t know we had. We work from home, do school online, wear masks, and stay far away from people. Because of COVID, people are always asking me: How has business been during the pandemic? Are you getting less clients? What if your client comes into contact with COVID and can’t go to their shoot?
As a small business owner it is difficult to admit that I do not, in fact, know what I’m doing. I was flying by the seat of my pants for a while, just like the rest of the nation! But through these past few months I’ve maneuvered my way into a pattern that promotes health, safety, and fun!
Can I still schedule a session with you?
Yes you can! Being a natural light photographer, it is easier to create healthy boundaries because we are outdoors and not shooting in a studio. Client/photographer interaction upon meeting looks more like a wave than a handshake. Masks are worn if that is what you prefer because it is pretty doable to stay 6 feet apart. I always have a mask with me and I try to ask what your comfort level is before the shoot! That being said, instituting these rules wasn’t too hard, and being outside in the fresh air created an extra layer of comfort for everyone.
Why are People Still Getting Photographed Right now?
I am often asked if I lost clients during this time. And to that I would say: surprisingly no! The logic behind getting photos done despite the pandemic actually makes a lot of sense. It is one of the few things that can still happen in the midst of the chaos. In talking to my high school senior clients, the reasoning is bittersweet. With school being online and canceled celebrations, this is one of the only ways to truly celebrate and commemorate the year. Some of my clients remarked that it was one of the only things they were looking forward to. It makes me sad that they have to miss out on so much. At the same time I am absolutely honored to be able to capture this moment for them. I’ve even had a few masked pictures just for kicks and giggles!
What about clients who have come into contact with COVID?
Unfortunately this has happened on a couple of occasions. It breaks my heart to see COVID impact so many people’s lives, especially when they are seeking out a small bit of normalcy by getting their photos taken. Though we have to reschedule, I am happy to accommodate scheduling after being cleared and whenever the client feels safe. As a photographer I have found that flexibility and just plain “human-ness” is much needed. Everyone has it rough and none of us can predict what will happen next. The least I can do is offer understanding and empathy.
Overall, this has been a year to remember. The support from clients has been incredible, and we are all just doing our best with the cards we have been dealt. Being a small business owner right now is a whirlwind of worry for the present and hope for the future. I’m so glad I’ve been able to work with so many lovely humans, whether client or peer, and I look forward to the day when senior sessions can be filled with conversations of celebration and the future.