2020 will be a year to remember with an unprecedented global pandemic and major bushfires that ravished Australia. I am going to use this post to share my experiences as a freelance photographer working in Sydney through these times.

What a start to 2020! As always I started my business planing and goals in November/December 2019 for the year ahead. Things started well with my January being my best to date working as a director on a couple of motion projects, shooting still menu imagery for a large fast food restaurant, creating ecommerce photography for a new brand looking to sell on Amazon and also a few food, product and beverage projects for my regular clients…. then ticking over to February Covid-19 starting to make global headline news which is when I started to see projects being delayed or put on hold as my big brand clients and agencies started to feel nervous with the local and global landscapes. March was full pandemic mode with the world seeing the fast spreading and devastating effect of Covid-19, as a result most of my projects were pulled and everyone seems in a panic state, including myself. There was a lot of confusion, panic and a general feeling of the unknown as we were in uncharted territory. From personal accounts with everything being pulled I really didn’t know if the business I had spent the last 15 years building was going to be able to keep the doors open.

At the start of the month all of my projects were put on hold or canceled, I was also informed long term forecast for the years from some of my big regular clients which basically advised there would be no photography projects this year, I think I speak for most in the photography industry there was very little sleep during this time. By mid March most of the companies I work for went into voluntary isolation with staff working from home which then became a firm rule by the end of March. After a week of panic I looked into everything I could do to try and keep the wheels moving including completing the government infections control online course, increasing my studio sanitation procedures, adding hand wash/hand sanitising to the studio and applying social distancing markers in the studio. With this I then started working with clients to find ways to safely and successfully work on projects. Covering the cost of running my own studio has always been hard as a small business especially at this time but it also allowed me to offer the safest possible way of working under Cover-19 times

There has been a massive drop in business but I have managed to get a few projects completed to date shooting in safe conditions including a product shoot for Coca-Cola, food library project, lifestyle location project and even a portrait shoot for a medial company. What I have learned is it’s your existing and long term clients who have a familiar relationship and trust that are best to continue projects with, digital communication has been key and more than ever pre-production and planning is vital in a successful project. As other global markets completely stopped I have even received briefs for overseas projects due to full lockdown closures across Europe and USA, these didn’t come off but it does show the advertising industry is still looking to keep moving as best possible.

Although my forecasting, planning and goals for the year have changed to just getting through 2020 I did manage  worked on one of my goals, being accepted to an online art gallery which I currently have 24 of my pieces showcased on for sale. I even managed to have 2 pieces featured in the online mail out over the month.

I am hopeful we are over the major bump within Australia and can now look towards getting things moving again as an industry and nation.

Stay safe and looking forward to my next blog being about an amazing project I have just worked on!