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Surviving camera (and photography business) lockdown.

April 2020, Pandemic Lockdown.

It’s been weeks now since I put my camera aside, messaged all booked clients and started crossing my fingers for these days to be over as soon as possible. I can’t wait to go back to meeting clients, cuddling their babies and creating memories that they will treasure.

There are tonnes of thoughts, conclusions, reflections, observations, complaints, wishes and random things going through my head now. And one day I may actually write a little post about what it was like being locked and confined to a three bedroom house with two super energetic kids. There is so so much to say and tell. Maybe one day.

However today I’d like to tell you what it’s been like for me as a photographer. How it feels to not be able to do what I love.

More than a job

I used to be a careers adviser, helping young people make their choices about the future and choose a path that gives them most fulfilment, satisfaction and a steady income. Or at least one of these.

I remember completing my professional qualifications and learning about the development of our careers choices. At 16- 18 we believe that a job should be all about enjoyment and satisfaction. At 30, with kids and a mortgage, we are more likely to settle for something that pays the bills and is close to work, school and is ok in terms of satisfaction.

At 38 I am lucky to have a job that ticks all my boxes. Gives me great satisfaction, is close to school, I can work around my family commitments and the pay is ok. Jackpot. That’s why not being able to do this hurts so much. I am not going to lie, my income right now is 0. It is a bummer but that’s not all.

By being (temporarily, hopefully!) inactive, not picking my camera, not talking to my clients, not shooting and not expressing myself in a creative way I started going a bit bonkers. I couldn’t bite my nails as they are too beautful (thanks to my super talented nail artist Aga) so I needed something to get into not keep my sanity and anxiety under control. I realised that photography (and creativity in general) is my addiction. I can’t function normally without creating and without expressing my artistic soul. So as most of you I started baking like crazy, knitting, crochet, macrame making, house decorating, gardening and all other things that can keep my hands occupied. And it helps but I still miss like crazy going out with the camera and looking at the world through my magic (lens) glass.

So what can I do?

My kids hate my camera. I mean, maybe not my camera but me taking photos of them. Whenever they play or do something that I feel is worth capturing and I reach for my camera they protest. They run away and resent having their photos taken.

As we continue to be advised against any activity that is not essential the only option was to go for a walk with my daughter and conceal my camera to not startle her. 🙂 She hates having her photos taken which I have mentioned a number of times already. You can read more about what my photography passion ‚did to her’ here

It breaks my heart that we can’t go out further to make the most of this incredible weather. I can’t go out to the rapeseed fields or apple orchard which I planned to use this year for beautiful blossom minis.

But when life gives me lemons, I have no option but to make lemonde. I can go out and explore and rediscover places that are right on my doorstep. The Flowerpot by the river, River Exe bank and green fields by Mill on the Exe as we live in Exeter St Thomas / Exwick area.

These are surely not my best, most artistic images but I needed them to be taken. They were my little therapy but also a way of documenting what surely will become a memorabletime in our lifetime.

Emilia took her favourite teddy bear, Meghan for a walk to show her our neighbourhood too 🙂

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Hand in hand

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A rare sight these days. A plane, albeit a military one, was welcome with great interest from most people

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Spring vibes everywhere

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Finally enough space to roam and run freely

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Our favourite tree to play ‚tree house’

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And a buttercup test

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As we walked we talked about the beauty of nature and its abundance in such short proximity of our house.

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This is far from what I would consider a ‚great photo shoot’, but it was a lovely relaxing walk with my little lady and that what matters most.  It also which allowed me to brush off some dust off the camera and look at the world through it and that also is a bonus.

Let’s hope I’ll see you all very soon.

 

 

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