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Podcast Episode 24: This is Us: Photographers on Coronavirus

So excited to be releasing an extra special episode of the This is Reportage Podcast today! Instead of featuring a single guest, we have an incredible 47…! That’s right; we’re honoured to be featuring 47 of our members – tune in to hear wedding photographers from all over the world talk about how they’re dealing with the current pandemic, from advice on handling postponements, to suggestions on what to watch on Netflix; business tips to motivational mantras, and really everything in between. It’s so great to hear their voices and listen to their thoughts; we hope this wide variety of opinions helps and inspires you.

Thanks to the following This is Reportage members for contributing: Adam Johnson, Sven Soetens, Lauren McGee, Rob Rickman, Simon Biffen, Martin Hecht, Toni Darcy, Steve Wheller, Niklesh Malkani, Andrew Billington, Olly Knight, Gaelle Le Berre, Adam Lowndes, Julien Laurent-Georges, Laurentiu Nica, Melissa Ouwehand, Sasha Lee, Rossi Mechanezidis, Daphne Matthys, Amy Barton, Bogdan Chircan, Ally Stuart, Anna Wood, Linda Bouritius, Damion Mower, Peter Geluk, Marek Troszczynski, John Nelson, Ash Davenport, Michael Freas, Sophie Callewaert, Phil Salisbury, Lewis Fackrell, Kim Burrows, Jill Streefland, Sonal Dalmia, Citlalli Rico, Matt Badenoch, Carrie Davenport, Alexa Poppe, Yvonne Vaughan, Samo Rovan, Olivier Bolte, Joao Lourenco, Yves Schepers, Fille Roelants & Jay Doherty.

We have all the usual ways to listen: iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube, and below in this post, where there’s also a full transcript and link to each photographers’ website. If you enjoyed listening, you can find all our wedding photography podcast episodes on our site.

Adam Johnson

Hey, it’s Adam Johnson here. So how surreal is this new world we’re living in. Even for an industry of people who spend most days in our PJs and at home, there’s something generally unnerving about not being allowed out. I’m definitely missing playing tennis and visiting my local coffee shop. If you’re anything like me, you’ve had up and down days, probably more down days so far, as you wonder how you’re going to get through financially or provide for your family, or even have a business left when we all come out the other side of this. My first tip really is to get really practical: take the emotion out of it, make sure you got a spreadsheet, which shows your cash flow, so you know how long your money’s going to last and how much you need to top of your income by, if anything. Do that if you can for your business and your personal finances, and you’ll probably feel a little bit better once you’ve seen it on paper.

On the money side of things as well, I asked all my clients who have postponed to pay me as much of their balance as they could on the original due date – at least half if they can – and everyone’s been fine with that which has definitely taken a bit of pressure off for me. So talk to your clients on a level and I find that they’re always understanding and helpful if you do that. Also, if you’ve not downloaded it yet, at Nine Dots, we’ve written a 42 page ebook to help you with some advice and ideas on things you can be doing during this time, practical and other stuff as well. And there’s also some cool tips from some very wise photographers around the world. There are actually some cash flow templates in that ebook that you can use and download, as well as some email templates. So stay positive, everybody, because this will end – we don’t know when, but it will end. And then we can all get back to doing what we love. And maybe, who knows, we might even appreciate it even more than we did before.

Sven Soetens

Hello, here is Sven Soetens from Belgium. Just want to say that the corona for me doesn’t changed a lot in my life. Because as a wedding photographer, I’m used to be alone, to work alone, to stay home alone. And yet only the problem is that I can’t shoot anymore. I really, really want to shoot again because, yeah, it’s normal, I guess, when you’re a photographer and you’re a little bit addicted to shoot some pictures, but however, Corona, still the same for me as normal life or as a winter period for at least a couple of months. So, what’s next? I don’t know. But stay safe, stay happy and everything will be okay. Bye Bye.

Lauren McGee

Hi, I’m Lauren from LIT Photography NI. I am experiencing the effect of COVID-19 on both sides of the fence. I had to reschedule my own wedding. And I’m obviously a wedding photographer. I’m also relatively new to the industry so I won’t be receiving any support from the government. But despite how hard it is, and trust me, I have my down days -gin has been a massive help the last couple of weeks. But despite all that, I just focus on the positives. For me, never has empathy been more important. Never has there been a more level playing field in this industry, and never has what we do and how we act been more essential. By showing up for our couples, by showing up for each other. It really is that sense of sort of community that will get us through this.

The photos we’ve created are more cherished now than ever before as people hold on to them until they see their loved ones again. And the photos we will create when we get through all this will be more and more emotive than ever. The true meaning of weddings will be right back at the foreground, which is the positive I’m really looking forward to. And although this is tough, by focusing on people, which we do naturally as documentary wedding photographers, it’s really easy to find the good to hold on to, because people are showing up for each other. And if you look for the good, there’s plenty to be found. So I really hope that we can keep looking for that over the next few weeks to get us through what inevitably is going to be a tough time.

Rob Rickman

Hey, everyone, this is Rob Rickman from Fiji. Thanks, Alan, for the opportunity to say something. Over here we’re staying positive by just staying busy. Unless you’ve lost a loved one or someone close to you is sick, and my condolences or my prayers for you if that’s the case. I’d say don’t dwell on how bad things are. Because they’re about to get a whole lot worse. Listen, just plan for the future. Stay optimistic, because if you’re mind is in the right place, you will see the opportunities that will help you get through this. If you’re depressed in any way you’re not going to see them. Right now we have, where we are, where I am in Fiji, we have a tropical cyclone that’s about to hit us in another 10 hours. It’s already come through Vanuatu and it it was a category five, yeah, a super typhoon, but we’re hoping that it’s lost a bit of strength by the time that it gets to Fiji and it looks that way. So yes, just another day in paradise. That’s it guys. I’m really honoured to be a part of this group and I hope one day to meet some of you. Take care.

Simon Biffen

Hi, this is Simon Biffen here. Just had four things that might be useful to some of you guys, I hope you’re all well. One: routine. Loads of people say it, but it’s so important, my routine pretty much changes everyday but I try and do the same things each day. That is a little bit of work, a bit of play, and some r&r. So, work, I’m trying to tackle SEO stuff on my site with the help of, which has been really useful to really drill down into what I need to do to improve bits of my website. Play, I’ve got a two year old here and my wife so we just get out in the garden when we can and just mess around and just have loads of fun. R&r is just trying to spend some time on your own, at least have part of the day doing something, doing something new, doing something that you love. And just getting away from it all. Number two, as I said, is in things you can do work wise, I’ve been doing SEO at the moment and trying to catch up on blogs as well. So I’ve got loads I’ve never done, so just going back, doing all those things, going back alt tagging things, doing things you don’t normally have time to do. You do have time now to tackle it.

Number three, appreciate the time, because this is a time of relative peace and quiet when really we’re so busy ramping up for wedding season, and now, we’re never gonna have a time like this again. So make the most of what we have now and appreciate as much as you can that this is different, this is strange, but actually, what are the good things you can pull out of it? And number four, remember, people are still going to get married. Maybe not right now. Maybe not this year. But they are and they’re still gonna want awesome photographers like us. So make sure your shits getting out there. And you’re doing a good job promoting yourself because weddings may change. They may be smaller, but they are still going to need photographers to capture their day. So make sure that you are that person. Awesome. You guys stay well.

Martin Hecht

Hey guys, this is Martin Hecht, Fine Art Weddings Photography, in Germany. I am very happy about my fourth award that TiR, even in this difficult time in which we have little to do. Many weddings were cancelled or postponed. There are no shootings and you cannot be more than two people on the street. It’s a really hard time now, and I hope it will pass quickly and we can soon return to normality and do what we like the best: Shoot weddings. Until then, stay healthy and stay at home. Now I sit on my balcony and look for the birds.

Toni Darcy

Hello, it’s Toni Darcy. I just wanted to say, do you know what guys? It’s okay not to be OK. Because we’re all going through this and it’s all a bit mental and we don’t really know what’s happening and it’s all a little bit uncertain. And some days you might feel like you’re absolutely nailing it and then other days it might just be like, What is going on? And the first week of lockdown, I kinda spent it thinking this is not okay. But it’s okay to feel like it’s not okay. And the second tip is, get up and get dressed and stop putting joggers on because that doesn’t make anyone feel okay. And finally, another tip maybe for the girls but guys, if you want to jump in on this, that’s absolutely fine: Tint your eyebrows and fake tan your face, makes everyone feel better.

Steve Wheller

Good morning, Alan, thanks for inviting me to feature on your podcast about the current pandemic. My name is Steve Wheller from Art by Design Photography in South Wales. I suppose what’s my thought process in all this, these crazy times. I think we just got to keep ourselves sane. What am I doing to keep myself sane? Let’s start with Netflix series I’m watching the moment: Hunters, Lock and Key, Tales from the Loop. I think that’s it for now, there’s enough programmes there to watch. Business wise. The one thing I look at every morning is get up, same time, take the dogs for a walk. Get myself in the same routine as if I was working normally. That is set myself a task every day to research my SEO placements on Google. Do any tweaks or any blog posts to help with those SEO keywords.

So for example, if you’re targeting certain venues, certain areas where you want to be shooting weddings, research other competitors in the area, see where they are in their Google listings, see what key phrases they are using. And then basically just all your blog posts for the key phrases that you want to be found for and do that every day. And check if your listings improve. Secondly, I challenged myself photography wise to shoot one photo. I have an item on Instagram at the moment called the COVID-19 photo challenge. Where I challenged myself to take one photo of anything around my home or garden creatively using light or shadow, shooting presently just my Fujifilm x100t and that keeps my creative juices going. Keep safe everybody and I’ll stay in touch. Thanks for the podcast.

Niklesh Malkani

Hi everyone. This is Niklesh Malkani from Mumbai, India. The new Coronavirus COVID-19 has many of us glued to the news, concerned for loved ones and adapting our lives to deal with the changes that the pandemic is having on our home, school, and workplaces, it’s pretty tough. Look after yourself. Flatten the curve. Use simple social distancing tactics like replacing hugs and handshakes with alternate. Check in on elderly neighbours, even a text, phone call, email, or even if needed in person, especially if they live alone. Reach out to people in self isolation. Send them funny memes to cheer them up, call them, video chat them. Don’t forget about them. Make sure they feel less alone and have social support, offer them help. Volunteer your time but be careful.

Combat misinformation online, that’s very very important because there’s a lot of misinformation that’s on COVID-19 around online. If you see it, report it to your platform and let anyone posting sharing it know. We should also try and raise some funds for people financially impacted by the quarantined measures. Make social distancing fun with video chat. There are a lot of Skype hangouts, Zoom, other kind of video chatting that’s there right now. And I think we should all try and make that fun right now. Share positive news, everyone, acts of kindness with your community. Do this, and we all will prosper. Take care. Be safe. Bye, bye.

Andrew Billington

Hi, this is Andrew Billington. Now, this might not be the general feeling, but I’ve seen the current situation as a boon. For me, it can be a time of rest, of reflection and of rejuvenation. It’s a chance to stop and catch breath without feeling like I’m falling behind. As someone who’s been shooting constantly for over a decade, I’m happy for this imposed pause. It’s a chance to assess my business to look at what I do, how I do it and ask myself why? Why do I do certain things? Do I enjoy doing them and if not do I need to do them? It’s a better chance to think about my photography and approach without constantly photographing week after week, falling into those patterns of shooting I know works, but doesn’t stretch me or make me any new or better work.

So that when I next pick up a camera, it’s going to be with purpose and meaningful action. I can get those photo books off the shelf and out of their cellophane and finally look through them. Rather than thinking that buying them was an act of learning in itself. I can actually read them. There’s a Magnum online course that I’ve been meaning to follow and it’s time to do it without feeling guilty. Now, I’m not trying to get too stressed hearing all the vast volume of work that other people are doing in this time, some no doubt being productive for some, it’s an act of coping, which is fine. Whatever gets you through this. Others might just be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I can only think about my own mental well being and do what’s right for me. As as a result of this, I’m eating better. I’m doing morning yoga. And I’m evaluating what’s important in my life, so, just be safe, everyone.

Olly Knight

Hello, my name is Olly Knight. I’m a wedding photographer based out in Canterbury in Kent. And wow, what a last few weeks we’ve had, it’s certainly been an interesting ride, hasn’t it? I think I’ve seen lots of weddings postponed to next year, a couple be cancelled. You know, uncertainty about whether I can go abroad later on this year for a couple of weddings overseas and it’s just thrown everything up in the air really, hasn’t it? I think what I’ve really learned through this time is that slowing down and living life at a slower pace is a lot better for me. I think I’ve learned to take real pleasure in simple things. So you know, sitting down at the piano and writing songs, again, going out for walks with the family, spending time with the kids and not getting impatient with them just because you know that you have to be around them all the time.

Just very, very grateful for immediate family, very grateful for the gift of music, and just spending time as well, sometimes, in silence and prayer. I really appreciate too. So, yeah, these simple things I have really, really liked, and just want to say as well that obviously we will get through this, this year might look a little bit different to other years, but we’ll come 2021, 2022, I think we’ll look back on this time and realise just how much we have grown in our appreciation of community. And also just being able to give hugs, I’m such a hugger. I think I’m just longing for that day where I can meet up with my mates and give them big hugs and go to weddings and give the brides hugs again. It’s gonna be so nice. So yeah, hope you stay encouraged. And yeah, look forward to when things get a bit more normal. Bye.

Gaelle Le Berre

Bonjour, this is Gaelle Le Berre from Australia, where I’ve been living for the last two years and a half with my Australian husband and our three kids. I used to live in France for all my life, basically, travelling quite a lot when I was younger as well. And that’s how I met my husband in Australia. And now I’m in Australia, in Melbourne. And it’s a new challenge for me to have to start over and which is quite exciting in some ways, because there’s a lot of things to do, like in this big huge continent. And I’m still going back to France over the summer, July and August, for doing my European Season.

And now that I’m at home with my family I’m trying to concentrate on my website and also trying to take more photos of me which I never used to. I’ve got so rare photos of me so it’s quite surprising what you can do when you’re trying to do something different. And obviously I’m taking loads of photos of my kids during this time and I just hope for everybody that you’re taking yourself in a level where you never used to and basically you’re enjoying that and you’re spending some time with your family and keeping safe and yeah, I think that lots of things gonna come through that and obviously it’s going to be positive. So this is my story. All right, thanks for hearing my little story and see you nex. Bye bye.

Adam Lowndes

Hey, it’s Adam Lowndes here from Staffordshire in the UK. I just wanted to jump on and give a dual perspective. Not only have I postponed 10 plus weddings now but myself and my partner also took the incredibly hard decision last week to postpone our own July wedding to next year. Due to previous health risks and under the new government guidelines, she can’t actually leave the house for 12 weeks. This 12 weeks ends well before our wedding day was due to take place. But for us it wasn’t just about one day, it was a fact the build up to the day we’d spent so long planning was going to be full of anxiety and lonesomeness, rather than joy and happiness shared with our friends and families. So yeah, take that in for a moment.

Something I find incredibly useful is Calendly. So I use it for free and it links all my couples to my live availability, putting no excuse between them including me in their future plans. I’ve also opened this up to all couples this year, as like I said, it’s not just about one day, and it won’t be for them either. Also, please be the hero that grants your couple their day in all its glory on a main Saturday in 2021. It feels awesome to do that. For the vast majority of us, I strongly believe we can make it through this. They’ll obviously be the unlucky who don’t, though. So for them, enjoy the moment that we’ll press pause. And remember there is no right thing to be doing right now. Just because one person is working 20 hour days still, doesn’t mean you have to. Find your own path and peace will follow. Oh, and stay away from the news and social media. You’ll go a bit insane. Much love and stay safe. Catch you later. Bye.

Julien Laurent-Georges

Hi everybody. I’m Julien Laurent-Georges and I try to speak English here with you. But don’t forget that I’m French. Thank you. I hope that you’re okay in this current pandemic, and your family true, really. For me, what worry’s a photographer most is the contract and how to change the day of the wedding. Here are my seven solutions. Solution one: Propose to your groom and bride a Friday before the end of this year, 2020. For me is the best solution because everybody is available. Solution Two: A Friday in 2021 with the pricing of 2021. Solution Three: A Saturday when you are available before the end of 2020. Solution Four: A Saturday in low season of 2021 with the pricing of low season of 2021. Solution five: A Saturday in high season of 2020 but you are not available and you propose another photographer. Solution Six: The same, a Saturday in 2021 and you propose another photographer with the same pricing. Solution Seven: A Saturday in high season of 2021 with you, but with a new contract and a new pricing, it’s a negotiation. So I hope that these seven solutions help you a little; take care, stay at home. Bye.

Laurentiu Nica

Hi from Romania. I am Laurentiu Nica – Laurence in English, no Lawrence of Arabia but Laurence of Romania. Because I love my country, my job as a wedding photographer. What did I do during this period? Eat, sleep, rave, repeat like the song says? Nah, I’m just joking. I still fit in my shorts. In all this madness let’s see the optimistic part. You have time for you, for family, for your passion. If you don’t have one, it’s time to discover it. So I like to read books like communication and personal development, because you can successfully apply them both in customer relationship and in personal life, of course, and learning to make podcasts and live videos. All the best my friends from all over the world.

Melissa Ouwehand

Hey, Alan, this is Melissa Ouwehand from the Netherlands and just want to say hi, and just want to say we’re doing all fine in the Netherlands and teaching the kids with homeschooling, and sometimes it’s difficult, but sometimes it’s very useful for me too, because I recognise some stuff, which I did when I was a little kid. So yeah, that’s really great to to help them out. We are able to go outside and do our active things like playing outside, kids are playing outside and my husband and I are cycling a lot. But really keeping our distance from other people. And fortunately, we have a dog so we can go out as well. Yeah, and with the kids, homeschooling and husband at home, sometimes the area’s too little, but we’re managing and we’re doing fine. About the couples, the wedding couples who’s supposed to be married these days, these months. I really helped them out and they helped me out as well with the payment. And I’m happy to have them on another date next year or later this year. So everything is settled and you have to be very careful with your money these days. So, yeah, I think it’s really okay to do this. Anyway. So thank you and bye bye.

Sasha Lee

Hi, I’m Sasha, Sasha Lee Photography. I think that one of the most important things we should be focusing on right now is not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. So we’re all well aware of what precautions we need to take to prevent ourselves from catching the virus or becoming sick. But it’s not always that simple to know what to do for your mental health. And I think it’s really important to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t, because everybody’s different with this. There does seem to be a lot of pressure to be as productive as possible right now, and if that works for you, then great, but if it doesn’t, then don’t beat yourself up about it. We are going through a weird, stressful time right now. So if all you want to do is relax or spend time with the kids, or do anything else then just do it if that’s what makes you happy, then go for it. If you like to be productive, then again, you do that. I think the most important thing we can all do right now is just to look after ourselves mentally and try and find those bits of happiness.

Rossi Mechanezidis

Guten tag from Germany. This is Rossi Mechanezidis speaking here. Yeah, well Corona times: F***ing bulls**t, stupid, f***in, spooky Corona, what should I say? I don’t know. We’re healthy. We’re doing good. Things are not so bad here at the moment as all the April and May weddings they were moved to 2021. Luckily they were not cancelled. Even some couples even said they wanted to give me the rest of the fee already now because they know that we are going through really difficult times now. This is really something positive I guess, I think, and I don’t know, I just want to give you some positivity and to send out some Chaka Chaka out there and just say to you, yes, hang on. Hang on in there. My English sucks, man.

And yeah, just try to make the best out of it or even make it better. For example, I started my own podcast now, two weeks ago, which was planned since over a year and I just was too lazy. So this crisis somehow pushes you also, it makes you do something and not just hang around and doing nothing and crying around and hoping that things will turn out good. I hope they will do. But in fact you have to do something too. You just have to do something. So hey, yeah, hang on, hang on in there. Stay healthy and sunny greetings from here. Bye Bye.

Daphne Matthys

Hi, I am Daphne Matthys from Belgium. And it is the first time, no kidding, I am having time to read again, to learn again. Things that I always wanted to learn. Like…don’t laugh… I was really enjoying Inside Bill’s Brain of Bill Gates, and Abstract: The art of design. And really how beautiful is Self Made, the life of Madam C.J Walker, and the Game of Changers, my God, there are so many on Netflix. It’s really enlightened me and put myself in a different perspective about life. And it’s not just about life, it’s about my identity, it’s a learning process… is really the first time that I have time to do those things.

And okay, there is downsides. Of course, I have to be with my kids 24 hours a day. It’s not a vacation day. I have a daughter of five and a son of two. So believe me, I don’t feel the energy anymore at the end of the day. It sucks. So I’m spending a lot of time with them, giving all the energy I have. But on the other side, I want to invest in myself, to reinvent myself. I do believe in every crisis, there is a moment to grow. You have to choose what you’re going to focus on. I am investing in myself and it sounds so selfish, but it’s really necessary.

Amy Barton

Hey, Alan. Hey everyone, Amy Barton here from Amy B Photography. Just thought I’d come on and leave a little note to say hi and I hope everyone is doing okay. And hanging on in there even though things have been a little bit crazy of late, completely, obviously, unexpected having to deal with everything relating to Coronavirus. I’m not gonna lie. I think I buried my head in the sand a little bit the last few weeks. But as time went on it became clear to me that things are going to be a little bit tough going on the business side of things. But I’m now trying to look at the positives a bit more. A little bit more time at home with the family over the summer season is only going to be a good thing.

And you know, I might actually be able to attend one of those family friends barbecue things that I always usually seem to miss out on. What else to say…? I mean things can turn around quickly in our industry and this week, I managed to secure a new booking for 2021 and another one for 2022 along with an album order, and straightaway, it just made me feel a lot better about things. So yeah, just trying to keep things short and sweet. I’ll finish by saying hang on in there. Stay in, and stay as chipper as you can. And the good times and the weddings, the amazing weddings that we all have this fantastic opportunity of shooting, they will come back. So yeah, over and out.

Bogdan Chircan

Hi all. Thank you, Alan, for this opportunity to be next to our colleagues and community. I am very happy that I can make this recording. And I think very strongly that in such a difficult time, we have to be more strong connected. I am Bogdan Chircan, wedding photographer based in Bucharest, Romania. I want to tell you that when we feel helpless, we must first think about asking for help without pride or shame. First of all, to our family, and, why not, to the community. I strongly believe that the community such as This is Reportage, can be considered our large and powerful family that we will always can count. We all need more support during in this period. So ask for it and offer it.

What I could really do in this period is simple. I try to keep in touch with my clients to advise them for the good of everyone. I set a good plan with them. And so far I have the performance of moving only 2 weddings for the next year. Rest of the clients who paid the work occupied the vacant places in the autumn and winter months. I made the interesting plan also for the future clients for the next year. I didn’t change the price, but I offered the small gifts in this price. I gave the client deadlines for signing the new contracts with small gifts. At one point the offer will be not longer available. A good marketing plan put in the action now with the clients can be a great idea for every photographer. I hug you, I can’t wait to restart the activity and make people happy through the images. Stay safe. Take care.

Ally Stuart

Hi Alan. It’s Ally Stuart here. I’m using this time to work on my business. I’ve made a huge list of everything I want to achieve during lockdown. Some days I get through lots of it, and other days I feel I’ve done very little. I shoot documentary weddings, but I also photograph newborns. So I’ve been giving out voucers so as I had babies to photograph when we all go back to normal. The shoots are free, and I include a free print. My hope is that they love the photos and buy more and spend lots of money. Last night, I sent a voucher to someone who liked my Facebook page. She came back instantly to say that my lovely gesture had made her cry. She’s a nurse working with covid patients. She’s 27 weeks pregnant. Everyday she’s worrying about her unborn baby’s health. I felt so ashamed. I’d only given her the vouchers so she’d spend money with me in the future. It’s chats like this that show me the human faces behind potential clients. I’ve added a new question to my online form. How has COVID-19 affected you and your family? Everyone’s filling this is in great detail. People want to talk and it shows that I cared about my clients, which I genuinely do. With all my 2020 wedding clients, I’m helping them to postpone to any future date that they choose. Although I’m trying to encourage Fridays and midweek dates to leave my 2021 Saturdays free. I’ve added a new COVID-19 clause to my terms and conditions. It’s not been written by a lawyer, but hopefully it will give me some protection. In case someone might postpone a date to next year and then cancel in 2021 for a reason that’s not even related to the virus – maybe they fall out or they get pregnant and change their mind about a big wedding – I want to be able to force my cancellation charge based on the original date.

I’m also giving couples the option to postpone again, if covid is still around in a few months or even next year. And for me to fully refund if I don’t feel it’s safe to shoot it. Call me a big fealty, but I’m not wanting to be in the position I was in at the end of March when a couple were refusing to cancel. I’m not risking getting sick, even for a wedding. So my new T&Cs cover this. Well, this all sounds very positive, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s feeling a bit of a failure. Because I haven’t cleaned every cupboard in the house, learned three new languages, built a business doing Facebook portrait shoots. I’m not feeding the whole street with any newly learned sourdough baking skills. And I’m not doing online yoga three times a day. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about not being that superhuman. It’s like when photographers boast about diaries full of high end destination weddings when actually, they’ve only offered to photograph their pal’s wedding in Turkey, if they pay for their Ryanair flight. After lockdown I’ll be happy if I haven’t lost any friends or family. And if all my family and friends are mentally in a good place. If my website looks better, and I’ve managed to paint the studio and not gain five kilos, then all the better. I’m looking forward to the future, listening to your podcasts and hope to see everyone next year at Doc Day.

Anna Wood

My name is Anna Wood and I’m based in West Yorkshire. I was very scared when I first heard about the pandemic. And then when it got more real and it got closer to home, and I started to lose work and wedding started to get postponed, I actually packed all my camera equipment away and thought that was it for me for the foreseeable future. I even put some stuff in the garage, I just didn’t want to be reminded about photography at all. And then I sort of had a bit of a revelation that this was a really unique time, and that I could still carry on documenting what’s happening. So I’ve been using my little Sony A6000, like, hobby camera, that I got for Christmas, and not really had a chance to learn how to use and I’ve been documenting our lives in lockdown.

I set up a separate Instagram account for it and every day I wake up and try and do something different. Try and use a different skill. Try and look at another podcasts or look at another article by other photographers or just try and be inspired by different types of art and then use them at home to create my own artwork. I realised that I’m just as much a photographer now as I was a month ago. And that this time has really helped me to create something that I hope my children appreciate for years to come, but I hope other people can appreciate as well. Finding beautiful moments in just, living, living in lockdown and in all that worry and despair and strangeness, I hope we can find little pockets of goodness too, and document those for future generations to see.

Linda Bouritius

Hi, I’m Linda Bouritius from the Netherlands. And first of all, I want to wish everybody a lot of good health and safety of course, and people hang on in there during this crazy times, never in a million years thought wedding season 2020 would look like this. There’s so much insecurity, questions, worries and uncertainties. And after trying to keep everything together and under my control, I have decided to let it go. I don’t put energy and things anymore that are beyond my control, which basically is this entire situation. So with two kids at home, taking care of them is my main priority and business, maybe for the first time, since a long time, a second.

And that’s a huge change for me as well. As I came to the realisation that my self being has depended so much on my work as a photographer, that it’s scared me, especially in those first weeks when we were in a lockdown in the Netherlands, what would I be without it? So it was a good time – or still is a good time – for me to reflect on that and realise that I’m still a photographer – I’m not shooting right now, but, most importantly, I’m defined by so much more than just my work and it’s really okay just to surrender now to a new pace.

Damion Mower

Hello, This is Reportage. This is Damion Mower here, I hope everybody is safe and well during these challenging times. Me myself, I’m in three months of isolation, I live with a vulnerable person. And so we’re shielding. During this time, I have postponed, cancelled, deferred a lot of my subscription, my photography subscription payments, and I’m using the money that I would have spent on those subscriptions to reinvest in education. There’s so much rich content out there on sites like This is Reportage, a lot of it being free, some of it heavily discounted during the COVID crisis. So I fully encourage people to go out and explore different pieces of content, new approaches, different way of thinking and just generally help improve their photography. So when we re-emerge from this crisis we’ll be better photographers, we’ll be able to deliver improved images for clients, we’ll be more satisfied with our own work, and we generally raise the bar for photographers across the world. Stay safe people. I look forward to seeing your work soon.

Peter Geluk

Hey guys, my name is Peter Geluk from the Netherlands. And I’d like to share a little bit about what’s going on here. Obviously, these are weird and crazy times. And the thing is, I see a lot of great initiatives online from other photographers. So everybody seems to see this as an either an opportunity to do something new or to be creative. And I’ve been kind of the opposite. I don’t know why. I’ve been feeling like my mind has been filled up with all these things we need to do like home educating our kids, which has been a bit of a challenge.

Worrying about the financial situation getting our weddings to be postponed… we haven’t had any cancellations yet, fortunately, but all that stuff and also the insecurity of the whole situation has left me quite stressed out and empty headed so I applaud all the initiatives but it also makes me feel a little bit inadequate and feeling left behind, I suppose. So, yeah, I just wanted to share that. Maybe there’s other people feeling the same. I know from a few other photographers that have that same feeling of, you know, feeling they should have lots of initiatives and creative ways of making money, but can’t find any just like me. So, yeah, I’m curious to know what your experience are, so let me know. Thanks.

Marek Troszczynski

Hi Alan and This is Reportage. This is Marek Troszczynski. Yeah, it’s a really tough one. With this pandemic nowadays. I definitely try to stay positive and I have to say I’m fairly happy day to day. And just, I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the time we have at the moment. Definitely. Just having a daily routine for me is very important. So I start my day with daily meditation and just being thankful for being healthy and having my family around you and really connecting with my kids and my wife. I also do yoga every day, for me, it’s just great, and try to start or think about, going through some new projects. So for me for example, it’s just using my camera for video and videoing my family and my kids around the house. I found because it’s a new experiences it’s just very joyful for me. One last thing, in mid-May I’ve signed for a marathon, which I won’t be able to participate in now. So what I did, I found a route local to me and I’m planning to run the marathon. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it in June just by myself with my, with my wife and my kids just behind me giving me support. So that’s my plan, trying to run three times a week and I think it’s just nice to have a goal like this, just to still stay focused and motivated. Cheers.

John Nelson

Hi, my name is John from John Nelson Photography. So what am I doing to stay proactive and positive in this period of lockdown we’re in? Well I’ve got three kids so a lot of my time’s taken up with Poppy, Jude and Lottie. They’re constantly wanting snacks and sandwiches and crisps and drinks and biscuits. So a lot of my time is taken up with them. But when we moved into our house in January, we had a lawn dairy out front, so we decided to dig up some of that and get some plants and some seeds and some vegetables growing. So we’ve been doing that with them. We’ve been planting some sweet corn and parsnips and onions and carrots and things like that just to keep them active and busy. We’ve been doing a little bit of homeschooling with them. My wife’s a teacher, so she’s a key worker. So she’s working through the week and I’m a stay at home dad. So a lot of my time has been taken up with them at the moment.

So I don’t know fortunately, unfortunately, the photography’s sort of taken a bit of a back step at the moment. I’m doing a nice little photo diary. So we’re doing that, we’re putting personal stuff of the kids on Instagram and just keeping that flowing, just keeping in touch with our customers. So that’s it really, I mean, it’s a strange time. I’m not here to give anyone advice on what they should be doing. I’m just letting people know what I’m doing. It’s yeah, it’s weird. It’s crazy, innit, it’s mad. Everyone keep safe, keep safe, keep happy. And watch the Tiger King. Keep safe, keep happy. Watch the Tiger King.

Ash Davenport

Hi, Alan, Ash Davenport here. One thing I’ve realised, whilst we’ve been living in this Corona bubble, is, it’s really easy just to use this time to sit around the house and watch Netflix and really do gardening and all the stuff that’s not really connected with your business. But this is one of those prime times that you very rarely get, where we’re not shooting for an extended period of time. And this is the most ideal time to work on all those areas of the business that you kind of never had the chance to or had the time to or had the right focus or energy to focus on. And I heard a great quote, it was a political quote, but it was a great quote nonetheless, from, I think it was George Osborne a few years back, and he was saying you fix the roof in the Summer. And he was talking about the economy and the health of the country.

But essentially, that’s a really true statement in the fact that you don’t really fix your roof tiles in the Winter when it’s raining, you need to do it in the summer. And I kind of think that’s a really relevant point now, is this is the time you should be fixing all of those areas, your business or your life, that need fixing and can be fixed, you’ve got the time to do it. And a lot of those areas might be kind of like working on SEO, and you won’t see the benefit of that for months or maybe even years. But it’s a great time now to focus on all those areas of your business that probably don’t even need focusing on or just need continuous focus, and just spending a few hours here or there on every element of your business. It’ll really make a massive impact over the long term. So use this time. Use this time wisely and use this time to really improve your business in the long run. And we’ll all come out of it much better.

Michael Freas

Hi, my name is Michael Freas. I’m a wedding photographer in Key West Florida, part of the Florida Keys. We’ve been part of a checkpoint and we’ve been blocked off as there’s no access to where I live unless you’re a resident. It’s actually kind of nice for the first time in about 10 years I’ve actually had peace and quiet on this island and been able to kind of see the heartbeat of the island which is the residents. We’re all a big community and regardless of being shut in, you still see people walking their dogs and stopping at friends houses and standing on the other side of the street and having a conversation just trying to keep a normal life going on.

I think one of the positive aspects of what I’ve been doing during this whole thing is I’ve been advocating and using this time to put pressure on our elected officials in the state of Florida to fix a failed system that is preventing many people from getting the relief and aid that they need. And trying to advocate for my industry, the wedding industry. And I think the biggest part is… I think it’s really important for all of us to pick up our phones, call friends and family we haven’t talked to in months or years, go through Facebook, find old friends, reconnect with them, pick up the phone, have a two and a half hour long conversation on FaceTime with someone you’ve known for 20 years but haven’t seen in five just like I did last night and call your fellow photographers. We’re all in this together. We’ll all get out of this together.

Sophie Callewaert

Hi, Alan. This is Sophie Callewaert. And what’s been keeping me sane, really, is lowering my expectations of myself during this time. At the beginning of it my main idea was to stay as productive as possible, you know, make the most of all this time to create a workshop, make the best possible body of work I can about the crisis, etc, etc. I made this huge ‘To Do List’, mapped out a daily routine, and I was ready to go. Except now on top of the general anxiety about Corona, I created this whole extra layer of anxiety around making the most of Corona.

We’re about three weeks into the lockdown right now. And I’m happy to say I haven’t done a whole lot. Staying sane right now is my main priority. I get out of bed, I put my clothes on and then I do whatever I feel like. Some days I’ll take photos around the house, and I’ll get some work done and I’ll even do some sports. And then other days my main accomplishment is feeding my cat. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s crazy out there right now. And it isn’t business as usual. So do whatever makes you happy right now. And it’s okay to let go a little. It’s okay to lower your expectations.

Phil Salisbury

Hey, this is Phil Salisbury. First and foremost, I want to say I hope this message finds everyone safe and well in these unusual times. And absolute massive shout out to Alan for this. I think this is just the most superb idea to get a cross section of the industry’s wedding photographers to be able to communicate like this with everyone and put out a podcast in this manner, just absolutely brilliant idea. Touching on a few things. So first and foremost, things that I found super beneficial is having some semblance of order and routine. As mundane as routine can sound I think it is absolutely incredible to have because it will keep those thoughts clear, concise, and gives you a bit of mental stability. So whether that’s getting up and a bit of yoga in the morning, some food, coffee, shower, and then attacking the inbox or if you’re one of these that bounces out of bed and goes straight into productivity mode and puts everything by the wayside, creating routine is key. Open your windows, open your front door, get some fresh air, if you’ve got a garden, get out and get some sort of exercise in it. Regardless of what it is kick those endorphins in, that will be super beneficial. It’s massively been beneficial for me and helped with the fluidity of work during the day.

If for any reason you’re struggling with mental health at the moment, reach out, speak to people. It doesn’t have to be your nearest and dearest. It doesn’t have to be somebody within the wedding industry. Although if you are close to people in that manner, that’s great and do so. Download FaceTime or house party or some sort of app and connect with people. This time we are in, lockdown isolation, whatever you want to call it. Communication is probably the biggest part of it. Do not feel alone. That is the worst thing in the world that it can happen and if it is you that’s feeling that way, my FaceTime, my WhatsApp is always there for anybody who needs it. Touching on things that make me happy, Netflix get on it. Ozark. Crikey there’s all sorts of things. Power. Tiger King is a series… just epic. Anyway, stay safe and well guys all the best, Big Love from Phil. Take care of yourselves.

Lewis Fackrell

Hi, Alan. It’s Lewis Fackrell here. Well, what a few weeks, it’s certainly been a change, hasn’t it? It’s been very important to make sure clients are my number one priority. By keeping them informed with my policy to help couples move the date. Obviously, without any charges, that’s been a real big help for them. I’ve received endless feedback including some referrals from couples who I’ve helped which has been really nice to hear. So my tip would be to call all couples, reassure them you’re on their team, because they’ll really remember you when their friends are getting married. In terms of the industry, I think the industry will sadly condense, seeing some friends go out of business, but hopefully, they can get through it. So stay strong guys. I also think some photographers are also going to rush to update their contracts after this too, to future protect themselves on their business. Anyway, cheers. Thanks very much.

Kim Burrows

Hey, Alan, this is Kim from Kim Burrows Photography. So I’ve been hit pretty hard this year. Obviously, I’m sure everyone has. I’ve probably had about 15 to 20 weddings cancell postpone and about 80% of them have rebooked though, mostly on dates that wouldn’t have been taken by another client. So that’s good news. I’m offering them free of charge to change their date as well. So I’ve been trying to keep positive on my social and keep posting, they’ve said that they really enjoy that, seeing some nice fun news on their feed rather than the bad stuff that’s going on in the world. But I’ve not ignored the elephant in the room, I’ve still talked about all the things I’m doing to cope and to get through this and help people with re-planning and booking their weddings up again. For me personally, everyday life is trying to do creative things. I’ve been learning to paint and to draw, which I’m terrible at. I’ve been trying to cook more and read, but the bad days, which happen often, are family sized pack of chocolate bars, a litre of wine and binge watching Netflix, mainly the Tiger King.

I think the future is a bit of a scary place for our economy. It’s going to take a massive hit on weddings, I think mainly for two reasons. One is that couples can’t afford what they could before. And secondly, photographers might drop their prices to try and build up their losses. Either way, it’s going to be a bad hit. And it’s going to take some time. But I think when we look back in years to come, this might be a really interesting time to live through, and to have photographed and documented. So I’m trying to take the positives from everything, but it is really difficult, I’m sure for everyone. And I’m scared for the future. But we’ve just got to do what we can. And it’s great to have this community with you guys. So thanks to everyone. It’s been great to hear from you all, especially you, Alan. Thanks so much.

Jill Streefland

Hello, this is Jill Streefland from the Netherlands. Wow, what a crazy time we are living in. We are all part of a historic period whilst staying home. So binge Netflix, create those photo albums of your own children you’ve been promising yourself to do for so long. Start experimenting in your kitchen, or don’t. Read that book. Take that bath. Have wonderful brainstorm sessions with yourself. Stalk your colleagues on Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, messenger or whatever. Make a plan. Stay safe. You got this.

Sonal Dalmia

Namaste from India. This is Sonal Dalmia. Thank you, Alan, to give this wonderful opportunity to speak to lots of people all around the world. As we all face the similar fear of COVID-19, I would want to say how I am coping up with this. Hope it helps you too. My mantra for this is that I feel the current situations, the circumstances, should not dictate our future potential. So as photographers we believe in focus, focus in a lot of things; focus on our subject, focus on ourselves. And in the current focus, I feel that we shouldn’t be distracted by whatever is happening around the world. We must support small businesses more than ever right now. So, this little thing which we can do, helping each other through social media, I mean, tag them, favour them, ask well about them. Their small businesses. Refer to a friend or write a review, or a testimonial, which will help them. I feel if we exchange a little bit of our reviews with each other this might definitely help. Not taking much of time. I feel this is a time to rediscover ourselves. And help support each other four always. Thank you.

Citlalli Rico

Ola amigos. This is Citlalli Rico from Cancun, Mexico. Things here are all so crazy. I’ve been in lockdown for almost four weeks. And I just wanted to give you some advice that has helped me a lot to get through this. One is to not fight whatever you are feeling. We are so used to push away emotions and feelings. And we don’t like to feel afraid or sad. So this is a great opportunity to allow ourselves to feel, recognise and observe what is happening inside. The more we accept, the easier we process emotions. And the second one is just keep creating. It doesn’t matter what. Just keep your brain in creative mode for at least five minutes per day. It doesn’t have to be photography related. You can cook a new recipe or make a sculpture. You just need to turn your creative brain on as soon as you can. Have fun with it. No one is watching. And please, please stay safe. Love you all.

Matt Badenoch

Hi, I’m Matt Badenoch, and I want to share with you something that’s proven critical for me over the past few weeks. And that is, it’s okay to not be productive right now. If you wake up and all you can manage that day is to watch Netflix, then that’s okay. If the only work you can do today is write a single email, then that’s okay. That’s a win. A couple of weeks ago, after dealing with the postponement of all my weddings over the next four months, which was emotionally draining in itself, I started thinking about what I could do to help my business survive this coming year. I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with new ideas and start implementing them right away. This is my livelihood, and I needed it to survive. After only a few days of this, I nearly had a mental breakdown.

Luckily, my partner saw what was happening and forced me to take a full week off work, something I hadn’t done since starting my business five years ago. Looking back, I realised that my mind was in a state of shock and probably still is. I lost my routine which is core to my mental health. I had fears my health and the health of my loved ones. I had financial fears for most my income for this year been wiped out, made worse by no government support. And every time I went online, I was surrounded by this collective grief being suffered by so many, some with similar challenges to mine, and many with much worse. Like many of you, I’m going to have to fight to ensure my business survives these uncertain times. But I have time. At least three months, probably more. By taking time now for my mind to adjust, I’ll be in the best place to do the work that needs to be done in the coming months. If any of this resonates with you, take a break and be kind to yourself. This is a marathon not a sprint.

Carrie Davenport

Hi, my name is Carrie Davenport and I shoot under the name Crazy Happy Love Photography, based in Belfast over in Northern Ireland. I’m sure everybody’s pretty much in the same boat that’s on here in that lots and lots of things are changing. I don’t just shoot weddings, I also shoot events and teach workshops. And everything has pretty much had to move, or be cancelled, which is rough, but I’m finding what helps a lot is kind of just trying to roll with it, trying to keep myself busy, trying to be as accommodating and helpful as I can on my clients. Because if you can put their nerves at ease, then it makes them so much happier, especially with so much uncertainty. And I think that’s really important, to keep a professional mind on it, and to keep sort of the people that we’re working with really happy as well.

Alongside that I’ve been trying to do the daily exercise, our government-mandated daily exercise, and also been doing a photo challenge on Instagram that I called hashtag 19 photo challenge. Basically playing with the COVID-19 thing trying to get people – not necessarily photographers – just anybody on my Instagram feed, to have a go at taking some photos and stay creative. And if nothing else, it’s got loads of people taking part, it’s got lots of people taking photos. And it’s also really kind of cheered me up every day as well looking at everybody’s results and seeing that people are actually giving it a go. And in some cases, putting in serious amounts of effort as well. So there’s definitely ways to keep yourself busy and to keep ourselves ticking over. We can all look out for each other as a community of photographers, as well, definitely, help each other out with reschedules and bookings. And even just keeping in touch and I hope that when we get out the other side of this, things will maybe be different for the better. I think we definitely have more of an appreciation of work life-balance, because I’ve got all lifetime. It was a lot of work before and even things like just getting bored and stuff with tax and admin done. So I’ve got free time in the future. So I reckon, yeah, we can definitely put lockdown to the best use we possibly can. And we’ll get through it all together.

Alexa Poppe

Hi, guys. It’s Alexa Poppe. Okay. The situation is really strange. And every morning I wake up I feel like I’m in a bad movie set. A whole chunk of my weddings have been postponed to next year even, so I try to push my clients to postpone them to later on this year. However most couples want to get married in June, July, they think the weather is better. Even so the UK can be beautiful in autumn especially Cornwall. At least most postponements went relatively smoothly and my clients thank me to help them finding new dates. We all want to know what happens beyond June for our wedding industry. So far, nobody knows. All we can do is keep calm and stay positive. I do a lot of meditation and yoga, and I’m a fitness freak anyway, to keep my mind clear. There are a lot of online classes at the moment, which is great.

And also I think it’s important to stay creative, like on small projects I never get around to because I’m always too busy. And I recently enrolled in Two Mann Studios webinar, which gets me creatively fired up when the season starts again. That’s a great thing to do. There’s a lot of other courses I still want to do so I definitely don’t get bored. Regarding Netflix, I’m addicted to Walking Dead. It’s been around for a few years now, I can’t stop watching it, and Ozark, great show too. Always with a glass or two of wine in my hand. I think I’m going to be an alcoholic once this pandemic is over. And it also is contradicting to my healthy lifestyle, which is pretty ridiculous. But yeah, we got to have our little treats especially when times are harder. So everyone stay safe, healthy and positive. It’s soon gonna be over, I’m sure of it.

Yvonne Vaughan

Hello, everybody. My name is Yvonne Vaughan and I am based in the west of Ireland. Right next door to the Cliffs of Moher. So I suppose like everybody else, at the moment I’m just trying to adjust to the new norm, which is a bit mad. It’s kind of like Groundhog Day at the minute. And everything is going at a snail’s pace. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose. I’ve been spending all my time with family. I have a seven year old son called Freddy and he’s keeping me hugely entertained. So that’s been good. Insofar as work goes, I’ve been kind of lucky in so far as most of my weddings I’ve been able to reschedule. I have lost a few, not a huge amount.

I’m not going to get worried about it. I’m trying to stay on top of the day to day things. I’m not stressing too much. It’s out of my control. So I just sit it out like everybody else and see where it takes us. So I suppose all we can do for now is enjoy the home time. Enjoy family time, because I’m sure once this passes, we’ll all be back into the day to day madness of life in general. So stay safe. Stay well. And we’ll all catch up again on the other side. So look after yourselves. Bye.

Samo Rovan

Hello, my photography, friends and colleagues. Samo Rovan here from Slovenia. Thank you, Alan from This is Reportage, for the opportunity that I can talk a little about this crazy, incredible, stressful. Well, you know how it is, situation. We are facing something that never happened before. So since we don’t have any weddings, I think that the best for us is to stay sharp with our photography and to photograph the situation itself. So we can practice a lot, whenever, I don’t know, shooting just our families or shooting inside or shooting when we go for a walk or whatever. But I think it’s a very, very nice opportunity to express ourself on a different way, and to think about what we can do, where we can improve also in this bad situation. So when the wedding’s will be back – and they will be back, of course – we can be even stronger photographers. We can be even better. So, yeah, that’s what I am doing. I’m trying to shoot a lot. Especially my family. Please take care and be safe. All the best from Slovenia. Bye.

Olivier Bolte

Hi, everyone, I’m Olivier Bolte, I’m a French photographer. I’m shooting mostly wedding like everyone here, I guess. Like you, like half of the planet, I’m locked down at home with my kids, two little boys and my wife. And at the beginning of the crisis I started a big to do list because I wanted to accomplish different projects like editing personal pictures, finish my work, my website and work on my SEO and have a nice workflow for the next season and stuff like this but after a couple of days I just forget about this, because my days were filled with cleaning diapers, cooking and puzzles and colouring and drawing and stuff like this. So it’s different situation of course, but we are having a great family time and I think we love to live 24/7 with each other and it’s going well for now. I started to document it with my camera at home because I think it’s important to keep some memories about this period and I think if I can offer my kids a nice album, they will enjoy it when they get older.

But besides diapers and puzzles, I also learn a lot from you guys, from the community of photographers. It’s amazing, there are videos, and podcasts and many resources for free everywhere on every social network, on every group or associations. Lots of tips on business or teaching or lighting. Thank you guys for sharing this. It’s very cool. And because of you I think we’re gonna all come out of this lockdown as better photographers. So that’s the least we can do. I mean for our future clients, like, they’ve been through the pandemic, like us, and they deserve better experience of course. So thank you, Alan. Thank you everyone for listening. Good luck for the season. And take care.

Joao Lourenco

Hello, this is Lourenco, from Lourenco Wedding Photography in Lisbon, Portugal. I hope everybody’s staying home and safe. And I would like to suggest a different software to help fight the boredom. So that software is Exposure X5. Until just last week, I had never tried that software. Since I have some time at home – and I suppose most people do – I decided to install the free trial. And in just three days, I decided to buy the software because it’s not that expensive. And it has a lot of features that Lightroom doesn’t, which I like. For example, you can edit the picture fully while in grid. You can add layers. You have built in presets of films, for example, you have a pretty good tilt-shift effect and you have flares. It has a lot of things that I wish Lightroom did have, but it doesn’t. So that’s my suggestion. If you have the time, and I suppose you do, just try Exposure X5, see what you think. It might change the way you edit your pictures, and it might just give you a bit of a different style. Thanks, bye bye.

Yves Schepers

Yves Schepers. These are hard times I know, our income is uncertain. Maybe people that are close to us are sick, our social life is gone. We’re stuck with our kids 24/7, as well as with our partner, which will all lead to a big deal of stress. And on the other side of the spectrum, you might also feel under pressure, because all of this free time should be spent wisely, optimising our business, shooting personal projects, reading a gazillion books, maybe even learn a new language. A lot of ‘I shoulds’…While instead I think we just don’t have to do anything at all. I feel like we have to accept the situation, support the medical staff who are working hard to overcome this crisis. And most importantly, slow down.

I think the world was being a bit out of control so it stepped on the brake itself and brought life as we know it to a halt. There’s a quote in a book I’m reading that said, ‘it’s only after we’ve lost everything, that we’re free to do anything’. And that anything might as well be nothing at all. But if you need to do anything, it will be this: To spend enough time with your family and loved ones who are in quarantine with. And even if being stuck together is frustrating at times, we can’t go anywhere anyway. So learn to communicate better and understand each other better. This will only benefit our relationships because in a couple of weeks time when we’re not quarantine anymore, and the rat race starts all over again, this quality time will be the first thing we’re going to miss. So that’s my advice, or my experience. Slow down, accept the situation, find a new balance, and enjoy your time together.

Fille Roelants

This is Fille Roelants from Belgium speaking. These are challenging times for all of us and our businesses. But we’re in this together. Some of us are facing really hard times, and we can stop and panic, but it won’t help us in the long run. We can only try to help each other out by filling up each other’s free Saturdays when you’ve got multiple requests for the same date, for example. Aside from this challenging financial aspect, we must try to make the best of these unforeseen circumstances. This is a time where we can do all the things we’ve been postponing for so long. Write that blog, make those business cards, give your website a fresh update, or start a new hobby like knitting or skateboarding. Or just clear a giant backlog like me. That’s probably a very unpopular opinion but for me personally this lockdown was actually quite a welcome break. I had this ginormous backlog. I guess things will turn out all right in the end. Try to live day by day, and let’s try to make the best of this. Cheers.

Jay Doherty

Greetings! Jay Doherty here from Donegal in Ireland. A few wee things that I might thrown past you in these times of crisis and craic. Work related, here’s what I’m doing right now. On my Pic-Time, everyday or your whatever gallery you’ve got online, I pick 10 from weddings during the last couple of years. Download 10 photos, upload on to my Instagram and that goes on my Facebook every day. That just keeps you in the loop. I think right now is a good opportunity to be sowing seeds for harvest for the next year or the year after. I know right now we’re all f***ed for money but come the autumn and winter we’ll be grandd and come next year, well, I think, for me, I’m gonna have to squeeze in loads and loads of more wedding, more than I’ve ever done. I would imagine next year I’ll be doing twice as many, but f**k it, I’m going to be fit for it, I’m going to go to the gym. Right now we’re doing kids PE class was Joe Wicks every morning at nine o’clock, half an hour of sweating out all the f*****g badness that I ingest in the way of sugar everyday, so sweating it out every morning. Plenty of yoga, good for the mind of course, good for the head. Good for a bit of timeout and escape; your wee yoga mat’s just your island of peace. So just find a wee corner of the f*****g toilet or wherever you can in the house away from all the madness. Get on it, half an hour a day, same craic again as the exercise.

I haven’t watched the news or read a newspaper in 15 years so I would advise maybe follow my path of ignorance with your head buried safely in the ground. Really do we need to be ingesting all that mania? I don’t know. What I know is this: Stay at home, sit tight. Look after your mind and your body. East good sh*t. Trying to get a wee bit of nature and a wee bit of walking. Dandering round the woods,or dandering round the garden or just dandering round circles up and down the stairs. Whatever you can. Do a wee bit for charity. Right now I think we can all kind of throw together some creative notions and raise some money for the nurses out there, or for people that are just in need. The homeless are still homeless, the suicidal are still suicidal, so maybe see what you can do. You’ll feel f*****g great, I promise you that. Make your mammy proud. Over here in Donegal we’re restricted to being not more than two kilometres away from home. So I just go out and walk around the fields, f**k it. Feed the donkeys. Playing plenty of guitar. If you’re sh*t at guitar like me, go learn some good stuff. Maybe write something, write some poetry, read some poetry, maybe not be on the phone so much.

Get in touch with your parents. I’ve been chatting to my parents and my brothers more than I ever had in years which is grand. I think there’s good opportunities right now just to nurture those relationships that maybe we’re just not given the energy that they should have been. But anyway, that’s it. Also my tooth fell out the front of my head. So that’s kind of keeping me busy at the minute, finding exciting ways to glue it back in. I’m going to see a dentist next week, she’s doing a bit of moonlighting, and she’s going to glue it back in, but as of now I am kinda speaking with a bit of a lisp, and bits of f*****g potato are getting stuck in places they shouldn’t be, but there you are, a bit of excitement in my life.


Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this special podcast episode! Was so great to hear all your voices, and your thoughts on how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Hope you enjoyed listening and found it useful and inspiring!

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