I went into 2020 with my head held high, confident in the knowledge that my event, portrait and boudoir photography business was headed for it's best ever year.
10 years in the making 6 years full time I've weathered the storm, fought the battles and built a business I believe others would be envious of. I'm not going to lie the market is saturated with photographers and the competition is fierce but I've built a brand and a reputation of excellence to go with it.
Up until March things were amazing.. I took more photos in that part of the year than any other. Barmitzvahs, Corporate, boudoir all of them.
Then March came, people started getting ill and the inevitable lockdown happened. What happened next was completely unpredictable. At first the Spring events rescheduled to the Autumn. Whilst overall that meant fewer total bookings for the year, at least it meant that the tail end of the year would be good for something. Over time we came to realise this was going to take a lot longer.
I did a few things...
In an effort to keep photography alive I ran a limited number of web sessions. Essentially a phone becomes the camera, I give you posing direction and the photo is shot as a screen grab. Clever eh ? For me it was OK but it didn't really work, so after that limited set of shoots I let the idea slide.
I spent many dog walking, gardening, guitar playing and barbecuing hours contemplating the unanswered question. How does a photographer of people take photos when he's barely allowed to be in the same postcode as anyone else.
I soon realised I was asking the completely incorrect question ... what I needed to ask was
How do I, someone who generates ideas and creates great images, continue to do just that in the restricted limits we are facing. How can I keep,to my core values of getting to know people and putting that on the screen.
In doing that I was faced with a wider proposition than just ...
How does a photographer take photos now ?
That shift of mindset took me to ask myself
What can I create if distance is no object .. if quite literally the person I am creating for is, well anywhere in the world?
All of that led me to animated video. I can already edit video, not to Hollywood movie standard but well enough, infact I record and edit interviews with my boudoir clients when the get their images.
I can't draw, but I can use tools to put images on the screen and make them move. So now I had an answer and some software I locked myself away and trained myself... 3D character animation, kinetic text, whiteboards, logo animation, cartoon characters. I spent the Summer learning them all.
In the end I've delivered dozens of animated logos, a collection of bespoke Instagram stories. Christmas messages for many businesses. A fair few explainer videos in a variety of formats telling the audience what the businesses want them to hear. This one is for networking group ScreenPOP and sit's on the home page giving a great overview of what they aim to do for you.
Its a whole new challenge with a new set of rules and issues but it's this evolution that has kept me in business and more importantly kept me upbeat and positive.
If you think you can benefit from a animated video I'd love to talk with you ...