So last night it all got a bit too much ... for context it's the middle of the Covid19 pandemic. For over 200 days now we have been in a form of social distancing or lockdown. The Arts and Ents industry is not being supported.
I stewed for a little bit and in the late night numbness I put a post out on FB. It said what I felt in the best way I saw possible.
In the morning a national Jewish newspaper contacted me to publish on their website ... would I mind ? Just stop me. So here it is please take a read and leave me a comment.
If you don't want to click then here is the text ..
So the government wants me to retrain .. my life as an event and portrait photographer is by their standards not viable.
Well here's the thing I already have retrained. I left university as a computer programmer and went to work in Banking. However the world suffered a financial crisis, many banks closed and other cut themselves to the bone. After 4 redundancies I saw the writing on the wall and leapt into full time photography. I worked hard, trained myself in all the skills I needed, bought equipment without a loan and never fell into debt. I paid my tax and work long hard hours to do so.
I'm 49 and have worked for myself for 6 or so years. I'm not sure how employable I am in what will doubtless be a glutted market. I don't need telling to do something so I am adding new creative strings to my bow, determined to survive. I have evolved Gander Photography into Gander Media Solutions and now consult with small businesses to create and deliver short video animations for use on social media, websites and in presentations. It's something that I can do at an arm's length, uses my existing skills and still allows me to be creative.
However the photography business I built over 6 or so years with many personal sacrifices across all of my family is sadly no viable.
Well ask the 100s of families who have their precious event memories on their walls, not just now but forever and for all the generations to come.
Ask the 100s of families I have taken portraits for as they have grown or shrunk. I've taken photos with 5 generations in them.
Ask the pregnant women whose once in a life time experience I've captured
How about the people whose aging generations I have taken precious images of that it turns out were the last great photo taken.
Maybe the women who have until they met me were scared of the camera and thought little of themselves .. who are now proud to be the way they are .. 5 of them have as a result had their self esteem transformed and are now signed models. One woman has admitted to me that in part without the photographic therapy as she calls it, along with other treatment, she might even have taken her life. In her own words "the photos we took and the fun we had taking them reminded me it was ok to exist and take up space."
I've even had photographs been made into tattoos.
Life in the entertainment, event, hospitality industry is long and hard but wonderfully enriching and rewarding. I've made many many friends. I've been exposed to other people's cultures, I've shared laughter and tears, met famous people Over 10 years nearly half a million pictures have created more lasting value than in ever did in IT or Banking ...
Tell me how non viable I or any of the people I cherish in the function family are and I'll tell you otherwise ...