No doubt this strange time is proving challenging for a lot of us: financially, emotionally, mentally, and of course professionally. But if there’s one thing we know, it’s that we’re seeing more creativity and collaboration than ever before.
“I’m working on a personal project to interview and record business owners’ experience of how they are navigating through this crazy period of time.”
– Rochelle Morris
Rochelle aims to talk with industry professionals to find out exactly how they’ve been affected and what they’re doing to adapt to the situation.
The first online interview – in what is planned to be a whole series – is with AIPP Victorian council vice president, Fiona Handbury, of The Garage Studio in Sunbury.
Fiona is a multi-genre photographer with a diverse range of clientele but, like most, has been severely affected by the COVID-19 shutdown.
It really became a period of uncertainty with not knowing whether to postpone sessions; whether to cancel sessions. And then it became a legal challenge: was I allowed to keep shooting? Was I not allowed to keep shooting? Would I be covered by insurance?– Fiona Handbury, The Garage Studio
“We do have a lot of flexibility in what we offer,” said Fiona, “but our main clients, I would say, are the corporate and commercial and they were the first to cancel.”
On the same day Rochelle interviewed Fiona, one of Fiona’s clients had laboured and given birth but due to restrictions, Fiona wasn’t able to document the birth as originally planned.
Instead, Fiona asked if a camera could be taken into the birth suite, used by support people and medical staff, and all photos given to Fiona to edit and finish as an alternative.
Fiona managed to safely photograph an intimate wedding of just five people during COVID-19 times, and will return to serving her newborn and family clients as soon as allowed.
We’ve taken advantage of a lot of the down time to look at a lot of the back of house stuff: we’re redesigning the website, we’re making new information packages for clients, we’re building a new outdoor studio space…we’ve also looked at our marketing.– Fiona Handbury, The Garage Studio
Luckily, Fiona has been able to photograph a number of other jobs in spite of restrictions while also making the best of the forced downtime.
We’re finding ways of doing business that are appropriate safety wise both for myself and my family, but also keeping my business operational.– Fiona Handbury, The Garage Studio
Rochelle is looking for more participants for her project. “If you are still operational, or perhaps adding something to your mix of offerings to get through, and are willing to be involved, please PM me,” she wrote online.
I’m hoping to keep this positive so that the world will also see that ‘we’, our community is still/will be operational– Rochelle Morris, Preface Films