So here we are 8 months later and in Lockdown 2. I never imagined for a moment we would still be in this situation and my beloved business would be closed once again. It’s heartbreaking and I feel for all small businesses who are in the same position.
March 2020 was by far the worst month of my life. I lost my Dad on 23rd March after a 6 year battle with Dementia. And then a few days later the whole country was plunged into Lockdown. I was grieving, I was scared and on top of this I was forced to close Tiny Baby Studio live apart from my husband. I moved in with my Mam for lockdown to keep her company and my husband stayed at home and continued to help run Recyke Y’Bike which was super busy over lockdown! March turned to April and I got more of a grip and began to feel better and started baking, walking, facetiming friends and family and doing some marketing for my business (I didn’t want anyone to forget me!!) and I also set up Lockdown Babies. This facebook group was a bit of a saviour for me as it helped me keep in touch with Mums with new babies and I was able to understand the issues they had and Mums giving birth were sharing their stories and putting minds at rest on how it was working during lockdown. I found these stories highly inspirational!
When it was allowed to meet others outside, I ventured to the field and did some socially distanced outdoor family sessions. I had really missed my camera and I’d also been craving some normality and it was brilliant to see other people!!
Then in July we finally got some news that I could reopen YIPPEE!!! The end is in sight (or so I thought back then…).
So I spent a few days deep cleaning the studio and I was so excited when clients started coming back (I might have shed a tear). Because I was closed for 3 months, the newborns were no longer newborns and had become beautiful wide awake 3 monthers. They didn’t want to curl up and snooze…they wanted to be alert and smiley!
I was so happy that my awesome customers were confident to come back to the studio! I decided to have just one family per day and I clean before and after every client. I wash all fabrics baby comes into touch with. I moved the studio around a little bit so I can keep my shooting areas 2m from where parents sit and we all did a good job of keeping our distance. I bought COPIOUS amounts of hand gel and cleaning products and loads of types of masks. Not ideal but we made it work together.
And through the summer it was business as usual (almost!) with many newborns, older babies, Cake smashes, maternity and family sessions. I did notice the older babies (4-12 months) were a little more nervous of me as a stranger and they were a little more clingy but it’s to be expected I guess. Also I HATE wearing a mask as it fogs my glasses up but I just get on with it (actually I do complain a lot heh!).
I even managed to get through my Christmas Mini Sessions!
But then…the news came that I was dreading. England was to go into lockdown again and my studio had to close for the 2nd time. Boris said this lockdown will last until 2nd December and I am clinging onto hope that we can reopen as I’ve got a full diary in December.
Once again I am plunged into anxiety of lost earnings and how to pay by business costs and with Christmas looming and I am trying not to think of my tax bill that is due at the end of Jan 2021 EEK! However, I speak to other photographers in the same position daily and it’s a support network I am forever grateful for. The government have given funding to the councils for some grants and although it wont cover loss of earnings it will mean I can pay my studio rent and stay afloat.
If you’ve read this far then THANK YOU!!! I could have hugged every single client as they walked into my studio as I appreciate your custom more than ever. 2020 has been the most crazy year and I know it’s been hard for all of us in one way or another and for you to choose to come to my studio for photos, this means a lot to me.
So if you would like to support my business and book a shoot or buy a voucher for a Christmas gift then drop me a line! I promise not to hug you hehe!