Photoshoots in a pandemic

When Covid hit, we, like many business owners felt quite anxious. How do you navigate a photography business in a global pandemic? We had no choice but to stay at home in the initial lockdown. Going in to people’s homes and photographing them and interviewing them was an absolute no-no and my travel pieces, that have been a bit of an icing on the cake to our careers were, literally, in pieces.

A huge proportion of magazines are brought for journeys, with stations and airports almost shut down and the accompanying newsagents were closed, we wondered whether magazines would survive at all.

We were very grateful to realise that readers kindly made the effort to buy magazines by subscription with a renewed interest. As covid and the accompanying restrictions persisted, we were delighted to realise that an unprecedented (yes that word again) fascination was arising in interior design. Suddenly ‘home’ was all we had and a garden of course, if you were lucky, as restaurants and nightclubs and holidays were forbidden and everyone became obsessed with their interiors. So, unexpectedly, and against all odds the magazines that we work for have all flourished and strengthened.

I can remember being quite nervous going on our first shoot post lockdown, but it was a shoot with a fabulous up and coming you designer in Edinburgh, Salsabil El-awaisi, we could not miss it.

I can remember feeling quite tired from wearing a mask all day for the first time on our shoot with Salsabil and even though I wore latex gloves, I was still washing my hands multiple times throughout the day. These precautions are routine for me by now and I feel really comfortable if the situation demands that I wear a mask, or not, thanks to regular lateral flow tests and the success of the vaccination technology.

We are delighted that our work schedule is pretty much back to normal now, if anything busier than ever. Lockdown gave many people the chance to reinvent themselves: redesign their interior, so there are lots of good stories to cover and businesses have had the opportunity to reimagine their publicity material, meaning a lot of commercial shoots to catch up with as well.

We are always thrilled to give publicity to homeowners whose careers depend on their profile and happy to provide anonymity to people who wish to guard their privacy. I love meeting people and hearing their stories as to what inspires their love of design and decorating. Last month and this month we were delighted to see a couple of brilliant features published in Period Living magazine, both fairly nearby our new home. The magazine’s focus is on historic period properties, antiques and salvaging, so the stories behind the homes are always fascinating.

The converted chapel, above was undertaken by interior designer Dean Keyworth, the property below in Berwick Upon Tweed was restored by history lovers Sharon and Gavin Hunt. It has been brilliant meeting and getting to know new people, local to us and finding out their secret suppliers.

I was recently sent a gift of Clinell wipes, hand sanitiser and cleaning spray. Taking these along on a shoot will give me even more confidence that I can ensure my own and the homeowners safety.

So grateful to all the scientists and healthcare workers who have come up with technologies to enable us to continue to live as we do, new medical treatments and a greater understanding as to how viruses work. I hope there has been an accompanying rise in our collective level of consciousness as well and a refreshed questioning of our priorities and how we look after our planet and each other in the future.

If you feel your home might make a great story for a magazine feature, please get in touch, I would love to hear from you!

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