How do you keep busy during a lockdown? The bits that people don't really get to see.
The pandemic has taken grasp across our little blue marble we call home In the UK it has meant the wedding industry here has been hit hard. Fourteen billion pounds lost in our industry, Couples either cancelling their wedding or moving to another date. Businesses struggling to stay afloat.
Like many people up and down the country, this moment in history has transformed every corner of this country. Not just our wedding industry but every business. Hospitality, Fashion, the whole nine yards. Hospitals have been pushed to the limit, Doctors and nurses putting in their colossal effort at the cost of their own mental health. I think it has to be said that the heroes are the ones who have battled to keep people alive and to give the best care they can to people who have needed it.
Schools have been shut for such a long time that it's affected the education system. Not only have the teaching sector had to learn a new way of remote teaching but they also have families of their own. Kids have been cooped up in their houses, bedrooms to "homeschool". My nephew is one of them. It's been arduous on their mental health and can only hope that with time they will be able to get any support they need in the future.
What to do to keep "ticking over" during this difficult time?
A few things I have done during lockdown is teaching my nephew to take photographs, Getting him to understand the various settings by teaching him one thing a week. It's sweet to know he would like to one day come to a wedding with me and photograph one. As an uncle, it's very humbling to know that it's inspired him to pick up a camera and capture how he sees the world. Isn't that the point of photography? The purest form of just taking a picture?
With the extra time I have been experimenting with something I have wanted to do for a very long time and that is making a stop-motion wedding slideshow. By taking all the jpegs from a wedding shot on Fujifilm cameras, Stitching them together using movie editing software.I was happy by the results that it produced and was so pleased to be able to share that on my Instagram page via the IGTV section (A newly discovered area to promote my photography) Which you will see below.
This is from Penny & Joe's wedding at New Wharf Farms in the picturesque Sussex countryside.
These two were some of my first attempts and doing a stop motion video so I hope you enjoy it. The one below was taken at the stunning Mount Amelia venue in the idyllic Norfolk countryside. You can view this blog here.
Additionally, I have looked at Instagram in a different light. It is a learning process and don't get me wrong it will take time. I will gain followers, I will lose followers. It wasn't until this year after taking quite a long break from social media, That I realised I wasn't remotely utilising the power of Instagram, I still consider I don't apply it to its fullest potential.
Before I simply posted a picture either every other day or leave huge gaps between updating the content on my page. I posted pictures that I liked without thinking about what my audience might like. As a photographer who aims to tell a story through a series of images, It can be challenging to keep a consistent theme on my page without sticking to one theme. It works for some photographers by just showing couples shoots for example. But for me I am trying to tell a story through my work in a single image. Hence why using the captions is important. As well as being savvy with your hashtags (still on a learning curve to chop and change those)
I have had some great support and learning from another Instagram user Rosie (Her IG page can be found here) who is a past wedding client and also learning from Chris Hau's youtube channel and website which you can view here and can view his IG page here.
I have been using Instagram since its inception back in 2010. It started as a personal page that is no longer active and I used it to express my creative side whenever I observed something that piqued my interest. At that time It was just a mess of images with no consistent theme.
Roll-on five or six years and there was an opportunity to have a business page. I have an account for my business which I still use today for my wedding work however at that time (In 2015) you weren't able to have a business account until 2016.
Expanding my understanding of how the "Algorithm" (Something which alludes us all), How the analytics works, I try to build an understanding from that to target my audience and potential clients. It's not just about looking out for my future couples it's building a strong audience of creative individuals to share and inspire one another.
Again I tweak it on a weekly and monthly basis to make it work not only for myself but also for my followers. I sense that in time it will grow but there is the keyword, "In time". I don't expect my followers to grow to 10k+ overnight.
Trying to promote yourself on Instagram effectively is a second job. I don't have a problem with it as its a platform I can build a following that costs little to no money (if I don't use the paid promotion option) A resolution for me to work on in 2021. Plus It is one of the few apps l love to use and "scroll on" which is the who point of instagram keeping us all engaged on their platform.
If want to find out more about my Instagram page head over to instagram.com/cbirdphotographer if you like what you see hit that follow button to get regular content updated and get some inspiration when you're looking for a wedding photographer.
My mantra with a little bit of inspiration. Everyone has a story to tell, Let me tell yours. Feel free to comment and like this blog. - Apple