When you watch movies, do you ever think of you having a rather ordinary life and only movies or books move you into interesting alternative worlds? Sometimes you want a little drama.
But when that happens, you’ll find out how real it is. You will not become a hero or a villain. It’s not a story that has a good ending and people won’t watch it with popcorn in their hands. You will find out how it will affect your entire life and often lose months and years of work. Only those who have built their lives and stories on a solid foundation will survive.
This is how the world looks like thanks to coronavirus COVID-19. And how does this situation, this quarantine affect me? I’m a photographer taking pictures of people and their stories. “Social distancing” and quarantine is not good for my work. Although I try to find some positives, it means that I can’t take pictures. I can’t tell stories. That kind of hurts me. And I will not lie to you, financially and personally.
When I think about what wedding photographers or people who are taking pictures of girls in the park are experiencing. Most wedding photographers during the season earn money for the rest of the year, from which they live. Looking forward to the next season, which will bring them a living money and earnings for the winter. The season has not yet begun, but we are approaching it very quickly. But wedding photographers take advances, so they have paid most of the year even if there were no weddings. The question then is who is hurt then. Whether a sad bride who does not see the advances or a sad photographer who will return them. I leave the choice to everyone.
Similarly, those who live from workshops are negatively affected. Many photographers around the world are losing orders and canceling long-planned training sessions. Businesses generally fail. They are afraid and investing in promotion is now secondary. They want to feed their employees and people who make their product.
This also affects my customers, great farmers, wineries, breweries, restaurants. Every day they sum up losses. Many of them will not survive this development. But there will be those who do. Those who respond to help, communicate, and remain active.
And how can I help? What can I do in quarantine if I can’t photograph people? I can help producers, farmers, restaurants by talking about them. Sell their stories and talk about the things they produce. I can take pictures of their products. Help them with sales. Because that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? As a photographer I’m paid to capture their story as best I can. And this is primarily to support their success. So why not take it a little further and be part of the sale? After all, we are not talking about insurance and banking services. We are talking about products that we all love.
Many winemakers depend on restaurant customers. They are now closed and therefore try to get the wine to customers in another way. For example, the awesome winery Gurdau from Kurdějov launched an order form. Imports wines for free and at wholesale prices. Dominika Černohorská from the Plenér winery has been selling wines this way for a weeks. Great wines and free shipping await you at the majestic Sonberk. Many other winemakers have joined Milan Nestarec’s “Drinking Against Sinking” initiative and offer one bottle at a time to sell directly to the affected restaurants. We can find a lot of such projects now.
And what is the future after coronavirus, or perhaps the future with coronavirus?
There are a lot of articles about what will happen in the world in the coming months and years. Lukáš Nevosád described the great prediction of tourism in this article. We have no choice but to believe that government measures will relax and we, photographers, will return to our „grefts“, the wine lines, cellars, the forests and the fields. But the future will not be as we dreamed it. Many of us can forget about new cars, flashy villas and free travel. The market will only be for those who have value, bring something needed and know how to turn around. It will also be for those who think about the future and can make some savings.
And where will photography be in the coronavirus world? The main reason why photographs are actually taken is to capture memories and we will not lose this need. The market may be purged of those who only see the business behind it and do not think about the photo from scratch, do not bring anything extra to their customers. People will still get married and girls will still want to take pictures in the park. Even the travel photo will still be here. Even at this point, there are many photographers in the woods with their ND filters vloging about their depth of field. For us advertising photographers, the world will be difficult for a while. But I believe that under pressure, personality is refined and unique visions arise. So back to work and let’s help our favorite products, winemakers and friends. Because that’s the main reason why we do it, right?