Learning a new skill during lockdown
Running a photography business during lockdown is strange. Obviously, there are no photo shoots going ahead and the diary is empty for the next few months. The shoots that were booked are postponed, although I am incredibly grateful to the wonderful and supportive clients who have booked Autumn sessions hoping that we will be up and running by then and knowing that we can postpone them if need be.
My family are all safe and well and – because Tom and I have been working from home for years – we are well set up to carry on working during the crisis. But what am I working on? There are no shoots, no pictures to process, no enquiries to talk to, business as usual is at a standstill.
I’ve been learning a new skill: I’ve been learning how to shoot video.
Two weeks ago, I was asked by Canon Europe to produce a training video for their new Canon Connected Hub on YouTube. Like many big companies, Canon are working hard to help their customers through the lockdown and are producing tutorials and inspirational content for those who are taking pictures at home. I think most photographers, if asked, will admit to having taken pictures of their houseplants, window light, random objects around the house and – if they live in North London – their freshly baked loaves of sourdough bread (yes, I’m aware I’m a cliché, but if you can’t laugh at yourself during lockdown…).
I had never shot any video before. Indeed, while customising my cameras for my still photography work, I had even reassigned all the video buttons to give me quicker access to settings that I find useful for stills photography. It wasn’t a case of “press the red button and I’m good to go”.
I had thought I’ll have plenty of time to learn this stuff. But no, four days until I had to delivery my video. Eek! But deadlines are good. I find, particularly now, that every task expands to fit the available space and especially when it’s a big and scary new thing and my ability to procrastinate is on overdrive. I had to get it done.
Huge thanks go to my colleagues at Canon (in particular Frankie, who spent a long time helping me set up my Canon EOS R to shoot video) and my friends Matt Pereira of The Lifestyle Video Company, and the wonderful and talented videographer Ciaran Lee at Allied Content (who shot my promo video here on the website and who spent over four hours helping me to edit my Canon video). I got it done on time with their kind help!
My first ever video is up on the Canon Connected Hub this afternoon. If you have ten minutes, then do take a look. I hope you will enjoy it! I’ve relaunched my own YouTube channel too and will be adding content to that in the near future, so please subscribe to see the latest videos. I hope you enjoy them!