What a year 2020 has been for small business owners... and 2021 is not shaping up much better at the moment is it? I mean I haven't even bought a new wall calendar yet, even though my kids keep telling me the date and days on the wall don't match! (I am recycling last year's one right now as there is not much on that one either :D )
If someone told me in January 2020 that I would only get to work for 8 months out of the year I would not have believed them. What has happened seemed so impossible and yet....
It has been a trying year. I tried really hard in the first lockdown to keep my website and Facebook page active. I played around with digital composites and digital art. and I was being SUPER MUM.
I have 3 kids and home schooling was not quite as organised in the spring as it seems to be now. So we had time on our hands. We played indoors, outdoors (it sure felt like an extended holiday with all the beautiful weather we had didn't it just?). I came up with activities, we had geography lessons on the kitchen floor with a huge map of the world. (https://www.magdabrightphotography.co.uk/post/home-schooling-tips-and-tricks )
We baked together. I organised a camping sleepover in my studio, it was so cold and windy that day and the wood was wet and smoked a LOT and the whole house smelled of smoke for days even after I washed all I could :) But it was so much fun.
We had a disco in the studio with glow sticks, with cocktails, with dancing and a disco light. The glow sticks came in handy along with the disco light for our New Year's living room party :) There was a games night with Bingo, Darts and board games. There was an awards night (my personal favourite as I got to wear a lovely dress I bought for an actual photography awards night :)) with awards given for Lockdown achievements.
Then there was the holiday video. We filmed our family going on an exotic holiday to Corona 2020. It was so much fun pretending we are on the plane next to the washing machine (using the drum as a plane window). Creating a check in station in the studio, using the garden and the blow up jacuzzi as our holiday destination :) ) I loved spending more time with the kids. I loved creating my Doorstep Project with local families (https://www.magdabrightphotography.co.uk/post/the-door-step-project) .
It was very stressful for me thinking about when and how to reschedule customer sessions. Working out how to make sure the studio is Covid Secure as much as possible:(https://www.magdabrightphotography.co.uk/post/covid-19-studio-measures)
Once we were allowed to restart working I tentatively started with outdoor sessions before going back to cake smashes in the studio and eventually my favourite, newborn session. With my first baby back in I could have cried. I missed babies SO much. There is something so special about a brand new tiny person. Their squishiness, their smell, little yawns, tiny fingers. The peace that I feel when a tiny baby falls asleep in my arms and I pose them all cosy and comfortable to capture beautiful memories of such fleeting moments for their mummies and daddies to keep. I missed chatting to new parents about their experience, about their gorgeous new bundle, about life... I always treat all of my customers as if they are my friends as soon as they walk into my studio. I missed that so much!
Work picked up and was absolutely crazy all the way to November when we got shut down again. It was only a month, I cried when it was announced as I had my Christmas Sessions in full swing but it was clear how long the restrictions lasted and it was fine. I had so much editing to do so I had time to catch up and we may have caved in and got the kids a little puppy too :) So I was pretty busy. December was busy again and we had a lovely Christmas with the kids.
2021 came and with it Lockdown #3, with no clear end to it, uncertainty of when I will be bale to get back to working. With home schooling again, this time with the added joy of a puppy and 3 kids :) I didn't cry this time when the lockdown was announced. I had no energy and no tears left. I worry so much about my little business I built up from the ground. My heart breaks for all the new mummies out there going through all the appointments and birth with their partner barely being able to be present, with the family and grandmas not being able to swoop in and help when needed. For all the mums and dads out there who really wanted to have newborn photos. For all the little ones who are celebrating their birthday without being able to come see me for some cake smash fun. For all the kids missing their friends so much. For all the families who can't be together and for all the small businesses suffering and wondering HOW they will pick themselves up and start again.
There has been no camping, games nights or discos so far. I ran out of energy and ideas. We have been going on long walks and playing board games but maybe I have peaked too soon (I mean WHO was to know just how long this would go on for??!! :( ) I am trying to get back to being super mum who is positive. I am trying to pick myself up and think of exciting things for my business but I won't lie, it is hard.
I am not sure of the purpose of this blog (for the first time ever) but I am having a bad day. The tears came today. I miss my job. I miss normal. I even miss the school run in the pouring rain!!
I can't wait to be able to say see you soon...