COVID-19 and Starting a Business

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Lockdown has had a massive impact on me and my business, much like practically everyone else in the world. However, I’ve tried to take it as an opportunity and see it as a positive. Not only have I become more familiar with my beautiful local area but I finally found the time to start my family photography business.

After creating my wedding photography business, Fern Photography, 10 years ago, I’ve picked up a number of family jobs. I love meeting new people and my job facilitates this, what happens is so many of the people I work with are absolutely fantastic and I don’t just want to be a part of their lives just that once for their wedding (as epic as it may be). I’d rather get to know them as friends and become their lifetime, family photographer. That way I can ensure quality and consistency across all their photos. It’s wonderful that I can see families develop and mature as their bond deepens over time. 

Babies are cute. Everyone knows that. Obviously this was a massive draw to becoming a baby and family photographer. It’s how I started anyway. My past wedding clients started asking if I could photograph their newborn babies and I was immediately up for it. I did my research and decided I’d like to do studio-esque newborn photography. So the first few photoshoots I did I took all my studio equipment to parent’s houses. This created some fantastic photos but It really wasn’t my kind of photography. I prefer to be much more interactive and engaging. It’s cute posing a newborn but I want more laughter and fun. My photography style slowly transformed to that more akin of a lifestyle family photographer. 

Now when I photograph families I like to get every family member involved including the pets. Cats and dogs normally but why not bring along your snake, spider or tortoise. I prefer a more natural, candid style of photography where people can just be themselves and have an enjoyable day with their family. I’ll just be there to capture all those intimate moments that may seem normal to you. I’ll capture the love and connections you show in your everyday moments. When taking the lifestyle approach it is more important to show more of the story. I wanted to show the journey and development of the family. I started photographing maternity too. Then one day, I was asked if I did brith photography. This was something I’d heard of before but never something I thought I’d photograph. I leapt at the opportunity and while I know it is quite niche it seems to be my dream type of photography. I am very medically oriented so this suited perfectly. So now I photograph everything and that’s the way I like it, with lots of variety.

Despite photographing families for more than 5 years now I’d never managed to find the time to create a website and a dedicated photography brand. At the start of lockdown there was an awful lot of work to manage and rearrange. We had 27 couples move their wedding dates which, as you can imagine, took quite some coordinating. Once that was done I started looking at ways to improve my business and how to expand. My delightful partner offered her expertise and time to help design this new venture and here we are. The website will obviously be somewhat under construction for the next month or two and realistically, it’s always going to have room for improvement. 

As a perfectionist it is very hard to decide when something is finished and ready to be published. With lockdown coming to an end that gave me a deadline to work towards. I wanted to do doorstep photography, something new and exciting, something I’d never done before. I had to start thinking how to communicate with people at more of a distance; how to be creative when I just have a doorway to work with; what could I offer people they will treasure forever; and how could I stand 2 meters away from people’s doors without getting hit by a car.

There is always a lot to think about as a self-employed small business owner. But in the mean time, there is also a lot to enjoy about the flexibility of my job. I moved to Aberdour a year ago because I’d had enough of living in capital cities all my life and we wanted a dog and a garden to put the dog in. However, I’ve always been one to travel to distant lands rather than exploring my own backyard. After living here for a year I’d seen very little of the village which is only 1,500 people but had been to Sri Lanka, Japan, Spain, France and London. This is pretty good going for seeing the world but a bit of a poor effort to increase my local knowledge of Aberdour or even Fife. I managed to do some of the Fife Coastal Path and even see a red squirrel in Falkland, so exciting!

Then COVID-19 and lockdown happened. I was extremely fortunate that for the first time possibly ever, I didn’t have mad adventure travel plans already sorted for the next year. Because we had just got a puppy we thought we should do more local holidays, maybe explore The Highlands and north England. This worked out nicely, I could still be an adventurer, an explorer and inquisitive about new things and places but closer to home which helps to save money to be fair.

I now think I’ve seen every single little bit of Aberdour and my puppy has smelled each and every lamppost. We saw the daffodils at the start of spring then the bluebells and the cherry blossom. The incredible Aberdour Golf Course, like many other golf courses, has been open for the public to enjoy and I’ve made full use of that. There are some stunning views to be had across the Firth of the Forth to Inchcolm Island, Edinburgh and even as far as the Pentlands south of Edinburgh. We’ve been walking at least an hour a day, usually around sunset when it’s not as busy and slightly cooler, important in this current heatwave. I try to go somewhere different every day and find as many cool, new, exciting things as possible. Apart from the views and pretty flowers there are many fields growing crops which provide some spectacular patterns; lambs and calves which are unbelievably cute and curious; lush green forests covered in ivy and dappled in gorgeous sunlight. 

I want to share with you my favourite photos from the last couple of months around Aberdour. Of course these have to include a few of my puppy because she’s so cute but this isn’t just a puppy post. I hope this gives you an introduction into who I am and what I like to do with my free time. I’m really looking forward to meeting you soon.