Surviving Lockdown

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Pregnant couple enjoying the sunset on Cramond Beach

Life in 2020

Would you believe the life of a business owner in lockdown essentially involves no income while your to do list grows daily? That’s not quite fair, it was growing at the start of 2020 because I had so much time to think about business planning but as the year went on I slowly moved items from one to do list to three separate ones so it looked like I was accomplishing something. I joke but I did eventually start ticking things off and have become a lot more organised and goal oriented throughout this pandemic. I’ve found that having a purpose has kept me sane and cheerful.

Aberdour Golf Course overlooking Edinburgh
Aberdour Golf Course in the Spring

Aberdour Golf Course

I don’t know about you but I’ve really enjoyed the last year in lockdown. Now I know the world is in an awful place and so much has gone wrong but I’ve been trying to focus on the positive. I only moved to Aberdour in early 2019 and lockdown provided opportunity to get to know it very well. A unique lockdown opportunity was to visit the beach on the other side of the Aberdour Golf Course. Normally it would be a little hard to get to as you’d have to dodge all the flying golf balls. However, with lockdown I could just head straight the the beach (minus any detour the puppy needs to take). This beach is so calm and sheltered, it is perfect for watching all the sea birds just bobbing around. There are also lovely views of Inchcolm Island and Inchcolm Abbey, especially when viewed through my 400mm lens, ideal. Except puppy gets a wee bit restless when I start taking too many photos so I have to keep it moving, no time to sit and enjoy the beach sun unless I have her favourite tennis ball!

Cockerpoo puppy on a hill in the forest
Ogee in Aberdour Woods

Aberdour Woods

My second favourite spot is the woods above the golf course. They are fairly small but have loads of trails, so many spring flowers (I love the daffodils and bluebells) and if I’m lucky, deer! Puppy does like to chase the deer but she’s a bouncy little cockerpoo so there is no chance she will actually catch them. I’ve never actually managed to get a photo of the deer as it’s always been too dark or they’re too far away (excuses) but I assure you they are there. 

Long exposure of Aberdour Black Sands Beach at sunset
Aberdour Black Sands Beach at sunset

Aberdour Black Sands Beach

The best place in the whole of Aberdour (in my opinion) was looking at Edinburgh from Black Sands Beach. I love Edinburgh, I’ve lived there for so long I’m very connected to it… it’s also where I run my business from. The beach is always full of dogs for puppy to play with and loads of locals. I know Silver Sands Beach is very popular with tourists and day trippers from Edinburgh. It’s fairly large and has a cafe and a parking lot but Black Sands was right next to my house and is more interesting with the rock pools and a wee path around the cliffs.

Aberdour Wheat Fields
Aberdour Wheat Fields

Other Aberdour Walks

There are many other lovely places around too. They Avenue from Aberdour to Dalgety Bay is lined with Daffodils and provides are raised view over the golf course. The walk along the cliffs to Burntisland is a bit more dramatic, especially after the storm washed two of the bridges away. Unfortunately I don’t think they’ll be replaced any time soon due to funding and logistics so you’ll have to follow the diversions if you do that walk.

Aberdour black and white Lambs at sunset
Aberdour Lambs

Lockdown Work

But what have I been doing work wise? Not only have I made a dedicated family photography business and website during lockdown but it’s also had a complete revamp. I wanted to go for something a bit different to Fern Photography, more child friendly, fun and playful. I still wanted to keep the outdoor and adventure themes as that is really my passion. Let me know what you think of the redesign though.

Portrait of Matt Dale, Daniel Rannoch, Sinead Firman and Romina Kavyan Poor
Fern Photography Team Photo

Fern Photography Staff

Dan and I have also hired a couple of staff members to help us with the massive backlog of work we had. Hiring staff in lockdown… definitely a good idea and we will hit the ground running when lockdown is over. We are so ready to start photographing again. I’m not a fan of posting to social media as I never know what to say. I’m a photographer because I enjoy telling stories with pictures, not words. Unfortunately, running a business is about more than just taking photos. That is definitely one task I need help with. Apart from the tasks I don’t enjoy doing, it’s also great having other people to bounce ideas off and think about innovative solutions from different points of view.

Drone!

Finally I have also had the time to look into selling my landscape and holiday photos. You can find my store here: https://mattdale.picfair.com You will notice that there are quite a few drone photos in there. This is because I never thought I wanted a drone but then Dan bought the DJI Mini 2 for Fern Photography and it is my new, all time favourite toy! I say toy but I really mean camera. It offers a unique and wonderful perspective on photographing the world. I’ve always loved photographing from above. I climb mountains just so I can take a photo from the top. I’ve flown a couple of planes just to get that shot from up high. Now I can carry a flying camera in my bag 😃😃 Very exciting. 

2021 and Beyond

I am really looking forward to 2021, I think pretty much everyone is assuming there is absolutely no way it could possibly be any worse than 2020 anyway. I have so many ideas about where to take Acorn to Oak. How to build it into a new successful business like Fern Photography. What I have learned from being a wedding photographer for 10 years is that I love people. I am happiest when I am working with joyful people in beautiful places. For me, the perfect job is walking, chatting, laughing and enjoying.I want the majority of my future family photoshoots to be outside, in nature and often up hills. I want to be hiking through the forest, swimming in lakes, rolling down hills and making new friends. Will you take this journey with me?