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Looking forward to Christmas!
By Neil Moore, commercial photographer who also has a studio in Cadley, near Marlborough. Neil is an experienced photographer who has a licentiateship of the British Institution of Professional Photography. This BIPP accreditation is a worldwide recognition of excellence.
He works on corporate, commercial, architectural, landscape, agricultural and product photography. For more information visit https://www.moore-photographics.com
What does Christmas 2020 mean for you in your business?
As a commercial photographer whose mainstay is product photography Christmas is normally a time to relax, reflect and plan for the coming year - this usually does involve taking photographs for me anyway! Particularly out in nature.
Or are you a business owner who thinks more of ‘autumn/winter’ rather than Christmas?
For me the key holidays throughout the year tend to be quieter as my clients tend to wind down for them. Some do plan content for the next year though and may work with me and look through my extensive archive of original images to gather some for their 2021 content. Original images to go with their blogs or social media posts.
I have clients who don't like to purchase stock photography which might appear in multiple places, they want to use local talent and gather original and unique images which work for them and their business.
Will your business be operating differently during Quarter 4 2020?
In our business we are unable to do our job any differently than before. Taking photographs require us to be in the proximity of what we are photographing.
However, the final quarter of 2020 is different than the previous years, insofar as the lockdown has made the taking of headshots and portraits very difficult. It has to be planned carefully (no big team shots) and it must be done outside. Thankfully my clients have been more than happy to accommodate this for my safety and for their own.
Photographing products in the studio hasn’t changed. They get delivered, I photograph, it goes back out the door to be returned to the client. The only problematic shoots are when we have to photograph on location. These largely have been postponed to either later in December or early next year.
Are you planning any events in Quarter 4, virtual or real world?
I'm a member of a number of on-line networking groups which help to keep my exposure up. I thoroughly enjoy these experiences and, although face to face is much better, it's a viable alternative. I fully intend to keep on going with this now and into 2021. Probably, I'll even do a mixture of virtual and face to face when the law allows.
Have you got any milestones to share?
This Christmas through the business referral group I belong to - BusinessWise - we are supporting our charitable member Dawn Prosser with the Swindon Toy Appeal. In previous years, we collect money, match it from the funds of our not-for-profit organisation and buy lots of toys for families in need.
This year that's not practical so we're making personal donations, BusinessWise will match fund to allow Dawn and her colleagues to purchase exactly what's needed. Sadly there will be no family parties this year, presents will be delivered to their doors by volunteers.
Have you faced some challenges which have changed things for you?
The main challenge this year has been the nature of lockdown 1 and less so lockdown 2. Lockdown 1 was devastating (as I’m sure it was for most companies) in that there was no ability to go out and photograph as that is how the rules were understood. Lockdown 2 is proving to be less of an issue for us as most of my clients are able to continue in business.
We did however use lockdown 1 to learn new tricks with software, equipment and embrace the ability to collaborate with partners.
How are you feeling generally about business in your community at this time?
I think most businesses are very frustrated. Once the initial lockdown was lifted there was a surge of activity which allowed everyone to start to rebuild their business, now with lockdown 2, should one say more?
Any special offers you’d like to mention?
We are always keen to help local businesses and would like to extend our 20% discount for all types of photography until 28th February 2021 – just quote MP-Feb21
Please stay safe and positive during these challenging times.