The past couple of months have been difficult due to the COVID-19 restrictions not just for me but for everyone. Originally, I assumed I would have more time to work on my photography business but that idea was quickly suppressed. My life has been twisted and turned upside down! And as a photographer chaos affects my creativity on the deepest levels.
The Pending Storm of COVID-19
I noticed in January that I was not experiencing the number of leads and inquiries that I was used to getting. I spoke to a few of my wedding industry colleagues about my situation and they were seeing the trend as well. I found it peculiar but never really thought anything of it.
Little did I know that the coronavirus was rearing its ugly head throughout the world.
I no longer watch the news or keep up with it as I used to in years past. I don’t stick my head in the sand I catch glimpses of it when I feel I can emotionally handle it by reading newspaper articles.
I have an unusually high level of empathy for others. I literally “feel” the hurting and pain of those in distress and I carry it within my body and soul. I suppose it is a spiritual gift to discern and understand others, but I have to guard myself at times to continue to be productive in my daily life. Hence the reason I rarely watch the news anymore.
However, it is also from this vast well of empathy that I create! It is also why I succeed in capturing the emotion of couples in love at their weddings.
When COVID-19 invaded the United States and the hysteria unleashed itself it took me down.
My wedding season was just beginning and I was feeling great from the hibernation of winter. Every spring I literally fall in love with “love” again much like the animals that became “twitterpated” in Disney’s Bambi. I’m a romantic sap, lol.
And it all came to a screeching halt!
From Weddings to Crisis Schooling
All of a sudden, I was receiving numerous emails with requests from bride’s to move their wedding dates, leads dried up, schools closed, and all I could do was to try to cope with all the changes.
At first, I started watching the news again to attempt to understand what was going on as well as following the NC Department of Health for cases of the virus daily. Then my home office where I work every day was converted to become a home school space for Gracie and I helped Aidan set up a space for himself in his bedroom. Crisis schooling two children in two different grades, fifth and kindergarten, has been hard.
Not to mention all the pressure that has been placed on parents to push their children. My biggest struggle has been trying to get my kids to understand they still needed to do school work when they were at home. They are kids they don’t fully understand why they cannot just do what they want.
It has drained me mentally and my creativity just went into hibernation.
Not forgetting to mention the fact I have felt like a prisoner in my own home. Not being able to go to a store with ease or visit most public areas and lands that have closed has had a detrimental effect on everyone.
However, the icing on the cake has been that I have had no work since the last week in February, I did not qualify for an SBA loan, and even though they finally opened up unemployment for the self-employed and contractors I still have no income.
First came chaos > stress > worry > anxiety > and finally depression.
Finding Creativity Again
Nevertheless, two weeks ago I decided I needed to pull myself up by my bootstraps and do something or I would lose my mind.
So, with the help of JJ and my kids, I built some fake walls and a box cube. Why? to have a space to create something in even if it is small. The longer I go without creating the deeper my depression goes. I discovered this cycle years ago and I was already on that spiral.
I may not be able to get out and photograph weddings and couples in love but I can still create! It might have taken me a couple of months to figure out something to do but by George I have done it!
Thus far I have created seven images in my little studio space with plans to do even more! I cannot wait until I can actually have people over to do posing studies with.
The best part though is creating all that you see here has become a family project! The kids are gaining practical life skills and we are all bonding in a way we haven’t before.
I don’t know how long this virus is going to keep us trapped inside and limited to what we can do but at least I finally found a way to do something. I hope it all comes to an end soon and I pray about it a lot, but keep pressing ahead dear ones. When all else fails, think outside the box, or do like me and build one!