Coronavirus Update – July

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It’s been 15 weeks since the UK government introduced its lockdown measures. These measures are now being eased, so I though I would give a ‘Coronavirus Update’ about changes I am making. Covid 19 has affected us all. Some people have been affected more than others. I’m sure we have all been affected in ways that aren’t obvious to other people and maybe not even to ourselves. And probably in ways that haven’t come to light yet. I hope you are all keeping safe and staying sane.

During this time we have all had to make difficult decisions about work and life. Being self-employed is a double edged sword. You have the freedom of being your own boss, but you have no fixed income, no holiday or sick pay. This is two sided-ness has been highlighted during the Covid 19 pandemic. I can keep myself as safe as I want, but I will lose out on potential income. I do at least have my fate in my own hands, I know others aren’t so lucky. They feel a pressure to go back to work if others have deemed it safe for them to do so.

What is changing now?

So now that more lockdown restrictions have been eased, what does that mean for Andrew Bert Greaves Photography? Well, to start with Edington Farm Shop has reopened, so you can once again buy my cards from there, whilst also buying some of there more essential items. Their opening hours have changed, so check them before you go. Of course they have measures in place to keep everyone safe, so be mindful of that fact too.

I am able to do photo shoots again. While I can, according to the guidelines, do these indoors I will only be doing outdoor shoots. This is safest for everyone, as it means that proper social distancing can be maintained. This does make it weather dependent, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue at this time of the year, even in the UK (hopefully).

I am now selling to countries outside the UK again through my shop and through Etsy. As mentioned in a previous blog, I stopped selling overseas as I felt this was safest for all concerned. But now as things are easing, it seems the right time to open up that part of my business again.

Decision making

When lockdown started, I changed several things about how I run my business. Some of those were because of the government’s measures, and others were based on my own decisions aimed at keeping people safe. There were things that I could have carried on doing but chose not to.

I keep up to date with the latest government advice and use that to inform my decisions about how to safely run my business. But just because the government say that we are now allowed to do something, doesn’t mean to say that we should. The overriding thing for the UK government right now is the economy and it is that is driving their easing of lockdown measures. But to me changing too much too quickly isn’t going to end well. So I am still being cautious.

I will continue to keep up to date with the situation and what the government is saying. I will also listen to what advice and concerns are raised by other groups that are well informed and take that on board in making decisions about extending my services and range of products in the future. At the same time, being mindful that it may be necessary to pull things back and reduce what I do. The situation is fluid and being flexible is important going forward. Stay safe and stay sane.

Covid 19

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So I thought I should write something about how Covid 19 has affected me and my business. I should probably start by saying I know how lucky I am. Only one person I know has ended up in hospital with Covonavirus, and they are back home now and all is good. I know that so many other people have not been so lucky. I am also fortunate that my job doesn’t expose me to the risk of catching Covid 19 on a daily basis like NHS staff, carers and other keyworkers. 

And now for something completely different

Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down,
So won’t you take a minute, just sit right there,
I’ll tell you how I got stuck at home because of Covid-19
In West Wiltshire born and raise
Taking photos was how I spent most of my days
Checking apertures, exposures, and all
And shooting some photos that looked pretty cool
When this one bad virus that was up to no good,
Started making trouble in all our neighbourhoods
We got in one big fight and everybody was scared
And the WHO said stay inside and don’t go out there…

With apologies to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. I just thought I would have a little fun with that to lighten the mood.

What has changed

When the lockdown in the UK started, I stopped selling prints of my work. I did this so I wouldn’t have to go to the post office to dispatch orders, as I felt it wasn’t worth the risk to anyone’s health, as I explained in a previous blog. I also stopped selling to countries outside the UK for the same reason. Obviously, I can’t go very far to take photos and I can’t take photos of people.

I decided that the best thing to do was to treat this as a unique opportunity. There was now time to do all the things I hadn’t done because I didn’t have the time. Also, I could use the time in a way which meant that when the lockdown was over, I wouldn’t have to spend anytime at home (unless I wanted too).

I tried to throw myself into work and carry on as though nothing had changed. I gave myself lots of tasks to keep myself busy. However, as time wore on, and the lockdown was extended I started to find it hard to get it all done. This seemed odd to me, I had the time to do it, so why couldn’t I just do it? I realised that it was because I was putting too much pressure on myself. This isn’t a time for getting stuff done, it is a time for looking after yourself and those you care about. Of course, keeping busy is a big help in dealing with these uncertain times, but there shouldn’t be any extra pressure to do more. And so I have taken a step back, and taken the pressure off myself, and by trying to do less, I am able to do more.

What I have been doing

I have planted potatoes and I’ve been clapping on a Thursday night with my neighbours. As you may have noticed, I have started blogging regularly (ish). There was a time when I had to fixed the toilet. I have re-designed my website. I have made a start on a project I’ve had in mind for about a year. I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking, probably too much, because thinking too much is something I am good at. But mostly I’ve been trying to look after myself and my other half, and those I care about, even if it’s only by checking that they are OK. Oh, and I’ve been drinking tea.A mug of tea, laptop and a DSLR camera

Hope going forward

It seems that things are getting better. All the Covid 19 numbers that we want to be seeing going down are. Of course it’s not over by a long way. However, things seem a little more hopeful and we can start to think about coming out on the other side. It might be a long way off, but we can still start thinking about it. I have started selling prints again. I am only selling relatively small unframed and unmounted prints. This is so I can just put them in a post box and not have to make a trip to the Post Office. I am still only selling to the UK. You can see what is available in my Etsy store. You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Please stay safe and I hope we will be able to play outside soon.

Shiny New Website

Hello, and welcome to the first blog on my shiny new website.

When I started on the redesign of my website we weren’t all staying at home to avoid spreading coronavirus. But that is where we find ourselves now, and it is in that world that I am sharing with you my redesigned website. However, these strange times we are living in mean my plans for my website have changed slightly.

Why the redesign?

There were two main driving forces behind the redesign of my website. The first reason was that with a new website I could illustrate what I do better. The second was that I wanted to incorporate a shop into my website so I could sell directly to you without using a third party site.

This redesign has been a long time coming. I have made several attempts in the past but I have always come up against problems that I didn’t have the time to overcome. So now, having moved servers, sorted out my sites SSL certificate, and redesigned the site, here is my new website.

I have gone for a simpler layout, with less clutter and distraction. I have switched around the colour scheme, which hopefully makes it easier to read.

How have my plans changed because of coronavirus?

Well, as it stands there are only a few pages at the moment, and the plan was to add more over the coming months. The next page that I was going to add was going to be my own webshop. This was one of the biggest reasons for revamping my website. However I rely on going to the Post Office to post anything ordered that is bigger than a card and for anything going overseas, and following government advice to only make necessary journeys, I am only selling cards at the moment. So this doesn’t feel quite the right time to start the webshop. However, I will continue to monitor things and see if I can find a way of dispatching prints that is safe for all. For now, I am still selling cards through Etsy

What will I be doing now?

Instead of working on the shop next, I have decided to work on and share a couple of projects with you. One is a project that I started a long time ago, but has never seen the light of day. The other one is a new project that I have been planning for a little while and now seems a good time to start it, as I won’t be leaving the house for a while. I will write more about both projects in future blogs.

So, please have a look around  my redesigned website and let me know what you think.