Most of us are reacting to the current situation with a long list of emotions: Isolation. Concern. Fear. Frustration. Anxiety. Helplessness. You name it. We’re trying to figure out how much income is left, how to deal with everyone in the house, how to manage “homeschool”, and calculating how much toilet paper is left in the supply.
At the same time, most of us are trying to figure out how we can help. That’s a challenge when everyone is being told to stay home. The best thing we can do, it seems, is to keep ourselves safe and, in doing so, keep our families and others safe from the spread of the virus.
For many of you, staying home means a loss of income. It doesn’t mean you “got fired”, or “laid off”, or “furloughed.” You don’t work for someone who has the ability to do that to you. You work for yourself, and right now, no one needs your services. You may as well have been fired.
Then there are those that can’t stay home. Some of you are going to work every day. And many of you who are doing that are going to the worst possible places. If you work in the medical community (or in a nursing home), or as a “first responder” in law enforcement, as a firefighter, or EMT, or some related field, you don’t have the luxury of maintaining “social distance.”
We add to that mix those of you who can do nothing but watch as your mom or your husband or your child heads out the door every morning to do those jobs, wondering how safe they will be. And not really knowing if they safely made it through the day until the incubation period is over.
Family has become more important than ever. Some of us cannot see those that are most important to us, because we don’t want to run the risk of putting them at risk. And as much as we complain about dealing with everyone being at home all the time, deep in our hearts we are clinging to them more tightly than usual.
So, back to that point of trying to help. I have been trying to figure out some way of helping and encouraging others as we move through the current situation. I can’t come by your house to wash your car or mow your lawn. I can’t even come by your house right now to take your picture. But I think there are a couple of things that I can do.
Offer Number 1 – For Families of Healthcare Workers
I don’t do a lot of family portrait sessions. I have done them for friends and a few others, but most of my photography falls into the commercial world, or the fine art/landscape/travel categories. I like some drama in my portraiture!
However, if you – or a member of your family – are a first responder, or medical professional. I’d be honored to photograph your family whenever the time is right.
Here’s what I’m proposing: When it is safe to do so, and you are ready to bring your family back out again, we will meet at the spot of your choice for a full-blown picture-taking session. That can be your backyard, a park, a nice city location, etc. We’ll spend about an hour together, in a relaxed, enjoyable session.
Then you pick a dozen images you like. I’ll even throw in one large print (11×14). The rest will be available as digital files for both print and social media use.
There is no cost to you. None. You don’t need to wear your uniform (unless you want to). You don’t need to tag me on social media. You don’t need to write a review. Obviously, you would be responsible for any other prints that you might want beyond that first one. But I’ll give you everything you need to have prints made at the lab of your choice (including a print release), or to help you through the process. And, in this case, I’m even giving you the digital files.
It’s just a small way of saying thank you for what you are doing, and putting something into your hands that will help you remember why you are doing it. And, in the years to come, I believe it will grow into a cherished memory of a difficult time, and your family that came through it together.
Obviously, I can’t do this for every family that qualifies – but I can do 10. Contact me here, now. I will respond and lock in your place. And then we’ll take the pictures whenever you are ready. Don’t wait until then to reach out to me, since all the places will probably be filled by then.
Offer Number 2 – Headshots and Business Portraits
Some of you have been learning new skills over the last few months. You are becoming experts at Zoom, and Skype, and whatever other teleconferencing software has been forced on you. You have had to learn new ways to do important things in order to survive. Face to face has not been an option. You suddenly have been hit with the importance of your online presence.
So, let’s work on that, shall we? And let’s start with your profile picture. How about getting rid of that selfie (that filter really isn’t helping you!) or that family shot from Disney World a couple of years ago, and putting something up that represents the professional that you are.
I suspect that one of the many lessons that businesses (of all sizes) are learning right now, is that working remotely has a number of positive benefits. You did see that Dr. Fauci is recommending that we do away with the handshake forever, right?
So people may not be looking for your office anymore. Your online presence may be their only means of determining whether or not to do business with you. At the very least, it will be their first step. And when they take that step, you want them to see a confident, competent professional, ready to serve.
So to help real-estate agents, small business owners (even “brick and mortar”), online marketers and “solopreneurs”, I am offering a simple headshot session. We can do it outside, or we can do it in front of a simple background. I’ll bring a portable studio to you, and we’ll work till we find something we’re both happy with.
This offer even extends to those of you who are “makers”. Whatever your skill, or craft, let’s work on an environmental portrait that shows you at work, if that would be of more help to you.
I’ll process the image of your choice, and provide you with multiple files already formatted for Facebook, Instagram, Flicker and print.
Again, we’ll do this at the location of your choice, whenever you are ready and the state allows me to do this kind of work again. Drop me a note today, because this offer is limited to 6.
Why am I doing this? Admittedly, a headshot does not have the same emotional connection as a family portrait. But I believe in the importance of small business. Local business are vital to our local economy. So if I can help you, I believe that I am, in a very small way, helping all of us.
Feel free to share this message with others, but I can only respond to those in the greater Rock Hill/Charlotte areas. Oh, and like toilet paper, there is a limit of one offer per individual or family.