What's Going On?
With the ever changing Covid situation and the Ontario Government constantly changing the rules for small businesses it has become incredibly draining to keep up with all of the constant changes. However, I am doing everything I possibly can to keep the ball rolling. In the meantime while we are still mandated to be closed, I have been: Actively planning future Mini Sessions, Planning Future Giveaways and Rewards for Returning Clients. I have also gotten my First Dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the end of April, with my second vaccine dose scheduled for mid August. I am so thankful that I was able to get vaccinated. Not only does me getting vaccinated help to protect me and my family, it also helps all future clients with the peace of mind that I am doing everything I can to keep them and their little ones safe.
During this time I have also been collecting new props and pieces, such as new Posing Fabrics, Headbands, and Cake Smash Outfits. I can't wait to be able to use these pretty new things. I can't wait to get back to work!
Is Photography Essential?
In my opinion, YES! Absolutely! Photography is point blank Essential. However, the Ontario Provincial Government doesn't see it the same way. Since March 13th 2020, Photographers have been sweped under the rug and have been almost completely ignored when it comes to being heard about how we are able to keep working in a safe manor. Regardless of the fact that we can comply to all or most of the current safety guidelines, such as social distancing and mask wearing, we are still being told to stay closed.
The provincial government continues to say that we are non-essential. Currently as I'm writing this blog post, Photographers are being pushed into Step 2 of the reopening plan, which isn't set to start until maybe July of 2021. Meanwhile, Commercial and Industrial Genres of Photography have been allowed to stay open this entire time. What I gather from this is that the provincial government sees genres that benefit the Ontario Government and keep Large Corporate Companies open, as being more important than preserving people's precious memories. Moments that they will never get back, it's not like a birth can be redone. Babies grow so fast and they don't pose the same way they would at 1-2 weeks as they would at 12 weeks and onward. Their faces change and parents are missing out on freezing this moment in time. Every baby is a once in a lifetime thing, you could have more children but you'll never get back this newborn period with this baby.
Parks are open right now. When I walk by I constantly see large groups of people crowding around mask-less and bylaw doesn't seem to care. Which begs the question... Why can't a Photographer photograph a family of 4 at a distance of 6-12 feet or more away? Currently groups of 5 are allowed outside but somehow the second you bring a camera with you it becomes somehow illegal. This makes 0 sense to me.
During the last lockdown Photographers were classified as a "Retail" studio if they didn't fit into the industrial or commercial genres. Retail is now allowed to be open now at 25% capacity. Okay great, sounds good right? No, because Studio Photography is conveniently now not considered to be "Retail".
That all being said, I know there are organizations such as the Professional Photographers Association of Canada who are working tirelessly to have their/our voices heard. I am so thankful that such an organization exists. https://www.ppoc.ca.
I have no idea what this summer will look like in terms of reopening but small businesses need to be heard. People are suffering. They are losing their housing, their businesses, relationships... they're losing everything they've spent their entire lives to build all while still having to pay extremely high rent prices, which are only getting higher, and they still need to manage to feed their families.
Photographers needed to be included in the conversation, our work is essential.