Wow, I feel like we have all been having to navigate through rough waters since March 2020! In January 2020, my business was going great! Then March hit, like a sudden unexpected storm and my world totally changed, as did all of yours.
Now it looks like the storm is not only continuing, but getting worse, with hospitalizations climbing and the city of Austin teetering on the brink of entering into “Stage 5” with further orders to curtail business activity. Officials are trying to NOT go there, but this still means we all need to do what we can to avoid this pandemic from getting worse, and this is really hard on a studio photography business.
I really hope to ride through this storm and not have to give up my studio but with each month this is frankly getting harder since I have a space that has now sat empty and unused for months, even though I have monthly overhead of rent, utilities, Internet, phone, security monitoring, insurance etc. Thus the reason I have been scrambling to transition over to offering online classes to at least keep my business afloat during these hard times.
I am still intent on persevering through this and not letting this shut down my business. In fact, I haven’t really ever seen my business as just being about “business” and not even just about “photography.” What I really have cared the most about is the PEOPLE I have met along the way, people like you, all of you, truly wonderful people.
I have strived to use my business as a community service in a variety of ways, helping a wide range of nonprofits or individuals who are making this world a better place, and hosting our free Monday night LifeInsights group that is open to all, and is about just bringing our community together, to encourage ways we can “love our neighbors” more. I am intent on keeping this going, so I thought I would just reach out to you all, if you might be inclined to help me keep this venture going. Here are ways you can help:
Several months ago, I took advantage of that program by GoFundMe where they offered a $500 matching grant in their Small Business Relief Initiative. I really had no idea what the response would be, but it turned out to be truly overwhelming and humbling. (I admit, I shed a tear or two when I witnessed your kindness.) At the time when I set that up, I had no idea just HOW hard it was going to be on my business in the subsequent months. Your donations were like a lifesaver to my business. As this crazy COVID-19 storm continues, my business still faces tough challenges. IF any of you feel inclined to donate to the GoFundMe campaign to help my business, you can still do so. All donations are appreciated. I actually feel embarrassed to even ask, so I am not really “asking.” You have all been so immensely generous already. You have helped us get through several really hard months, but it appears more hard months are ahead, as we now have been forced to cancel several major workshops recently. Still, do not consider this as me “urging” you to donate to the GoFundMe campaign. I just wanted to let you know it is there IF you would like to help in that way. To say I am “grateful” is a huge understatement. I will never forget the kindness and generosity you all demonstrated.
Make sure you check out my various online classes I am offering now.
Also remember one thing I am doing to help others who have also been financially hit hard by this pandemic, I now have made the pricing be variable, so you can set the price when you register, based on your ability to pay.
– I have a class coming up next week on Adobe Lightroom Classic.
– I have a new class on managing LIGHT for better photographs starting on July 21st.
– And if you are just starting out in photography or want a refresher on the basics (or if you have a friend who might be interested), check out my Photography Essentials class. I will continue adding more classes in the weeks ahead!
With this private learning option, we can focus on your specific photography needs and your schedule! We can do this online via Zoom video conferencing from anywhere. It’s easy to set up! Plus I have added a new program that I call “Teaching on Retainer” where I am your resource any time throughout the year, for an extended amount of hours at a much-reduced price. I have several photographers who have already taken advantage of this option.
Join Us in LifeInsights
LifeInsights doesn’t cost anything and is always free to attend. We have totally moved this online, so you can connect via Zoom video conferencing from anywhere. It is just a way to connect with others, to hear other perspectives, and to be heard. During this pandemic especially, we need to stay connected to one another. We do a variety of different things, just open discussion, occasional online “happy hours,” as well as TED Talk watch parties and discussions, book discussions, and occasional guest speakers, inviting people who are working to make this world a better place. We have been meeting for over 2 years, and we intend to keep meeting, and would love for you to join us any time. You can always check out what we’re doing by going to this web page.
I am looking forward to calmer seas. This storm will pass.
Love you all,