Being a Birmingham photographer during a pandemic has been interesting so far, and the sad truth is that it’s not over and won’t be for a while. Everyone has had their own challenges and every story is unique. I’m here to tell you about my challenges specifically as a family, portrait, and wedding photographer and how I’m choosing to move forward.
Personal Reflections About Covid-19
Because of Covid-19 my business as a photographer came to a halt temporarily. Weddings were rescheduled for months into the future, and portrait sessions were put on hold. My family lived in complete quarantine for two months and even now, continues to spend most of our time at home. All groceries have been delivered so the money we’re saving on not going out to eat has been redirected to delivery fees and tips. We take daily walks and spend time soaking up this gorgeous spring sun. We lounge outdoors on our recently purchased hammock and float in our addition of a tiny pool. We’re finding new ways to entertain ourselves and we’re grateful for our health and comfort. You can blame our household on any trouble you’ve had finding flour because our daughter has made baking a weekly ritual. We have had our share of “pandemic picnics” with family and close friends sitting about ten feet apart on our lawn. We’ve adapted and I’m happy to report it’s not the quarantine we fear, it’s the virus.
As a photographer and someone who finds value in creativity and being surrounded by like-minded people, I started a Facebook group for creatives. As we entered week two of our quarantine, I noticed I couldn’t spend more than about two minutes on social media without feeling overwhelmed. I wanted to experience the good that social media had to offer without all the doom and gloom so I created a group called Quarantine ARTifacts. It’s a place for creatives to share thoughts and artistic explorations during the quarantine. We don’t share news stories. We follow a loose definition of art. I think everyone has creative potential. People are sharing everything from a beautifully baked pie, to metal sculpture, to paintings and photographs, and even photos of their gardens. I present a nightly question in the group to create a bit of self-reflection and an opportunity for conversation because artists are thinkers and thinking leads to artistic expression.
Quarantine ARTifacts was featured in an article in Bham Now about photographers staying creative during isolation. Although our quarantine is more self-prescribed now than government directed, the group’s name stands and it’s still going strong. We challenge each other with live figure drawing sessions, photo projects, and writing activities. We also had a Virtual Art Crawl last weekend and members shared their art collections through video and a Watch Party. And who knows, maybe we’ll even meet one day in the distant future. Check out a few photos from projects curated in the group.
How I’ve Chosen to Proceed as a Birmingham Photographer During a Pandemic
When Gov. Ivey reopened Alabama and lifted restrictions, I had mixed emotions. Personally, I think it’s too soon and I delayed interactions with clients for a short time after being given the okay to resume. I understand that the main concern for many is the economy. I think it’s unfortunate that that seems to take precedence over lives. But, I digress before this becomes a politically charged post since even our health is a political topic.
As primarily an outdoor photographer, when the restrictions lifted, I was given the green light to get back to work. My soul longs for using my camera so I’m happy to do what’s necessary to be able to document families and offer creative portrait sessions again. The few sessions I’ve had have been life giving! I consider my photography style intimate and the sort that evokes an emotional response. It’s hard to get the exact same results using different equipment, but I think I’m getting pretty close. Getting back to work has meant making adjustments-necessary changes.
I’m now using an 85mm and a 70-200mm to put a safe distance between my clients and me.
I wear a mask during sessions.
All sessions are outdoors in open air.
A six foot distance is maintained during the session.
I am offering On-location Sessions and a current, limited time special- Porch/Front Yard Portraits.
Porch/Front Yard Portraits
I have started offering Porch/Front Yard Portraits. It’s a special-the price is reduced and it won’t last long. I haven’t decided how long I’ll offer them. I’m living life more day-by-day than pre-pandemic. I hope you’ll consider one of these sessions. For those of you that have inquired, this is the closest thing to a mini-session that I’ll probably offer.
Sessions are either 30 minutes or 60 minutes long. These are great for family photography, independent portraits, senior portraits, or couples. Really, any photo session we could have on-location, we could also have at your home. If you’ve ever wanted a session but were afraid to commit to the cost of a normal session with Bang Images, this is a wonderful way to start our relationship. (Established clients with Bang Images receive a Grateful Gift of a 10% deduction from the initial price of a session after the first one…for LIFE!)
Any art pieces not credited are by me, Jennifer Alsabrook-Turner, as a part of the Quarantine ARTifacts group.
Art Credit for Several of the Above Images:
- Lee Anne Jones (eyes on a ceramic platter)
- Robert Bean (drawing of a woman looking downstairs)
- Brandon Robbins (macro photograph of a dandelion)
- Liesa Cole (horse head, top section of the exquisite corpse photograph)
- Mary Fehr (torso, mid section of the exquisite corpse photograph)
- Audrey Davis (cyanotype photograph)
- Laura Willingham Walker (painting of a bird)
I would love to schedule a session with you. Please contact me.