This is the shit you see in movies. Right? Watching a global pandemic threaten the entire world. What a strange and scary time we currently live in. We’re all currently holed up at home doing our best to self isolate and socially distance ourselves from others when it is mandatory that we step out into the world in an attempt to prevent the spread and ‘flatten the curve’.
The effect on local business has been surreal. The province of Alberta, among others, is currently under lockdown, permitting essential services only to continue to operate. Thousands of people have been laid off of lost their jobs entirely. Its forecasted that many small businesses will fail to re-open their doors when the dust settles.
I want to help. I want to give back. But I don’t know how. My emotions have been on a roller coaster ride that I never expected. It’s an odd and uncomfortable feeling. I’ve been stressed to the max before, getting ulcers that required medication to subdue. This is different. It’s an odd anxiety that comes in waves. It never truly takes over and drives me down, I still have faith we will come out the other side of this alright. But it’s still unsettling.
I can only image how those feel that this affects more than myself.
I’ve been searching for a way to give back. A way to help just a little. A way to bring a small shimmer of light to people’s days.
There is an initiative spreading throughout north America called “The Front Porch Project”. Local photographers donate their time to drive around their community photographing families on the front steps of their homes. There is no cost, unless the photographer choses to ask for donations, which are usually donated back to the community in some way. Each shoot is only 5-10 minutes long. And the photographer ensures social distancing measures are followed every step of the way.
I LOVE the idea behind this project.
But I have one major problem with it.
Photographers have been deemed to be non essential services. The province of Alberta is currently under an “Essential Services Only” mandate.
Photographers across the province, (and who am I kidding, across the globe) have been mandated to shut down, or no longer be eligible for any sore of Government assistance during this time of crisis.
I realize these photographers are donating their time in an effort to spread a little bit of joy throughout their communities at his time of need, but if you are still tying your business name to this initiative, how are you abiding by the rules?
Yes I realize you are taking every precaution necessarily to ensure social distancing measures are still being met, if not exceeded. The fact remains, you have still left your home. Leaving your home in itself still poses a risk to our community, never mind meeting with families albeit from a distance. While there are 2 metre distance requirements in place, did you know a sneeze can travel 27 feet if the wind is right? How do you ensure everyone within essentially a 30 foot diameter aren’t being put at risk?
The other MAJOR consideration for me here is insurance. If I perform these sessions under my company name, my insurance company has confirmed should anything of any sort happen during this time, my insurance is null and void. This can be anything from someone falling ill, inevitably with COVID-19, to someone falling down the front steps and hurting themselves, in turn in some scenarios coming after me, the supposed responsible party, to me dropping my $3000 camera and lens set up, deeming it unrepairable and requiring replacement.
If I chose to operate under my personal name as opposed to my company name, at best my home insurance *might* cover a small portion of the expenses should one of the aforementioned actually occur.
I don’t know about other folks out there, but I simply cannot afford to take that risk.
The risk I CAN take, is the risk of hope. The hope that we will come out of this some day soon. That we will come out of this with minimal after-effects. That we will come out of this healthy and alive. Some folks out there won’t be so lucky, and I refuse to contribute to that in any way shape or form.
I’ve been putting off going to the grocery store even though there are a few items I could really use right now. I’m opting to wait until I’m out of options and NEED to make a trip to town. And at present, my town has ZERO confirmed cases of COVID.
Better safe than sorry.
The sooner we all “give up” and stay the F*** home, the sooner we can stop this thing in its tracks, and get back to living our lives, hopefully as close to how we are used to as possible.
Now, I’m still face with the want and desire to help I some way, shape, or form. This past weekend I was forwarded some information that just might be the ticket to what I’ve been dying to do.
Gratitude Sessions for Essential Service Workers.
In short: If you are in a financial position to do so, you purchase a photo session from me. (No restrictions, you pick your poison!) Included with your photo session on tops of it’s normal inclusions is an additional photo session, AT NO COST, to be gifted to the Essential Service Worker of your choice. These sessions are all to be completed following the removal of our current Essential Service Only and Social Distancing restrictions.
Know that by purchasing a Gratitude Session from me you are A.) purchasing a session that will give you images to be treasured for years to come B.) Showing your appreciation for our Essential Service Workers. The ones putting in extra shifts, and putting themselves at the most risk of exposure and infection to ensure we are all provided with our essential needs day in and day out, and C.) supporting your local photographers who are at present, without income entirely dur to being deemed a non essential service. And in many cases, being ineligible for the Government’s CERF benefits.
I understand that there are many folks out there that hold a strong desire to give back and show appreciation, but due to layoffs, etc, are not able to financially to so. For those individuals I’d like to let you know there is an option for you as well!
Following the completion of this Gratitude Session campaign, I will be giving away one photo session to a nominated essential service worker in our community! If you wish to nominate a local Essential Service worker, please click HERE to access the nomination form!
I am so excited to help give back to our amazing little community, and hope you will all join me in doing so!
If you would like to receive more information on this Gratitude Session initiative, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I so look forward to hearing from you.
With Love and Light,