I’m John Shardlow and I own the Leeds/Bradford franchise of Photography for Little People.
Like so many small businesses, lockdown has had a massive impact on what I do as I’ve not been able to visit any clients since the beginning of lockdown. Although if things keep moving in the right direction, I hope to be back up and running again in July, albeit with some changes.
Lockdown has been tough, as I think it has been for most families with young children. It’s been so different to school holidays as clearly you can’t go to the swimming pool, the park, or see relatives like you usually would so it’s fair to say we’ve all been getting a little stressed out with each other and bouncing off the walls. We had tears on day one over a lack of yellow paint, which could have set the tone for the rest of lockdown(!) but thankfully we managed to get outside most days!
My wife’s been asking for ages (years) for some nice family photos with us all in and although I’ve got some great photos off the kids, there’s hardly any of us all together and being busy with work we’ve just never got round to it, so when lockdown happened it seemed like the perfect opportunity!
I wanted to create something unique to us that was different to the run of the mill family images you see everywhere, and I also felt it was important to create something that was a true representation of family life during lockdown; juggling the competing demands of home schooling, work, looking after a 2 year old and trying to stop the kids from killing each other (and us).
It started off with a series of individual photos of the kids and us messing about in the garden which I cut out and pasted into a composite image, added a few extra bits & pieces like flames, axes, hammers, rock explosions, broom sticks, shovels along with some finishing touches before getting to the final image. Altogether it took about a week to complete which i’ve condensed into a short video which you can see on my facebook page.
I’m sure there are lots of parents that can relate to this, and hopefully i’ve managed to put a smile on just a few faces at what is a difficult time for everyone.
Trying to choreograph a photo shoot with your own kids, whilst simultaneously making sure the other one isn’t getting up to no good is very difficult to say the least! Normally there are parents do help in my shoots so at least 3 adults, but seeing as I am one of the parents in this instance made it especially difficult! Also your own kids NEVER want to do what their told once the camera comes out, so we had to resort to bribery on a couple of occasions! I think my family also learnt that there aren’t really any lengths I won’t go to get a good photo, even if it means getting up at 0600!
Lockdown as taught us that it doesn’t really matter what you get done in a day, some things can wait and sometimes it’s more important to spend time together.
I have another image in the pipeline, then once I can open up in July I have a backlog of clients who were booked in prior to Lockdown, then there’s the inevitable COVID baby boom to prepare for at the end of the year/early 2021!