I am a photographer and videographer. I took this two pretty seriously just few months before Covid-19 happened. Talking about bad lucks in life. This is probably one of the worst things happened in my life. It has been more than 6 months since this pandemic. A lot has happened since. Where am I now and what about the future?
An step back
Just like many, I basically did almost nothing at first. I mean, this disease is bad but, there are many bad things keep happening around us so how bad It can get. As you know already, this thing single handedly have changed our life. And this change will not stop until there is a vaccine and until we find a different way to do something and settle on it.
It took me at least 2 months of stress and thoughts to absorb this new way of life. Meanwhile, me and my wife we moved to a new location to settle our life. I have invested on a couple of lenses and a new ( 2nd hand) DSLR. You might be thinking well, Sourov! now is not the time to take money out of your pocket? Is it? No it is not. But it is a good time to learn and be better than anyone else. Yes, I said anyone else. Admit it, how many times you have seen in internet that people are teaching all those “How To” without even understanding the basic knowledge of Photography and Filmography? There are way too many “How to do cool stuffs” and less of “What? Why? and How?”.
SO I TOOK A STEP BACK. I bought the camera and lenses. Opened my user manual and spent time on each buttons and keep asking myself every time ‘What is this?’ and ‘ Why is this?’ . I spent time learning histories of camera. I then spent time learning photo editing and manipulating softwares . Then asked myself the same. What? and Why?. Each time I answered myself those 2 questions, ‘How’ became the easy one. One might say, well that’s a lot of time and effort right? Ture.
Thanks (But No thanks) to Covid-19, I have nothing but time. And even after all these years of using cameras and taking photos videos, I have realise that I did not know anything at all. I have no shame saying that. I now understand the simple basic idea behind a software that edits an image or a video. I also go back to the old videos I used to follow, I can tell the difference between a Youtuber or a Blogger and a Photographer or a Filmmaker or a Good Story teller. It’s refreshing.
I am still unemployed . There are no solid good news yet that can bring food on our table. And again, I have zero shame on admitting this financial hardship. However, Before this global pandemic, I was sure that I was a great photographer and learning is a waste of time. If I really needed to learn something quickly, there is YouTube, Vimeo or blogs that can give me a quick fix. All I thought that I just need to open a business account via all the government channels, buy some gears, make some “How to” cool videos, reach out to the locals and voila!
Covid-19 taught me that,
1. I knew nothing as a photographer or a videographer.
2. I learned that bureaucracy to open and running a business a solo entrepreneur can make feel like giving up at first. With or without Covid-19. Trust me when I say that, Running a business is harder that working for someone else. But the success feels sweet.
3. I learned that, I had great ideas, but I lack expertise on Planning for it. It is boring.
4. I learned that, I was thinking as a an artist, where I should be thinking like a business person.
5. I learned that. money can buy software and hardware. Money can also buy peoples time who can do many jobs for you. In order to be successful, I should learn to do things on my own. From taking an image, to editing to Paying taxes to accounting to marketing. It is another story when you become successful. But at first, You are on your own.
6. I was far from being ready. I was forced to calm the fish down, I was forced to learn, listen, start from the scratch.
7. I learned that Covid or Not, I would have failed anyway.
So, I am currently learning about, the Tax systems of France (where I live), I am thinking about what I want to do today, next month, next year and for life. I am trying to cover every angles, every possible changes. I am learning that for instance, a video that will be published next month in youtube, should be today if possible. That’s the only way to be ahead of any games. Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. A long one and a fun one. And if I learned anything from my 11 years in hospitality industry, the last hours of closing a restaurant is more difficult than the actual service period. And you still have to come back the next day with 100 percent form, Physically and Psychologically . It is only possible when you know exactly what are you doing. You suppose to know every single bricks of the restaurant. Same principle. I will learn everything, be prepared for everything before I make first move.
But How though? Things are not the same anymore
If you look at the history, there were always radical changes in our life. And we always have adopted and always found a way to move forward. Trust me when I say that, you WILL find a different way to do the same thing. As for now, Internet is you new basic necessity of life just like water and food. A video conference software is as important as your telephone. As for me, I am keeping a good eye on what changes is happening around me. I am thinking of how to contribute as a teacher and trainer via internet. There will always be product photography for example. Because there will always be products to sell of any kind. And that is just one example. World use to be smaller. Now all of a sudden it became bigger. Which means, people will spend more time learning about a location via documentary format. So, start looking around where you live. Represent. Reach out your local businesses if they are looking for a photographer or videographer. Trust me, some one is looking for you.
Finally, is there a Hope?
Yes. I am hopeful. I am hopeful that I will do good. I am hopeful that you will do just fine too. This is a temporary pause. But, we need to refresh our priorities . Spend time learning more. Believe me, this will help you to feel confident, you will be less stressed. Moreover, Being busy learning with give you a break from your surroundings. In order to be successful you got to be fit everyday. So, speak to your loved ones more. Talk about something else. When you feel better, use this positive energy to do your market research, planning and study. Then when the there is a open door, Hit it! Hit Hard, Hit fast.
I am going to finish this piece with a little positive note based on something happens every year in my motherland. I am from Bangladesh. It is a land of rivers. Every year there are floods. Every year people lose their homes specially those who lives near the bank of rivers. Mostly fishermen and fisherwomen and their families. They know what they are getting in to Every year. They adopt every year. They rebuild their houses every year. New land is not a problem for them, because when one side breaks, other side grows. When there are dark cloud covers the sky, don’t worry. Sun is smiling behind those clouds. He will come back. You will do just fine.