It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post, almost 2 1/2 years! So, what have I been up to?
Well, it’s not easy out there and the last couple of years I took a step back from videography to work full-time for a local book business. Sometimes the life of a freelance videographer isn’t all that glamorous and I found that I needed a more regular income again to pay the bills! Luckily for me I was able to work somewhere that has allowed a good work-life balance and if anything it has furthered my creative passions outside of the daily grind. Let’s just say my staff discount has given me access to a lot of interesting books!
In early 2020, I was looking forward to getting back into making videos, then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Strange times indeed. It’s fair to say it’s been a tough time for everyone and like other freelancers and businesses, I’ve had to adjust and adapt to a new way of working. Due to the lockdown and social distancing restrictions, filming in close proximity with people has not been possible, so I’ve been focusing on adding to my skillset by following photo editing tutorials online and also by offering my video editing services to clients. Some websites I recommend for online photography/video courses and tutorials are Moment, Skillshare and Udemy.
This spring, I rebranded my business name from LP Videography to LP Visuals along with commissioning some new graphics for my website and social media channels, featuring vector drawings of some of my favourite cameras. I am now offering photography services as well as video. This change made sense to me as I have always taken pictures alongside video, I just chose to specialise in videography originally. Now I get to utilise both skills as part of a wider service.
I also upgraded my camera earlier this year and picked up the Canon EOS R, which I’ve been enjoying using. It’s Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera and it’s equally great for both photos and video – I will post a review soon!
In the last couple of years, I’ve moved towards creating promotional video content for local and independent businesses, which has included working closely with Bookbarn International, Longwell Records and Pound Arts. I think it’s important to support local businesses and with video being a highly effective form of content, I realised I could expand my client base by offering a valuable service. I am going to continue this area of work and I’m currently planning on offering a new promotional video package, to help give small businesses a boost as they begin to get back to some kind of normality.
I am regularly producing videos for the lovely people at Pound Arts in Corsham. This has included making some Ukulele tutorials as part of InSession, which is a project led by Pound Arts and funded by Wiltshire Music Connect. I’m looking forward to making some newly funded guitar sessions for InSession very soon and continuing to create lots more exciting digital content for Pound Arts in the near future, as they continue to do excellent work in the community.
In 2019 I filmed highlights of the Blue Sky Festival as part of this work with Pound Arts, and again this year I am creating videos for the Blue Sky and Beyond festival as it goes online.
This year’s line-up will feature lots of amazing spoken word poets and musicians and I’m really proud to be involved. Head to blueskyfestival.org.uk for the full line-up and more info.
Outside of work and on a more personal level, I was lucky to go on a once in a lifetime holiday to Zanzibar and Kenya last summer and spent a couple of days on safari in the Maasai Mara. This was an incredible experience. I had visited countries in North Africa before but this was my first time experiencing East Africa and witnessing nature in this way. Both Zanzibar and Kenya were incredibly beautiful in different and unique ways, and the trip awakened a deep appreciation of nature within me, especially in supporting and raising awareness of conservation.
I have been exploring this new found interest further, in that I would like apply my photography and video skills to conservation and environmental causes. This was another reason for getting back into photography, as while I was on this trip, I was inspired by all the photography opportunities and by the many wildlife photographers whose work I have been following since. I was particularly interested in the relationship photography has with conservation, and I firmly believe that through the power that images have to compel people to emotion and action, we have the ability to highlight the issues, to encourage change and preserve these landscapes and the wildlife within them. With that in mind, I have focused attention closer to home and to British Wildlife (for now!). I have found some locations near me where there are wild hares and deer and I am setting up a bird feeding station in the garden in the hope of practicing some wildlife photography within the bounds of the lockdown life we’re living. I’m currently saving up for a Canon telephoto lens – which will allow me to get closer to the action!
I’ve noticed how life seems to have slowed down in the past couple of months, and whilst it’s a terrible and unprecedented situation, I think this time has given many people the chance to reflect on their lives and appreciate what’s important. I for one am grateful to be alive and healthy and have been enjoying getting out into nature and discovering new countryside walks in my local area. With the lockdown causing the roads to be empty, a small silver lining has been a reduction in pollution levels and the planet has had a brief chance to breathe. I really hope that big changes can be made in the way we live and work going forward, in tackling climate change and moving towards a greener society and I intend to do all that I can in helping the cause.
Finally, I drafted this post before the recent events in the Black Lives Matter movement. To be clear, I stand with Black Lives Matter and I’m committed to educating myself to better lend my support and will be sharing resources soon. In the meantime I encourage you to donate to the Black Lives Matter organisation if you’re able to and would like to help at blacklivesmatter.com
Hopefully my blog posts will be a little more regular from now on!
Stay safe and be kind.