Avant Commercial – NO PHOTOGRAPHY for Phil

Avant photographer Phil holding a sign that is mispelled saying: "No commercial Photgraphy"

What does a photographer do all day?

For the last week, I have been watching client after client close their doors, as they react to the coronavirus pandemic. I’m in my garden, sitting at my bench and typing on the laptop faced with what looks like a pretty dire situation. But I’m not the sort of person to just curl up, eat a bag of Doritos and scroll through Netflix. So, what does a photographer do all day?

Spelling is not strong with over zealous sign makers.

With such a great opportunity to do so, without as much pressure on my time, I have updated both my websites. I have compiled new galleries of recent work. I have written countless scheduled tweets and Facebook posts. All to allow my customers to see my presence and be aware that despite all the chaos, business is still running. I’m in a fairly lucky situation, where I have contract payments to maintain an operating budget, a situation not many of my peers have. So, what does a photographer do all day? A disciplined one sits on his ass and works at what he can do to maintain a business.

Like many freelance photoraphers, I rely on a constant stream of new clients, to keep a vibrant business running. My regular clients are contemplating their own situations at the moment, most are discussing shoots for when the lockdown phase has passed. Lots are scheduling shoots now to ensure they have fresh content when the time comes to promote reopening. 

Book a Shoot – Find out more about getting unique, engaging content with a Day in the Life shoot – your business could also benefit from a photoshoot to promote your business for the reopening of the World. 

But, whilst there’s a quieter period, there’s a mountain of admin to be getting on with. There’s backups to do and to be honest? I could always commit some time to come up with new campaigns to boost the business when the current crisis passes.

“To be a photographer, I need to be able to go out and take photos. That’s kinda the whole gig, right?”

I have been working like crazy in the last few weeks to make sure that my clients’ time sensitive product releases, new announcements and campaign launches, have photos to accompany their social media posts and website updates. But, with lockdown, it feels like all photography has stopped.

Lockdown means not being able to take photos when I like. That ‘once a day’ trip outdoors, away from people, feels totally alien to me. As a photographer, I watch and interact with people all the time. To be socially distant from my community and unable to photograph people at work has taken away something I totally took for granted. 

As a photographer, I do all day is dream about photographing new motorcycles for Destination Triumph, photographing site photos for construction companies and staff shots for solicitors and accountants. Recently, the diary has been pretty full with a variety of exciting work. Now there’s an extended, forced break from photography. 

However quiet it might be right now, I still need to have the content in place to appeal to an audience who are stuck indoors surfing the internet. Now I am the photographer that all day, commits myself to creating a website that will appeal to clients looking to book a photographer when the coronavirus lockdown phase has passed. I’m getting there, I just need to stop procrastinating and launch the new version.

With this extra time, I’m developing my business by learning new skills. These will be shared with clients and applied to shoots, ensuring a better value service once  – to quote Simon Pegg – “this all blows over…”

Once lockdown is passed, the car shoots and the motorcycle shoots will start up again. Most excitingly is, the Ford Mustang Mach E is sat, waiting for delivery, somewhere on a trading estate in Essex. Shiny, new, ready to zoom off somewhere, with a flask of coffee, a camera and a tripod, hopefully in beautiful sunny weather.

Yes, you read that right, the Ford Mustang Mach E is coming to Eastbourne and I will be shooting it.

I literally cannot wait. But, like everything else at the moment, it’s on hold.

I know that soon, probably long before I am ready, I will be outdoors, photographing something marvellous. But until then, for a few weeks at least, the sight of my fingers on a keyboard is what I will be spending most of my time staring at.


Here’s where I should have been, this last week, and a few weeks ago – Barcelona – what a place to spend the Spring – but like so much else, Mobile World Congress was cancelled too. meh.

What gigs have you lost out on?

Anything you’re missing out on that you’d rather be doing than burning up your Disney+ free trial..?


Other Updates – Lockdown: day 3

  • Beard length is currently between Scottish bracken and fuzzy.
  • Hair growth is sort of at a Gerrard Butler in the end of 300 sort of look.
  • Lockdown snacks are currently at peak levels.
  • Going out for a poppyseed bakery almond croissant feels naughty – but worth it. 

Follow Avant Commercial Lockdown adventures on social media.

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