I´ve been stressing myself to start blogging for years, to be one of those super creative photographers with an endless stream of awesome photos and smart advice to share. Who would have known a global pandemic crisis would be the push that made me do it?
I´m staring at the keyboard, not really sure how to start this … I guess I was afraid or at least not sure what I should blog about. “Blog” – is that totally outdated? All these years I´ve been telling myself I have to start write something. I really love writing so that´s not the problem, I just didn´t have a clear idea about what I should do. By the way, I´m writing this in English because I have many friends outside of Sweden, that hopefully wanna read this.
And as a freelance photographer your´re super busy constantly trying to find assigments and new clients, educate yourself to be even better, trying to keep up with current trends in the business, market yourself in social media bla bla bla, that alone is enough work for 3 persons … So finding time to blog and to do it good, well it just didn´t happen for me.
So anyways, 2020 was looking to be the best year ever for me as a freelancer, the jobs were piling up and I had some really interesting and awesome stuff in the works. I would travel the world and I go to plaves I ha dnever been before. If only half of them were finalized I would make great money doing SUPER awesome assignments. Life was looking GOOD. Things were also looking very good for my wife, she was working two jobs she really liked and finally just got a third job, in her real line of field in the homestyling / homestaging business.
Then came Corona, this bastard of a virus, and fucked us all
Yepp, it sure did. Brutally. In two weeks I lost both all my booked assignments, just like that – bam – it´s cancelled, not postponed – CANCELLED. I also lost all those magical super awesome jobs that were being planned. Boom, bam all gone. WTF.
One of my biggest clients in showbiz since 10 years back had no choice but to cancel my assignment, and that was in August and September, more than 6 months from now! The shit was getting real!
That specific cancellation really made me sad, I mean sad to my soul. Not only because it meant that I was even more financially screwed, but because that is THE most fun assignment every year – I really get to do what I do best and absolutely love, to shoot live shows. That really made me start understanding the gravity of it all – this was serious, this virus is causing panic. What´s gonna happen to us? What´s next? Did I just go unemployed?
Some days later my wife lost her job in the shop. Shortly after, Poland closing their borders made it impossible for my wife´s sisters´travel agency to keep on, since they are 100 % aimed towards tourism in Poland. That was my wife´s second job, gone.
And just after this, or before – I dont even remember anymore – the third new job sent a text message informing her that they had to let her go. So three jobs gone in no time. Ok so, that just happened.
It´s interesting how quickly things can change. Of course things could be much worse, no-one of our friends and family is sick yet, no-one has died and I´m so incredibly happy for that. I´m super worried about my parents since they are 70 + and in a “risk-group”, everyday I worry that I´ll get the call form them where they say that one of them is sick.
F*ck, I hate these times.
Last time I got broke was when I decided to quit my dayjob to become a fulltime freelance photographer. And I remember that I thought it would be interesting ( and so less depressing ) to try and look at it from a documentary angle. Instead of panicking and second guessing my decision to quit my job, HOW DID IT FEEL to be broke? Feel that feeling, nurture it and pet it, then bury it but never forget it, because if you do forget it – then you might end up there again. And if you remember that feeling, you will forever be thankful for what you´ve created with your own hands and cherish the good times, knowing that everything can change to where you´re back at square one again. Shit, I got deep here hahaha …
Quitting my dayjob to become a fulltime freelance photographer is one of the best decisons I ever made.
I remember the awesome and liberating feeling of just throwing myself out there and going all in to follow my dreams and ambitions. I also remember the shitty moment a month later when my card was denied in the convenience store, trying to pay 30 Swedish crowns ( around 3 Euro ) to buy Snus (Swedish tobacco).
Things would eventually work out just fine since: 1 – I was passionate about what I did, totally comitted and believed in myself and my strategy, and 2: I never gave up – but my point here is this:
Right now there is a virus infecting the world, killing people in the thousands and chrashing our economy beyond imagination. One day we will wake up from this nightmare and it´s all gonna be over, but then we must never forget this moment. Remembering what this feels like and learn from this extreme situation will make us all stronger and more grateful of what we actually have, and we will grow as humans.
So that´s why I decided to go out and capture Corona through my lens. ( and yes, I´m also extremely restless and have to do something creative, or I´ll die from boredom ) I want to capture all the small but somehow significant things people do in these hard times. We will never forget the images of the ghostly empty streets and the eery deserted city landmarks across the world, but there´s a risk we´ll forget the small things.
How this virus poisoned everything around us. From the perhaps irrational fear I feel that I´ll pass the virus on to my daughter when I kiss her goodnight, or the newly unwritten law that if someone is already sitting alone in a group of 4 seats in the subway, you don´t sit there – you go and find an empty 4 seat place to sit alone in.
I know now what I will start blog about.
Corona Made Me Do It.
Yeey I did it, first post done! Hope you guys enjoyed it, feel free to leave a comment or two in the comment section down below, critique or praise or both – it´s much appreciated.
COMING UP NEXT:
More photos from the Days of Corona in Stockholm and my own reflections on them, how do I think about the editing of these photos in terms of film emulating pre-sets that I tweak ( “color grading” ) and what extra dimensions I think it adds – is it good or bad, hipster-ish AF or personal? … Yeah I think that´s it. Thanks for reading, please share the link if you like it!