Lockdown, running a business in a pandemic and keeping customers safe!

So here we are 8 months later and in Lockdown 2. I never imagined for a moment we would still be in this situation and my beloved business would be closed once again. It’s heartbreaking and I feel for all small businesses who are in the same position.

March 2020 was by far the worst month of my life. I lost my Dad on 23rd March after a 6 year battle with Dementia. And then a few days later the whole country was plunged into Lockdown. I was grieving, I was scared and on top of this I was forced to close Tiny Baby Studio live apart from my husband. I moved in with my Mam for lockdown to keep her company and my husband stayed at home and continued to help run Recyke Y’Bike which was super busy over lockdown! March turned to April and I got more of a grip and began to feel better and started baking, walking, facetiming friends and family and doing some marketing for my business (I didn’t want anyone to forget me!!) and I also set up Lockdown Babies. This facebook group was a bit of a saviour for me as it helped me keep in touch with Mums with new babies and I was able to understand the issues they had and Mums giving birth were sharing their stories and putting minds at rest on how it was working during lockdown. I found these stories highly inspirational!

When it was allowed to meet others outside, I ventured to the field and did some socially distanced outdoor family sessions. I had really missed my camera and I’d also been craving some normality and it was brilliant to see other people!!

Tiny Baby Studio outdoor sessions
Tiny Baby Studio outdoor sessions

Then in July we finally got some news that I could reopen YIPPEE!!! The end is in sight (or so I thought back then…).

So I spent a few days deep cleaning the studio and I was so excited when clients started coming back (I might have shed a tear). Because I was closed for 3 months, the newborns were no longer newborns and had become beautiful wide awake 3 monthers. They didn’t want to curl up and snooze…they wanted to be alert and smiley!

Tiny Baby Studio 3 month baby
Tiny Baby Studio 3 month old baby girl
Tiny Baby studio Black and White 3 month old baby
Tiny Baby Studio 3 month old twins

I was so happy that my awesome customers were confident to come back to the studio! I decided to have just one family per day and I clean before and after every client. I wash all fabrics baby comes into touch with. I moved the studio around a little bit so I can keep my shooting areas 2m from where parents sit and we all did a good job of keeping our distance. I bought COPIOUS amounts of hand gel and cleaning products and loads of types of masks. Not ideal but we made it work together.

And through the summer it was business as usual (almost!) with many newborns, older babies, Cake smashes, maternity and family sessions. I did notice the older babies (4-12 months) were a little more nervous of me as a stranger and they were a little more clingy but it’s to be expected I guess. Also I HATE wearing a mask as it fogs my glasses up but I just get on with it (actually I do complain a lot heh!).

Tiny Baby Studio Newborn autumnal colours
Tiny Baby Studio maternity
Tiny Baby Studio Cake smash
Tiny Baby Studio first birthday photoshoots
Tiny Baby Studio rainbow baby lockdown baby

I even managed to get through my Christmas Mini Sessions!

Tiny Baby Studio Christmas Mini Sessions
Tiny Baby Studio Christmas Mini Session
Tiny Baby Studio Christmas Mini Sessions

But then…the news came that I was dreading. England was to go into lockdown again and my studio had to close for the 2nd time. Boris said this lockdown will last until 2nd December and I am clinging onto hope that we can reopen as I’ve got a full diary in December.

Once again I am plunged into anxiety of lost earnings and how to pay by business costs and with Christmas looming and I am trying not to think of my tax bill that is due at the end of Jan 2021 EEK! However, I speak to other photographers in the same position daily and it’s a support network I am forever grateful for. The government have given funding to the councils for some grants and although it wont cover loss of earnings it will mean I can pay my studio rent and stay afloat.

If you’ve read this far then THANK YOU!!! I could have hugged every single client as they walked into my studio as I appreciate your custom more than ever. 2020 has been the most crazy year and I know it’s been hard for all of us in one way or another and for you to choose to come to my studio for photos, this means a lot to me.

So if you would like to support my business and book a shoot or buy a voucher for a Christmas gift then drop me a line! I promise not to hug you hehe!

www.tinybabystudio.com

Tough Times. Self Isolating and Soup.

The last 7 days have been the toughest in my life. On Wednesday 18th March my Dad finally gave up his fight against Dementia and peacefully passed away, at home, with all his family and friends around him. He was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in 2014 and after a slow decline over the years he seemed to fall off a cliff in 2019. I was lucky enough to be able to join forces with my Mam and care for him at home 24/7 for the last 6 months of his life and I was holding his hand as he slipped away. I have a whole mix of emotions of course and have a sense of relief that his struggle is over and I would like to thank his GP and all the amazing District Nurses who helped us and Dad in the final days. That will never be forgotten. We’ll also never forget the kindness of friends and family who stayed by our side and kept us going with food and cakes and made us laugh.

Continue reading “Tough Times. Self Isolating and Soup.”

Be in the shot! Parents need to be included with newborn photos!

Taking photos of babies is more than just pressing a button for me. The joy I get from seeing the start of a new family is real and gives me a great feeling! I love seeing baby being gently carried into the studio by very proud parents who are dying to show off this cute new arrival.

Continue reading “Be in the shot! Parents need to be included with newborn photos!”

What’s in store at Tiny Baby Studio in 2019?

January is always a time to reflect and I’ve done that HERE with a rundown of what’s happened in the studio and also HERE with the 2018 weddings, but it’s also the time when I get out my notebook and brainstorm some plans for the coming year. I do this a lot and it’s interesting to look back at the list I did last year! Continue reading “What’s in store at Tiny Baby Studio in 2019?”

Tiny Baby Studio Newcastle Newborn Photographer January 2017 Round Up

This post is very much delayed due to a very busy start to 2017. The studio has been busy with a variety of different shoots which is great! But I’ve put the camera down for 10 minutes to show you some of the cute babies, children and bumps that have come through the door of the Tiny Baby Studio in January. I’ve loved pulling this little preview together…
Continue reading “Tiny Baby Studio Newcastle Newborn Photographer January 2017 Round Up”

Tiny Baby Studio Newcastle Newborn Photographer December 2016 Round Up – Happy Christmas!!

Christmas 2016 has been and gone in a flash and I know it was very special one for some who were celebrating their very first Christmas ever! Families everywhere were entertaining excited children, wrapping presents, eating their weight in chocolate and travelling to visit relatives and I hope all of my lovely clients had a perfect festive season… you all deserved it! Neil and I are taking a little time off over the New Year to recharge batteries and spend time with loved ones but we wanted to say THANK YOU to you all for your support and choosing Tiny Baby Studio to be part of your family’s story! Continue reading “Tiny Baby Studio Newcastle Newborn Photographer December 2016 Round Up – Happy Christmas!!”

Important Milestones… Your baby is sitting up on their own!

I adore photographing newborn babies. Their newness makes my heart melt and I love everything about them from their un-coordinated movements to their little snuggly noises and the way they are all unique. I feel so lucky to meet so many of your babies and photograph their first weeks in a world they will soon come to learn all about.

Continue reading “Important Milestones… Your baby is sitting up on their own!”