I've been trying to avoid having to write this out but since I have already notified the clients that this will effect directly, I wanted to reach out to all of you, as well.
This time in our world is a scary one. Information and recommendations are changing daily, school is on an uncertain hiatus, places that we are used to shopping in are closed, gatherings are cancelled and many jobs are in limbo. Those of us who have businesses that rely on interacting with people face-to-face are being severely impacted by this pandemic. Some businesses are able to convert their work onto an online forum. I've seen some incredible innovation by business owners around the world. DJ's playing from their balconies, fitness instructors live streaming classes, teachers reading books to their students via Google Classroom, restaurants converting business to curbside pickup and delivery..... the list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, the photography industry is not something that can switch so easily to an online platform. Photographers work closely with people and are often the blessed receivers of hugs and snuggles from our littlest clients. We are in close contact with clients to help them pose for portraits. We touch babies to dress/wrap and pose them. We meet with clients in coffee shops to go over details about their sessions. In short, photographers are an in-person service.
If you would like to help small businesses, there are a few things that you can do. Some require money, others are as easy as a click of a button.
1) Gift certificates!
This is probably the most impactful thing that you can do to help small businesses. It allows the business to utilize the money now (when money coming in is few and far between), and you get to use their services later.
2) Social media!
This one is completely FREE! When a small business posts to their social media, comment/react and/or share their post. Why? Because it helps to broaden the reach of their posts and keep their names "alive" on social media. Small businesses spend a TON of time (and money) marketing on social media, so any way that you can help us spread the word is helpful!
3) Tip! (And tip well!)
This goes for almost every single small business out there. Tips are a great way to not only put a little extra money in their pockets, but also to show that you appreciate them and what they do.
4) Make referrals!
Another completely free way to support small businesses! With everything happening, social media is everywhere and people are still looking to utilize services within their community. Tag a small business that you know and love and get their name out there!
5) Leave a review!
Did you use a small business recently that did a great job? Look up their business and write a review! A few ideas of where to start: their website, Google, Yelp, wedding websites, social media pages, etc. There are a variety of places that have places to leave reviews for businesses, but if I had to narrow it down to the top 3 most important places, I would say leave a review on Google, their social media and their website.
I know that it is a really stressful time for all of us and I am hoping that we are doing enough to help stop the spread of COVID-19, keeping as many people healthy as possible. I am looking forward to working with all of you again soon. In the meantime, have patience, love each other and support small businesses when you can.
As for Fluttering Shutter Photography, I have come to the extremely difficult decision to postpone all sessions until at least April 1. Giving a date is difficult due to the constantly changing information, but that is when I am hoping to be able to resume doing what I love and helping you to capture the moments that you want to remember.