A few days ago, I shot some portraits for Air Canada.
Driving to the job, I realized that Air Canada was my last commercial job pre-pandemic (March 2020) – and my first commercial job, post pandemic (October 2021).
My photography business went up in flames in March 2020. A year’s worth of photo contracts – tens of thousands of dollars – all gone in the blink of an eye.
So for the next 18 months – this is what I did:
- Watched the Walton’s on TV every day with my mom, who lives upstairs
- Baked bread
- Gained 5 pounds
- Enjoyed spending time with my husband and kids
- Learned food photography and published a cookbook
- Gained 5 more pounds
- Closed the photo studio and started working from home
- Shot a few weddings and portraits
- Worked as a gardener
- Lost 10 pounds
In that 18 months, we also lost a close relative to COVID. Gone forever. A family shattered.
Then we watched as Lebanese friends and family lose everything – a lifetime of saving and hard work – due to the country’s economic collapse.
This collapse has been happening for awhile, but the devastation peaked when the port of Beirut blew up on August 4, 2020 – right in the middle of the COVID pandemic – levelling this already battered city and killing 218 people.
I didn’t notice it at first, but all of this changed me fundamentally.
Before, I worried endlessly about the future. Security. Debt.
Now? I don’t worry about anything. So many have lost so much in the last 18 months. Now I appreciate my family. My friends. My good health – and my clients, who – thankfully – are slowly starting to call again.