At the time of writing this, it is 12 months since we were first put into lockdown and forced to pull the shutters down on the photography studio. Rather a lot has happened in the last year, as you may notice by some key changes to this website’s branding.
It has taken me a long time to get my head around all the changes, what it meant for me and where I wanted to go as a result. But now’s the time to emerge from my enforced hibernation and start looking to the future. The biggest thing that has happened to Studio G Photography in the last year isn’t even Covid 19. It is the retirement of my friend and business partner, Robert Cragg.
Robert told me early in 2020 that he planned to ease himself into retirement. He (quite understandably, but now rather ironically) said he wanted to travel more and spend more time with his family in the South of England. Obviously he has done neither of those things, but he has gone ahead with retirement.
We opened our first studio together almost six years ago now with a carefree (and possibly naive) attitude of: “What’s the worst that could happen?” We didn’t, as it turned out, make our fortunes. But we did have an absolute blast. We have a mountain of great memories and the photographs to go with them. So it was with no regrets that we wound up Studio G Ltd at the end of 2020.
I spent much of 2020 at home – like everyone else – pondering on what I wanted to do with myself post-covid. We went on lots of family walks and much of the time I took my camera. I realised I hadn’t taken any photos just for fun in a very long time. I had become jaded. But photographing my children in local parks, plus the wildlife in my garden, reminded me how much I still love photography. I wasn’t ready to give it up and move on to something else.
So I’ve gone solo. It didn’t feel right to continue with the Studio G brand, but equally I didn’t want to lose the profile and SEO I’ve built up, so I’ve repositioned myself slightly as Lisa G Photography. I will be concentrating on the photography I love – portraits – but I will return to my roots and offer location and outdoor photography alongside my studio work. The building that housed Studio G in Oldham town centre has been more or less closed since March last year. So I have moved into my own little space above our family business, Quercus Home Furniture, in Royton. I will hopefully be dividing my time between the new studio and the old, once Create Oldham reopens.
It’s a small studio, but it’s perfect for headshots and child portraits, and it is the ideal space from which to start again, once covid restrictions are lifted. In a way it does feel like being back at square one, but also it is a return to my roots. I became a professional photograher through my love of photographing my children and it feels right to be returning to that.
I have also set up a new brand, Quirky Photography, which focuses on fun and unusual, but quick and affordable, child photoshoots. The plan is to have different themed sets offered troughout the year, an empahisis on quick to create fantasy digital art, and to work much more with schools, nurseries, parent and toddler groups, dance schools and sports clubs. I ran pilot sessions at Christmas – between lockdowns -with Tots Play, setting up a themed set for all the babies and toddlers to be photographed on before the class Christmas parties. It worked extremely well.
That brings us to now, March 2021, almost a year since the first lockdown, and looking to the future. If all goes to plan then Lisa G Photography and Quirky Photography will be back open for business on April 12th from the new premises at 44 Market Square, Royton, OL2 5QD. Meanwhile, I am always available for a chat about bookings and I have gift vouchers available for those who want to give the gift of planning ahead. My email and phone number remain the same.
Robert remains a very dear friend and is always there with a coffee (covid rules permitting) and words of advice. He might even pop up on shoots and at events as an extra pair of hands. Meanwhile, my eldest has just decided she wants to study photography at shool. So maybe one day I will be her extra pair of hands. Who knows?