Teach a Creative to Fish...

It's been a tough few months for photographers and videographers. The announcement to close schools on March 12th also saw a complete wipe out of diaries and a full stop of revenue for many.

Coalesce was lucky we had a rebrand to finish and keep us busy and Covid-19 gave us the gift of time to do this. We were also able to partner with Stephen Bergin and start using remote video with our clients.

Throughout lock down Coalesce were able to adapt, even venturing into the unfamiliar world of virtual photography, something that felt unnatural but very necessary. Our quality system kicked in immediately with risk assessments on what was possible and what just couldn't happen on press and PR photography and video shoots.

When the Government plan on reopening the economy was announced we had the staff skill-set in our company to review our processes, perform risk assessments and generate our Coalesce Business Covid-19 Response Plan which detailed how we intended to get back to work safely.

It became apparent though that not all photography and videography companies had this resource. Coalesce was in a position to help, but needed to find a way to connect nationwide to all photographers and videographers.

The Irish Professional Photographers & Videographers Association (IPPVA) founded in 1949 has been serving the interests of professional photographers & videographers and dedicating itself to the improvement of their standards in Ireland for over half a century.

With practicing members located throughout the country the IPPVA were ideally suited to provide the connection to their membership many of whom were also looking for help and advice on getting back to work safely. The first task was to determine what the IPPVA membership required.

The terms photography and videography are extremely broad and business types cover a huge range of skillsets and processes. One set of procedures would not necessarily apply to all types of business.

During Covid-19 Coalesce have had to risk assess every booking not just behave under one overall procedure. So how would we write a set of procedures applicable to everyone?

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There’s an old saying ‘Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime’. At Coalesce one of our key values is empowerment. We share what we learn, giving support to others and raising standards, making us stronger both individually and as a group.

After discussing it with the IPPVA we agreed the best support we could give to their member’s was a tool they could use to risk assess their own company and produce their own Business Covid- 19 Response Plan customised to their business and clients needs.

This led to the creation of the document 'Covid-19 Guidelines on Reopening Your Photography or Videography Business', a 6 step guide including templates and detailed explanations on doing your risk assessments and applying your controls to your Business Covid-19 Response Plan.

This tool is essential for your photography and videography business and it’s free! It will enable to you have conversations with your client around your bookings and what precautions need to take place, but more importantly going through the process of creating your Business Covid-19 Response Plan will protect you, your staff and your clients.

If you find it’s overwhelming as a small business please contact Coalesce (www.coalesce.ie) or the IPPVA (www.ippva.com) and we can help you get back to work safely. The link https://mailchi.mp/ippva.com/covid-19 is available to every photographer and videographer in Ireland, not just members of the IPPVA.