When the pandemic hit our country, a lot of businesses were affected and no industry was exempted. The standard of doing business drastically changed as the ‘new normal’ started to ease into our daily lives.
One of the hardest-hit would be the creative production industry as work usually requires collaboration and interaction with a good number of people. Even before the lockdown, creating visual content was already hard, but with the restrictions implemented during the ECQ, it just created a whole new level of challenges for the industry.
According to Kim Diaz, a product photographer, the whole photography industry was really affected, especially on-site and event photography. For him, the challenging part is choosing between new opportunities and safety.
Being a product photographer and adapting to the current changes, Kim transformed his own house into a studio. He created a new process on how to entertain his clients.
“First, I’ll have a video call with the client to show my set up and process for shooting. Send a sample product for approval before pushing for the project.”
When asked what his process was upon receiving the products, he said ” I’ll leave the package sealed in our garage for 24 hours. After 24 hours, I’ll spray disinfectant, open the box, and spray alcohol on each product. Then that’s the only time I can proceed with the shoot.”
(Sample works of Kim Diaz during lockdown)
As for Christian Acuna, being a commercial director for so long, the feeling of uncertainty due to the pandemic is one of his initial reactions. He said that clients can pay, but definitely not like before. A lot of the businesses are spending more and doing less just to survive. Everyone is in survival mode during this trying time.
Creativity wise, for Christian, “Lockdown mustered everything that I have learned through the years to be able to shoot through zoom. It’s a lot harder. And one thing I miss the most is collaboration. Collaboration can create something bigger.”
When asked about the positive effect of lockdown, He stated that “The artists are more willing to shoot. You get to max out your creativity and the creativity of everyone involved. Everyone is more cooperative.”
(Sample work of Christian Acuna during lockdown)
The most asked question, What is the ‘new normal’ for commercials and photography?
As we all know, shooting is now back that we are under GCQ. The new protocols implemented for production shoots have a lot of limitations. We have to better educate our clients on what’s possible and what’s not — set the right expectations for the client.
With photography, the industry can adapt to the new style of product photography but there are also some disadvantages according to Kim Diaz. The downside is that the volume of clients now is lower. Due to this, many photographers are lowering their prices just to get clients. And this can permanently damage the industry.
Meanwhile, the advantage is that shooting at home can be very convenient for photographers as they can do shoots at their own time. While doing a studio shoot can be a premium onsite location shoot in the new normal. Kim can see this shaping up to be the new normal for the photography industry, especially in product photography.
At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to survive and come out and the end of this pandemic victorious. Let’s take advantage of this time to learn new things and hone our skills.
In the world of creatives, Kim Diaz advises new breeds to “Just keep on learning and build a good portfolio.”
While Christian Acuna believes that finding a good mentor is a good way to start in the industry. “Find a mentor that will guide you. Try to seek knowledge to help you get your foot in. Stay on your course, do what you can, but find a teacher that can guide you in this journey.”
Amidst pandemic, the entertainment and commercial production industry faced a lot of challenges. As the current regulations are being molded, let’s hope for fair and just regulations to be implemented that will inspire creative people and the staff behind every production to produce quality content for everyone to enjoy.