Hey lockdown Crew, Marie here, I hope everyone is staying home and keeping safe?

I’d like to start off today by mentioning that 2020 is my 10 year Anniversary trading as Harkness Photography, it was also the 4th birthday of Hidden Heights on the 3rd of March at our Arch 4 premises, which is absolutely crazy to think! Where has the time has gone?

Most of you know me as the creative that sits behind a computer screen most of my days editing my life away…others know me as the photographer behind the lens and proud business owner of Hidden Heights Creative Studio.

Running a business as a self employed creative is certainly not as easy as it looks, further more, running a business in a retail premises with multiple sectors and managing a team of creatives with completely different markets is beyond what I ever envisioned in my work life!

As well as being a self-employed portrait and fashion photographer and retouching my own work, being the owner of Hidden Heights comes with many more challenges and responsibilities than I ever imagined. I’m constantly striving to improve the studio year after year by discovering forward-thinking ideas to develop the business as well as producing other innovative side projects, which certainly keeps me on my toes.

Due to COVID-19, my business…that I’ve been working tirelessly to grow for the last 6 years, suddenly came to a halt and as a business owner, understandably, there was a lot of panic, uncertainty and all round worry, but after a few days of research I realised that there was financial help out there and now I have (hopefully) worked out how to keep the business a float until things settle. This aside, during this time I hope to keep proactive and try my best to focus on the positives from this.

I’m now into my 6th week of isolation and after the financial panic, my lockdown time has been rather productive. It’s given me time to put a lot of ideas in my work life in to practice. There’s always that to-do list that frustratingly never gets completed and all of those ideas that you normally have scribbled down in a little book of notes…yeah that…don’t get me wrong there is still a LONG way to go but things are gradually being ticked off, which I’m absolutely buzzing about!

I’m beginning to focus on many more pros than cons during lockdown, compared to the normal fast paced work life of having not enough time for exercise or a healthy balanced diet, I’ve now found my routine and in a very different way of living and working from home.

Being able to have more me time enables me more time for cooking and exercising properly, having a bit of a pamper, catching up on some of my favourite box sets, clearing out those overflowing cupboards, eating like a queen, drinking a few homemade cocktails (of course) and just appreciating life a little bit more. Although, I’m still very much in the mind frame of working from 9-5pm Monday-Friday but as you know we usually work late nights in the studio and almost every weekend, so finishing at 5pm and having every weekend off feels like a luxury to me at the moment, though not in the best circumstances.

Today I wanted to tell you how I’ve been keeping busy during lock down and my new ways of creative and business thinking. My first priority during lockdown was to finish off any commissioned jobs, I then wanted to try take the business online as much as I possibly could, therefore, I worked to get the new website finished and set up the online store which I’ve been meaning to do for a while and this was a great opportunity to do that.

As some of you will know, I’ve been doing a lot of blogging on here, which seems to have completly consumed my lockdown life but I must say, I’m really enjoying developing blog ideas, sales strategies and communicate with the team each week to see what they have been up to and produce some ideas. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve also created The Arch Studio: Online Exhibition. With so many of our photo friends in and out of the studio, It’s been an idea of mine to host a photography exhibition evening to show off some of the best local photo creators and with a little bit more time on my hands I decided to start the process of branding it and set it up virtually for the time being, Exciting!

My main line of work consists of fashion e-commerce and with a boost in online retailer sales, many small businesses are still working from home. Due to this, I’ve had many of my regular customers get in touch to ask if I’m still shooting and with no conclusion to how long this will go on for, I came up with a system on how I could help keep the small business community running. That’s when I set up ’Self-Isolation Studio’ which involves a zero contact service with the customer. how does it work? Simply, DROPSHOOTCOLLECTRETOUCH.

If you are interested in learning more about the Drop, Shoot, Collect & Retouch service for your business and for pricing, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at harkness@hiddenheightsstudio.com

To finish off today, I thought I’d mention that I’ve been reading a lot of articles about how the current pandemic will affect our industry and the way we work, for maybe a lot longer than we think. One article in particular stood out from CherryDeck titled JOIN THE MOVEMENT, a Book now, shoot later movement, which I think is a great Idea! (read more) So without further ado…I AM PART OF THE MOVEMENT…if you would like to #BOOKNOWSHOOTLATER with me, you can do so by selecting Hidden Heights Pre-Pay Credit, then click the drop down menu, select and purchase the Book Now, Shoot Later (Photography Credit) option, I will then be in touch to arrange and confirm a booking with you. If you have any questions regarding this please contact me in an email.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my lockdown life, your continued support for Team Hidden Heights means everything! We can’t wait to get back into the studio and provide all of our services to you! Stay home and stay safe!

Much Love

Marie x

If you don’t already, please give me a follow on all of my social handles listed below to keep up to date with all latest news and content..

Website: www.hiddenheightsstudio.com
Instagram: @harknessphotography @hiddenheightsstudio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harknessphoto/
Twitter: @harknessphoto
Or Get in touch: harkness@hiddenheightsstudio.com

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