Shannon Craig is a freelance photographer and photo editor based in Toronto, Canada. Her personal photography business is focused on Fashion and Portraiture as well as some artistic still life and travel photography. She works with vibrant colours and unique camera and post editing techniques. She's shown her work in a few gallery shows in Toronto and has worked in collaboration with a few businesses, artists, musicians and actors.
Shannon is also the co-owner of a wedding, family and couple photography business with her business partner Devyn Hill. We got to sit down with Shannon and learn more about her projects and how she's navigated change amidst the pandemic.
What have you been working on recently?
Recently I have been mostly focused on the business I co-own Lily & Poppy. Though it is primarily a wedding photography business and because of Covid, weddings have been mostly on hold, we've found lots of ways to keep going. It's been a lot of social distanced outdoor shoots and business management behind the scenes to get ready for when things pick back up again. We have also been transitioning our business to more elopement photography, an industry we've seen growing in recent times.
What's been your biggest challenge when working remotely?
Working remotely it's been challenging to keep motivated and not get discouraged. I have lost some work due to the lockdowns and didn't work from home as much before so just getting used to new ways of working and learning to accept things are out of your control can be a challenge sometimes.
Has that affected your work at all? (if so how?)
Weddings, events and large shoots are a huge chunk of what I do so it has hugely been affected this year. It's just taken a lot of creativity and hard work to keep going.
What's one new routine you've established to get into the creative flow?
I have a few...
-Regular zoom meetings
-Online learning, youtube videos, articles, master classes etc.
What are your techniques for breaking up the day between work and life?
My main thing is scheduling a part of my day to sit at my desk and work, everyday. Routines are HUGE when working from home or I get so easily distracted. I keep a lot of lists and notebooks/daytimers to schedule my day and keep busy. But self care and breaks are so important and I make sure I prioritize that. Online joint calendars with co-workers help a ton as well.
How have you kept a close connection with the people you work with?
Me and my business partner have regular video meetings, we use joint calendars we can both write on as well as a messaging app we only use for business related things. Also we both keep notebooks and write down what we discuss in our meetings and what we want to discuss in future meetings.
Let's talk desk setup. Tell us about your workspace and how it enables you to get shit / stuff done. (We love photos)
I actually just got a new setup that I'm very happy with. I needed something portable so I purchased a new MacBook Air. I have a very nice desk by the window which I love and I recently bought a new Desktop Screen by Asus. It's a gaming screen but the colour and photo quality on it is fantastic and the price doesn't hurt either.
I've used a Wacom tablet for years which I would highly recommend to any photographers/photo editors.
I have a really good desk chair which is so important for those long days of editing but I also have a yoga ball I switch to sometimes to get myself moving.
What do you do to switch off?
I try to do as much as I possibly can to use technology only when needed. When I switch off from work I try to literally switch off from technology. I read books, play piano and try to stay as physically active as possible. Getting out in nature is the key to happiness as far as I'm concerned which you can probably see in my photography.
What are you most looking forward to when all this blows over?
WEDDINGS! I can't wait to get out and meet clients and co workers face to face again and not have to worry when doing photoshoots. I'm so grateful for what this time has done for my business but I'm so ready to go back to work again especially weddings. Nothing makes me happier.
Any parting words of advice for our creative readers?
Even if it feels like there's not a lot to do right now, keep going! Keep creating! Use this time to really dig deep and work on your business and your creative skills. Even if you just watch a video and learn a new thing that's something. Just keep taking little steps even if you're feeling discouraged.
A big thank you to Shannon for sharing her story with us!
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