Stick together

Team, we’re in this together. It’s me again, Dave Williams, here for #TravelTuesday and again, sadly, there’s no travel.

The good news is that it’s a month until the next epic KelbyOne Live Conference: the Travel Photography Conference. Together, with some of the best travel photographers in the industry, I’ll be teaching a couple of classes via live stream, and I can’t wait to join you all there. But, we need to pass the time between now and then safely. Here’s why: –

We’re at a tricky place in the pandemic journey. We have vaccines available on this side of the pond, and likewise in the States, but with this progress, we’re seeing a new strain of the virus. You couldn’t write this stuff! It’s taken all of us, globally, down different paths and affected us all. I reached out to Team Epic, the band of like-minded, awesomeness-exuding, pixel-processing legends. Here’s what they have to say: –

Peter Treadway, from here in the UK like myself, says: –

It goes without saying that this year has been tough for a lot of people and as a wedding photographer, my business has struggled like most. Even when weddings have been able to go ahead in much smaller capacities, problems for photographers have still arisen when they have found themselves coming down with an illness so close to the couple’s big day. I have to say, though, that this year has made me prouder than ever to be part of this incredible industry. Never before have I seen such camaraderie and selflessness with fellow photographers cancelling personal plans and travelling hundreds of miles at the last minute to save a couple’s most treasured day from going uncaptured, whenever the desperate request for cover has gone out from an ailed tog. 

It reminds me that we really are all in this together and as we move in to my favourite time of year (Christmas!!!), with an incredible, needle shaped light just starting to glimmer softly at the end of the awful tunnel that is 2020, these thoughts of ‘esprit de corps’ let me allow myself just a little smile as I look evermore towards 2021 with hopeful anticipation. 

And with that, I’ll wish you all the warmest, happiest and safest of Christmases and New Years. 

From Ireland, Cathy says: –

As a Wedding and Newborn photographer, Covid meant stopping half of my business completely due to the close proximity required when photographing babies and with weddings either cancelled, brought forward till next year or pared down to a max of 24 people, the other half had to be hugely scaled down too. 

Looking back now to when the National lockdown began here in Ireland, it would have been so easy to put my camera down, step away from my computer and take up baking and DIY to try and pass the time. However, I was determined not to let Covid ruin my passion and so rather than giving up, I decided to spend the time learning a new photography related skill and got myself a copy of Victoria Pavlov‘s book on digital painting and bought some digital brushes from Aaron Blaise.

Although it might be a while before I’m proud enough to show off any works from this new pass time, I’m absolutely loving the process of learning this new skill and how far I feel I’ve progressed in such a short time. 
So with that said, I pray to God 2021 will bring hope and new beginnings for everyone and to those of you who sometimes feel like giving up is the only option, I urge you all to stay positive and to push on, as I just know good things are waiting around the corner. 
So as the tattoo on my arms says, Live, Laugh, Photograph and hopefully by the end of next year we can hug, kiss, dance, be merry and most of all just be close to each other again x 

Merry Christmas to you all and I hope 2021 will be kind to each and every one of you

Cathy Baitson Weatherston

Over in Portugal, Nando says: –

This is going to be a different holiday season, so make it important. Grab your camera, a speedlight, a softbox and a background. Now go make an awesome portrait of each of your loved ones, those who you’ll be spending Xmas with. Extend that to all family members throughout 2021 as life slowly returns to normal. Sometimes we forget to photograph our loved ones. Do not be that one. And while you are at it, make a self portrait too! (Dave, a selfie does not make it! It must be a real portrait). Love and hugs from Portugal!

From Italy, Pisco says –

Christmas this year will be different. We will be far from our loved ones. It’s sad but it is definitely the right thing to do. We look to the new year with hope, tenacity and love, and when this pandemic ends we will return to hug each other stronger than before. Merry Christmas to you all.

Siân on the Isle of Wight says: –

This year has challenged us like never before and so looking after our mental health has never been so important.  

Being able to go outdoors for exercise and to meet people has been a luxury that I think no one will ever take for granted again.  But it’s also given us the chance to stop and reconnect with nature and learn more about our environment and the impact that it has on us and our health. 

It’s about seeing and appreciating the little things that are right in front of us, and as photographers, we are blessed to be able to capture those. 

So next time you head outside, really take your time and look at what is around you, for Mother Nature is truly inspiring! 

Mimo Meidany, the beautiful Iranian enigma himself, says from Canada: –

Endure this suffering
The day after the pains
Sun will shine again
wound will heal and you will laugh again
Just last. 

So again, we’re in this together. We need to knuckle down and get through this so we can all safely come out of it on the other side, together. Personally, I can’t wait for Photoshop World 2021, the 2021 Worldwide Photo Walk, and everything else we’ve missed out on this year. To get there we need to work together to beat this virus. We’re a very strong species. We can achieve anything if we put our mind to it, even in spite of all the challenges presented to us to overcome. I thrive on travel and that’s my end goal—once all this is passed I can travel again, exploring the world and showing it the way I see it. For me to do that I need to follow the rules and play my part in preventing any further spread, as well as saving lives along the way. I hope you’ll all join me so we can have a normal Christmas next year along with the freedoms we can thank our ancestors for.

Between now and then, let’s show what we see and keep practising. If you’d like to, I’ve attached a link to a handful of RAW files of mine. I’d love to see your interpretation, with full creative control and the allocation of any and all Photoshop techniques you’ve learned during 2020. Feel free to tag me on social, and KelbyOne, so we can see your edits. Add anything you want, do anything you want, and have fun forgetting about this mess for a moment while you mess with my photo. It’s art—you can’t get it wrong.

Much love

(We’re in this together!)

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