Day in the Life: Colin Bushell
With the Coronavirus pandemic rapidly taking over Queensland, many stores and services have closed down. But what does this mean for creatives?
I spoke to Vice President of the Professional Photographers Association of Queensland, Colin Bushell, to find out.
Colin is a seasoned photographer, writer, educator and business owner from Brisbane, and I had the chance to ask him a few questions about how coronavirus has impacted his lifestyle. Unfortunately, most of his clients have – understandably – had to postpone or cancel ongoing work, such as branding shoots, profiling, workshops, copywriting, events and more. Not only is he impacted directly through these changes, but this leads to further cancellations down the line as clients lose income and cannot seek his services.
All members of the Professional Photographers Association of Queensland have been dramatically affected by the pandemic, with many trying to find online solutions; Colin is offering online photography skill-sharing resources to the public as a way of keeping his business afloat, with many seeming to follow along.
This time isn’t entirely wasted, however: Colin is using this downtime to redesign his business and marketing tactics, ready to hit the ground running once the mayhem passes.
Colin says the impact to his business was extremely fast – he initially planned to operate within social distancing guidelines, by spacing people in workshops keeping his distance while conducting photoshoots. He operates his workshops in cafes, so the closure of these sorts of local businesses has affected his work as well.
It is challenging in a job where your work is desirable, yet not considered essential in such an unprecedented time like this, and customers cannot be blamed. Needing photographs taken is hardly an essential service at a time like this; tightened incomes and an increased focus on health and hygiene are at the forefront of people’s minds. Unfortunately, this only makes it harder for these creatives when things go south.
Admirably, Colin holds no disdain about this, and he regrets none of his choices to be part of the creative sector. As someone who has worked in many non-creative areas, Colin says that his current line of work is much more favourable for him, despite the incredible impact coronavirus has had.
Being a creative worker in this time is challenging, and has impacted a shocking number of people in Brisbane alone. The work makes it all worth it though, and being part of something that feels meaningful to you – whether or not it is considered “essential” in the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic – is the most important part.
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Photo Credit: Colin Bushell Photography