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Wairarapa photographer: personal thoughts on Covid-19

woman walking on rocks with seal at Cape Palliser, Wairarapa

Every man and his dog (or seal, see above!) is having their say about Covid-19, the global pandemic of 2020 and possibly beyond. I don't want to add to the noise, but to contribute some positive, personal words in order to hopefully help others. Plus writing my thoughts down also helps me!

We are relatively lucky here in New Zealand (as well as our neighbours in Australia), compared to Europe, America and Asia. For this we are grateful. However the situation is changing on a daily basis and we haven't, at the time of writing, yet reached the 'top of the curve'.

During this time and the result of this pandemic has highlighted four important points for me. There are some bonus points (and a special offer) at the end too, so keep reading...

1. Support Local

engaged couple on the beach at Castlepoint, Wairarapa

With disrupted supply chains from China and America in particular, this highlights the importance of buying locally as much as possible. The 'trend' and philosophy of shopping local has been popular recently but now it becomes a necessity. I am hopeful this continues once the world returns to 'normal'. I have always been a fan of supporting local growers (shopping at farmers markets) and buying gifts from local artisans as but two examples.

If you've had holidays or booked events cancelled (either overseas or within NZ), take this opportunity to explore your own backyard.

Easter school holidays are just around the corner, and government requirements permitting, is a great reason to discover or rediscover our wonderful Wairarapa region. I've always advocated for the health and well-being benefits of getting active outdoors. This becomes even more important for mental health of families and adults now. Experience the fresh air at Castlepoint or connect with nature at Mt Holdsworth. Facilities such as Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre remain open and safe and is a great option with kids.

Destination Wairarapa has some more ideas.

2. Self-sustainability

family sitting on the steps of the rotunda at Carrington Park, Carterton, Wairarapa

The panic buying in supermarkets has frightened many people for a number of reasons. 'What if I need to go into 14 day self-isolation?'. 'What if the supermarkets run out of food and essential supplies?'.

The 'movement' of growing your own veggies again has been going for a while, some would say we've come full circle to days gone by. My grandmother prided herself on her vegetable garden, regularly sharing with us and friends potatoes, broad beans, rhubarb and much more. She took great satisfaction from pulling each carrot from the rich soil, marveling at what she had grown with nature's help. She took even more delight in seeing our faces enjoying her gift alongside a roast leg of lamb from the local butcher. Or even better yet, given by a family member or neighbour.

Self-sustainability also extends to how we entertain ourselves without external stimulation. If you are required to self-isolate, how do you entertain yourself and your family without contacting other people? Do continue dear reader!

3. Treasure loved ones

mother looking at her baby, Carrington Park, Carterton, Wairarapa family photographer

Use this period and the magnitude of what is happening, to truly value what's important in life.

People over material things.

Genuine relationships over social media 'friends'.

Take a moment to be grateful for your families and tell them how much they mean to you. Better yet, if it's possible, spend quality time together enjoying each other's company (see above getting active outdoors together!).

Display your love and be reminded every day with family photos displayed in your home. I believe so passionately about this that professional, archival prints will always be part of what I offer families and couples.

My printer is Queensberry based in Auckland (support local!) and are still operating safely during this time. I'd love to offer previous clients who have already placed orders with me, a special offer: 50% off new print orders. This is how much I believe in the power of print!

Orders can be safely delivered directly to your door from Queensberry.

Discounted prices start from $3.50 for a 6x5" print. If you're interested, please email me for a promo code and link to your online gallery.

4. Positivity and creativity

art books in a crate on the floor, Wairarapa photographer

Everyone deals with situations differently. Be nice to each other and respect different opinions and reactions.

Attempt to remain positive: for yourself, your children, partner, family and colleagues. If you need to take a break from social media and reading/listening to the news, then do it.

If you are required to self-isolate, this may be an incredible gift of a time to read those books sitting on your shelf; spend quality time with those you love; or learn something new.

Australian author Robert Dessaix was the keynote speaker at our ceremony when my friends and I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He articulated beautifully that when times get tough, it's us creatives who people turn to. Seeking positivity, uplifting and hope.

The creative community has really come to the fore with many providers are offering heavy discounts or free online education. Creative Live and Mark Rossetto Photography Coaching are great examples.

A note on your wedding

wedding camping sign, field, mountains and dirt road, Martinborough, Wairarapa

If you have your wedding coming up in the near future, please, for everyone's safety, adhere to Government advice. You may need to reduce your guest list, post-pone your wedding or consider going ahead with key family and friends not present. You have our love and support during this time. If you need to re-schedule, please involve your chosen wedding businesses in choosing a new date.

If you are planning your wedding at the moment, please do keep doing so. As small businesses, we need your support to continue operating. We are super flexible and empathetic in a changing climate.

Maternity leave

pregnant belly with walking shoes on gravel stairs

Which brings me to my last point. I have been planning on taking a break anyway, as Ben and I are expecting a little bundle of joy in early May! Life goes on no matter what the world throws at us. I will be back shooting around September time. Thank you for your wonderful support as always and do stay in touch.

If you're a previous client who has already placed an order with me, don't forget your special offer: 50% off new print orders. If you're interested, please email me for a promo code and link to your online gallery.

Lots of love, Sarah xx


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