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Photographers suffer 86% reduction in turnover due to Coronavirus

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professional photographer during photo shoot in studio

According to a survey conducted by flash drive supplier memorymates.co.uk, wedding and studio photographers have suffered an 86% reduction in turnover due to lockdown restrictions.

Nine out of ten are currently not shooting at all, even in their own studios. The vast majority feel that government support for the industry has been inadequate. A small majority are optimistic about the future.

A survey by memorymates.co.uk has revealed the extent of the commercial difficulties suffered by wedding and studio photographers since the outbreak of coronavirus. Most feel they have not received the appropriate support.

The plight of the industry has previously been under reported, despite severe limitations on its ability to trade. Studios are closed for personal shoots, location work has ceased and weddings cannot be held until April.

memorymates.co.uk conducted a survey with 25 of its customers to better understand how they have been impacted. The online retailer has been supplying keepsake flash drives to the photography industry for over a decade.

The results make for stark reading. 92% of respondents have been unable to work, which led to an 86% drop in turnover between June and December of last year when compared to 2019.

“I shot 3 weddings in 2020 compared to a usual 35,” explained one. “I have had £10,000 worth of work interrupted,” said another.

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Some are facing the unthinkable: “I might be forced to close my business as I still have to pay a lease on the property I’m renting for a studio in town centre.”

A few have found commercial studio work, but even this has been limited. “[I have moved] into product photography. I had a few existing clients and I am actively marketing and developing my skills in this area,” explained one of the 8% who are still shooting, albeit only once a week on average.

Attempts to generate other revenue from photography (such as selling online and from back catalogues) have proved difficult, particularly when the practical implications of lockdown are considered. “It is difficult to do anything while homeschooling my 8 year old … I have a 3 year old too.”

The results don’t read any better for the government. Respondents felt that the industry had been let down badly, rating the government’s efforts at just 2.4 out of 10. Many awarded zero. Much of the feedback suggested that socially distanced weddings and photoshoots should be permitted during lockdown, as participants could be strictly monitored.

“Weddings should be allowed as there is a written record of everyone attending,” explained one photographer. “Weddings should have been supported, and [studio] photography should be separated from retail,” explained another.

Respondents felt they had been better supported personally, but still only rated the government at 4.2. A major concern here was the lack of consistency in approach to photographers of a different employment status, succinctly summed up in this response:

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“[We need] support for all. At the moment there are so many exceptions, too many photographers do not get any support.”

On the upside, the majority feel that much brighter days lay ahead, albeit in a changed industry. Whilst smaller weddings and socially distanced shoots are anticipated for the foreseeable future, 55% of photographers had a positive outlook.

The same proportion expect significant pent up demand once lockdown ends. Most are confident in their ability to cope, including one respondent who is keen for normality to return: “I will just do it. I miss work so much.”

Headline Results

  • Photographers from across the wedding and studio industry participated, typically conducting 1-3 shoots a week (wedding, location & studio)
  • The 8% of photographers who are currently working are conducting an average of 1 shoot a week.
  • Photographers experienced an 86% fall on average in income between June and December of 2020 (compared year on year). Many experienced a 100% drop.
  • 67% have been unable to develop new methods of generating revenue from photography. At least 33% have sought alternative employment.
  • On a scale of 0 to 10, photographers felt that government support rated at 2.4 for the industry and 4.2 for them personally. Many felt it was 0 for both.
  • Many felt that weddings and socially distanced photo shoots should have been allowed to continue throughout lockdown. A lack of clear guidelines and support for Directors was also regularly cited.
  • On a scale of 0 (no bookings) to 10 (future bookings) photographers rated their order book at 5.1.
  • 55% anticipate significant pent up demand. 54% are positive about the future.

(Lead image: Harrison Haines)


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Food & Drink

Winner winner, weekday dinners: Morrisons introduces midweek dinners for under a fiver in its cafés

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Amidst the cost of living crisis, supermarket giant Morrisons is introducing a ‘meal of the day’ for under a fiver to its cafés nationwide.

Every weekday from 3pm, a ‘Daily Special’ will be discounted, offering a saving of up to £3.89 on the individual product price.

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The meal on offer will rotate each day and customers can choose from British roast chicken served with chips and coleslaw, a hearty chicken tikka masala, a 9-piece breakfast brunch, a succulent British cheeseburger served with chips and coleslaw and the ultimate beer-battered fish and chips.

The offer includes a drink and vegetarian alternatives are also available.

Each meal will be priced at £4.99, which the supermarket chain says makes them cheaper than the same evening meals at Wetherspoons, Harvester and Beefeater.

Morrisons also say that kids can also eat free all day with the purchase of any adult meal, meaning a family of four can enjoy a meal out together for just £9.98.

Ali Lyons, Head of Morrisons Cafés, says: “We know how hard it is for our customers at the moment and we want to make sure they are still able to enjoy a meal out, even on a budget. We’ve handpicked these favourites so that no matter what day it is, our customers can enjoy a saving.”

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Morrisons £4.99 offer will be available in its 406 cafés nationwide after 3pm every weekday. The ‘Daily Specials’ on offer are:

MondayRoast Chicken served with Chips & Coleslaw or Cheese & Onion Quiche served with Chips & Coleslaw 
TuesdayChicken Tikka Masala or Mac ‘n’ Cheese 
WednesdayBreakfast Brunch or Full Vegetarian Breakfast 
ThursdayCheeseburger served with Chips & Coleslaw  or Vegetarian burger served with Chips & Coleslaw 
FridayUltimate Fish & Chips

(Lead image: Morrisons)

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Fitness

Tyson Fury comes to Swansea as Ware-house Gym celebrates first anniversary

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“Gypsy King” Tyson Fury is making a special appearance at Cwmdu’s Ware-house Gym as the venue marks its first anniversary.

Is he retiring or does he have plans for making another comeback?

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Chris Ware, one of the owners of Ware-house Gym says he’s looking forward to the boxing legend’s live and unscripted visit, which promises a great night of entertainment and maybe even a song or two from the people’s champ himself.

Chris said: “It’s amazing to have such an iconic sports man coming to Swansea. Not only has he inspired so many people through sport but also the way he has battled his own mental health problems.

“His story is amazing on so many levels. He appeals to so many people, and it’s a privilege to have him in the gym.

“Between world class dance brands and now one of the biggest sports stars in the world is coming to Ware-House Gym Swansea, it’s been a great first year.”

The gym opened last year during the height of the pandemic, but despite it’s difficult start the venue has gone from strength to strength.

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It even hosted a pop-up nightclub as Sankeys, one of the UK’s most recognisable club brands announced the opening of their first Welsh venue at the gym.

The Cwmdu venue is now attracting national attention, as the gym became finalists in the UK Active awards for “New Concept, Build or Design of the Year.”

Staff at Ware-House Gym with owner, Chris Ware (centre)

Chris added: “We have pushed and stretched ourselves to provide a 5 star facility that everyone is welcome in.

“When we look back at our plans, we have nearly ticked off every little detail we aimed for. It has been exhausting and stressful but the support of our members and professionalism of our staff has helped us keep the standards so high.

“We have set the bar and we want to move forward as the best gym in the UK.”

Tyson Fury is at Ware-house Gym on Saturday 16 July, with tickets available from Warehouse’s website.

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Food & Drink

Proposal to ban tea and coffee for under 16s in Wales branded ‘illiberal’

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photo of person s hand pouring liquid to cup

Proposals to consider banning the sale of tea and coffee to under-16s in Wales have been labelled ‘outrageously illiberal’ by the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

The Welsh Labour Government reportedly confirmed that it is considering the move as part of plans to make young people healthier and stop rising obesity rates.

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The move comes as the Welsh Government raise concerns of the rising consumption of high-caffeine energy drinks among young people is also causing concern about the effects on their education.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “It is beggars’ belief that this is even under consideration.

“We are all aware obesity is a serious problem in Wales and it is important that we take action to reduce the levels across Wales.

“However, it doesn’t take an expert consultation to realise that tea and coffee are not responsible for high obesity levels.

“It would be outrageously illiberal to ban the sale of coffee and tea to under 16-year-olds, something which they regularly drink themselves at home.”

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(Lead image: Elina Fairytale / Pexels.com)

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