“Reinvent Yourself.” It’s a phrase you often hear people say during this COVID-19 or corona crisis. Because this crisis is far from over yet, it was time for me to do some serious thinking. This lead to the “invention” of De fotograferende huisvader (English: The photographing family father). You may consider this as an extension to De Goede Huisvader (The Good Family Father). Or you can just consider it as something I did to redefine myself as someone self-employed.
Difficult times. That is what these times are. Not everything is “normal,” no matter how much we want it to be. We adjust our lives because we’re fighting this invisible enemy. In this battle, we need to make sacrifices and people become victims of this disease.
The battle for the small self-employed persons is a hard one. Whether it’s all fair, I’m not going to talk about that. I know that I am someone who is affected by all of this.
There were times that I used to visit companies for photoshoots, writing assignments and the creation of websites. All that has stopped since March. This was the moment when the Dutch government decided to order an “Intelligent Lockdown.” Many companies don’t feel the need to benefit from my services. The result: no income.
On the bright side: I have a partner with a fixed income. But this all goes beyond financial issues. It’s about not being able to be creative. That is the most important reason for me to think about the future.
As you might know, we (my partner and I) decided to change the roles within the family. This enabled me to work when my children went to school. In the period between March and May, the children did not go to school, because the schools were closed. But when they did go back, I had no new business challenges to conquer.
Yes, you can suggest to just get a job with a boss and forget about my plans. The other suggestion is that I should try harder. I tried that last thing for about six months but wasn’t successful.
“Reinventing Yourself.” It’s a phrase that is used often during this crisis. That is what you should do. Me too. But how to deal with all of this? Should I do something completely different? Something “far away” from the things I normally do? This would take some time to learn and there’s always the possibility that it’s not that successful.
I decided to stick close to what I do and thereby allow others to benefit financially. “Doing something” for others has always been important for me. No, it doesn’t mean that I will do things for free from now on. I don’t believe in these Share and Like competitions on social media. I did that years ago and the people who then decided to share and like never became my customers. They were out to get something for free.
Close to what I normally do. That was the thought and that is what I am doing now. It’s also something I will do in the future. First, let me explain what I am doing now.
What I am doing now
Since 2014 I have been an advocate for the change of role patterns. My life as a family father or (better) a stay at home dad always has been the focus of my website (www.goedehuisvader.nl) and the social media accounts I use. I will continue to do this. Because I think it’s important to share the other story. The story is different from the standard patterns: man works, wife stays at home.
Being a father of two children, I know what it’s like to photograph children. Not just my children. In recent years I have had many children in front of my lens. I learned that many parents were fond of my work, because of the uncomplicated photos. Yes, I shot many photos that contained posing children. But I also shot photos that are different. Photos that were the result of the control given by me. The children were in control. To capture them when playing is something I am good at.
The photographing family father
To emphasize what or who I am, there is De Fotograferende Huisvader or The Photographing Family Father. So that you immediately know what it is about. What kind of photographer I am. A parent who knows that you do not charge the same price for the business photo sessions as for a family report for example.
As you can see on the website, the prices aren’t that high. There is some good news about these prices. For every photo shoot, I will offer a discount of € 5,- Also I will donate € 2.50 per assignment to the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding)
What I will do
As you have read, I want to do more. This will take some more time. I will publish four books about the seasons of the year. These books will consist of photos taken by me and the texts I’ve written. I can’t tell you the exact price, but I will also donate a certain amount of the price of these books to the Dutch Cancer Society. The books will be sold using my website.
It’s hard to tell you what the future will bring. This was my way of reinventing myself. I hope that it will inspire others.
The Dutch government has drawn up rules when it comes to working in times of COVID-19. That is why the photo sessions are corona proof. You can read more about this on this page.
After reading, are you interested in a photographer who helps you with photos other than personal photos? That is no problem at all. I can help you with that too. For more information: www.harmjagerman.nl/en.
If you have any questions, you can always contact us via the email address [email protected].