So it's 2021, a New Year, new challenges...and the UK is still under lockdown.
Schools are closed, people are beginning to have the vaccine, and we're still not allowed out to play, shoot or anything else. When will it end? Will it ever actually end? From the outlook at the moment, it would appear that this is the new 'normal'.
Photography is beginning to be just that 'thing' that I used to do - past tense...No longer. Thankfully, I've got a plan "B" (but I'm not saying what it is for fear of offending a few people and if it goes the way I hope, could be, it could well become quite a monster - but we'll see), and for the time being, a full-time job - although working from home is becoming somewhat of challenge - it's the same 4 walls, day-in-day out - it's like GroundHog day - only worse. It's just the repetition that's getting to me. As much as I love the small family that I've got, I'm human...Talking to people over a computer screen just isn't the same as the 3 dimensional aspect of meeting them in person - you miss that social element. You miss the change of scenery, the travelling to different parts of the country. I'll stop moaning - we're all in this together I guess.
Despite desperately wanting to shoot, but given the current situation with COVID-19 (Corona Virus), I am not currently shooting nor am I accepting bookings of any kind, unless they are outside and preventative measures to prevent the spread of the virus are strictly adhered to.
My life as a photographer is not my job or main source of income (it's purely a hobby) and as such, should my employer call me back to the workplace, I don't want put myself or others at risk by the possibility of catching or carrying the virus.
100 days since the UK lockdown was implemented and there's many changes and things to worry about - the virus itself, the impact on friends and family, not being able to go out, restrictions on travel, mental health, financial worry and now fraud and criminal activity! Lockdown also seems to be rich pickings for criminal activity!
A report from Action Fraud (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/over-16-million-lost-to-online-shopping-fraud-during-lockdown-with-people-aged-18-26-most-at-risk) reveals that some 16,000 people have fallen victim to online shopping scams during lockdown, accounting for around £16.6 million in losses. The report details how members of the public purchased mobile phones, vehicles, and electronics from scam websites only for these items to never arrive. It also reveals that nearly a quarter of online fraud victims during lockdown are aged between 18 to 26.
Since launching in April, the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails) has received over a million suspect emails. Many of these have been for scam shopping sites.
If you receive a suspicious email that doesn’t look quite right, just forward it to [email protected] and they will investigate and take action where appropriate. There is no harm in forwarding emails which turn out to be legitimate so do not hesitate to forward something to them.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has produced guidance on dealing with suspicious emails, phone calls and text messages (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions). It offers advice on spotting scam emails and details about what to do if you’ve already responded to a phishing scam. More generally, the Cyber Aware site (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home) offers further advice on protecting your accounts and devices.
I'm currently sitting here in front of my PC feeling pretty chuffed! 17th September 2019 saw me travelling 110 to Lilleshall Abbey for a Viking themed photoshoot organised by Norse Dragon Armoury.
Between the day-to-day commitments of work and family, there's 1000's of images that I've got, that just get "cherry picked" and shared to various places such as Instagram, one or two members only Facebook groups or more publicly, to PurplePort (https://purpleport.com/). 7th June, I uploaded an image which was received very well, and today, it got awarded a "Front Page Image" - so I must be doing something right - best of all, it's totally safe for work!
If you fancy popping along and seeing for yourself, please click the following link https://purpleport.com/portfolio/davelynes/image/5756009/Photographer/?type=front