I’m a decent human, and I work hard to make my world a better place. This current situation is both daunting and fascinating, every day is an effort as I normally love to be accessorised by close family and friends.
On the 1st April 2020, I went on my first lockdown exercise walk. It was 6am and I got back home at 7am. The route I decided on was one I would normally take when I want a long walk into my studio to prepare for a busy day of work. Just me, my headphones, a bottle of hand sanitiser and Radiohead (their music lifts my mood). I took the precautions that I continue to take to this day 19th April 2020. I don’t touch anything, including my face (why does my nose feel so itchy as soon as I go out?) I move over onto the road if anyone else is approaching, and I sing very loudly when no one is around. I take my trainers off at the door when I get home and jump straight in the shower.
My very first walk lifted my spirits, so I decided to do it again taking a camera with me. Just one camera and one lens (Canon 5D and an 85mm f1.2 lens), no other photographer stuff as I was on a lockdown exercise walk and not a photoshoot. I had no idea what I was going to take photographs of, but I thought if I’ve got my camera I can capture something properly rather than on my phone.
I love posting my work on social media, it allows people to see what I’m up to and over the years it’s led to many new clients. As I’m not currently shooting any weddings, portraits or commercial photography, I decided to post one of my lockdown exercise walk images. The first image I posted I gave the title, EVERYBODY’S HOME.
I was very apprehensive before posting as I didn’t want people to think I was out and about enjoying myself while they were stuck at home. My first image was well received, it reached 7610 people, had 598 likes and 111 comments (only 2 of them negative). So like any other addicted social media user, I started posting after every walk. I was very careful to only take an image initially for me and not be caught in a just for the gram shoot (FYI I’m not taking them purely for the social media likes). I’m trying very hard to post emotive uplifting ish images, but I’m finding that my mood dictates what I shoot. I’m definitely not putting any pressure on myself as this is my creative release during these very long, stressful, uncertain days. Some days I’ll only take 1 image and on others I’ll take a handful.
By day seven, I was receiving some lovely message posts from kind people on social media and then a message dropped into my Gary Walsh Photography Facebook page mailbox. It was from staff nurse Amy from North Tees Hospital ITU department. She said that she loved my lockdown walk images and wondered if I could donate some prints to put up in their staff room, so the staff had something nice to look at on their breaks during this awful time. I told her I was more than happy to help, but would have to check if I could get anything professionally printed. A quick email to Derek at One Vision Imaging and eureka, he was more than happy to help too. Leave it with me, were his exact words. I contacted Ian at Norton James Design to add my titles, name and the date the images were taken, he was also happy to oblige. A week later four of my images arrived beautifully mounted in black frames and they are now hanging in the ITU staffroom.
“Everyone loves them” was the reply I got back from staff nurse Amy.