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Wedding photographer reveals impac new coronavirus restrictions have had on his industry

A leading wedding photographer has revealed the devastating impact the new coronavirus restrictions have already had on his industry.

Under tight new legislation set to come into force from midnight on Wednesday, photographers will not be allowed to be present at a wedding unless they are one of two witnesses chosen by the couple. 

Sydney-based photographer James Day said the effect on small businesses will be ‘absolutely seismic’, and while he has been calling for weddings to stop for the past few weeks, that doesn’t mean that some people in his profession won’t be ‘completely doomed’ once they cannot work.

‘Lots of my colleagues in the industry have gone from planning how to grow their business to zero in a matter of weeks,’ James told FEMAIL.  

Sydney-based photographer James Day (pictured) shared the devastating impact that the new coronavirus restrictions will have on small businesses like wedding photographers

Sydney-based photographer James Day (pictured) shared the devastating impact that the new coronavirus restrictions will have on small businesses like wedding photographers

James said that he has been vocal that weddings as we know them need to stop for now, but, he said that doesn't mean that some small businesses aren't 'completely doomed'

James said that he has been vocal that weddings as we know them need to stop for now, but, he said that doesn’t mean that some small businesses aren’t ‘completely doomed’

‘I assure you, weddings (as we’ve known them) have no place in Australia in the upcoming months,’ he continued.

‘Indoors or outdoors. 100+ or less than 100. They’re the perfect storm for the virus being spread. 

‘But that doesn’t mean that smaller business won’t run out of options. Bigger operations might survive, but small outlets are doomed.’ 

'I assure you, weddings (as we've known them) have no place in Australia in the upcoming months,' James said, adding that whether they are in or outdoors, they won't work

‘I assure you, weddings (as we’ve known them) have no place in Australia in the upcoming months,’ James said, adding that whether they are in or outdoors, they won’t work

But, he also said, that there will be a huge impact on his industry - he, for instance, has been chatting with couples soon to get married and is trying to be as flexible as possible

But, he also said, that there will be a huge impact on his industry – he, for instance, has been chatting with couples soon to get married and is trying to be as flexible as possible

James said he has been photographing weddings for years and isn’t sure ‘they will be the same after coronavirus – at least for the remainder of this year’.

But, he added, the need to be flexible – both as a photographer and as an engaged couple – is key to getting through the next weeks and months.

‘I was just on the phone to one of my brides who was due to get married on 6 May in Melbourne,’ he said.

‘She had already adapted her ceremony, but has now brought the wedding forward in case the borders close between New South Wales and Victoria so that I can be one of the two witnesses there and take the photos.

James continued: ‘We are now looking at doing the wedding in the next few days.’

He is also currently working to postpone many weddings with couples, and move dates where possible.

'I'm doing something with my couples who were due to get married in April and May where I do a shoot with them on the date that was supposed to be their wedding, completely free of charge,' James (pictured) said

‘I’m doing something with my couples who were due to get married in April and May where I do a shoot with them on the date that was supposed to be their wedding, completely free of charge,’ James (pictured) said

‘I’m doing something with my couples who were due to get married in April and May where I do a shoot with them on the date that was supposed to be their wedding, completely free of charge,’ James said.

‘We are all in this together, and it’s important to remember that – whether you’re a couple or a vendor.’

In the past few weeks, James has been vocal about his feelings that weddings must stop.

‘My livelihood depends on it and I was photographing weddings even up until last Saturday,’ he said.

‘But even I could see how weddings have been a massive part of the virus spreading. 

‘People are so practiced at hugging and kissing at a wedding that they don’t know how to do one without all that. Once you throw a few drinks into the mix, you can almost see the germs spread.’

What is James’s advice for engaged couples? 

* Be flexible and open to postponing. You might not get what you imagined, but flexibility will help hugely.

* Consider other ways of doing things, whether that is getting married between Monday and Thursday later in the year to save money or by having just a few people present at your ceremony, including your photographer, and a big reception next year.

* Try not to panic. 

What is James’s advice for photographers?

* Photographers must also work with couples to be as flexible as possible, as things are going to go right up until the final weeks.

* Look at the things you can potentially cut for now to save some money, whether it’s a phone plan or your monthly subscriptions. This will buy you some time to ride this out.

* Be present and engaging on social media so that when this is over, people haven’t forgotten about you. 

Speaking about his advice for other photographers and creatives whose jobs are on the line right now, James said the most important thing to remember is that you need to be flexible as well as the couples.

‘Things are going to go right up until the few weeks before the wedding,’ he said.

‘Never have we had to adapt so quickly.’

The photographer also recommends you look at the things you can temporarily cut back on in order to save money, whether that’s a phone plan or your monthly subscriptions:

‘Every little cut back will give you some time to ride things out,’ he said.

James shared his advice for engaged couples and photographers during this time, explaining that the most important thing is to be flexible and consider different dates

James shared his advice for engaged couples and photographers during this time, explaining that the most important thing is to be flexible and consider different dates 

In the meantime, while you might not feel like it, it’s absolutely vital to be present and engaging on social media.

‘People might not be spending money on things like photographers right now, but there are always people who are getting engaged and who are looking at what they might do in the future,’ he said.

Plus, James added, photography has never been more important than now.

‘With so many of us physically distanced from those who we love, it’s never been more important to hold them close via photos,’ he said.

Under tight new rules announced on Tuesday, couples will only be allowed to wed with five people present: the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses

Under tight new rules announced on Tuesday, couples will only be allowed to wed with five people present: the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses

Under tight new rules announced on Tuesday, couples will only be allowed to wed with five people present: the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses.

The Prime Minister hopes limiting the number of people at social gatherings will slow the spread of the killer virus, which has infected more than 2,000 people in Australia.

The changes – which will apply for an indefinite period – will leave thousands of couples in a difficult position.

With hardly anyone able to attend, many will cancel their weddings – potentially leaving them out of pocket for venues that have already been hired.

To find out more about James Day and his work, you can visit his website here. You can also find him on Facebook and Instagram.



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Written by Angle News

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