Capturing the moment: Shana Sureck Photography takes the long view
COVID-19 has been both a challenge for Shana Sureck Photography and an opportunity to explore new directions. As a photographer specializing in events and education, Sureck’s 2020 business spring calendar was wiped empty within a few days of the initial shutdown.
Slowly some of these weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs began to creep back on the schedule. But rather than hosting the large soirees they originally planned, Sureck’s clients organized “micro” events, honoring all safety protocols. Sureck, happy to capture these special celebrations, photographed a few of these intimate weddings and over a dozen smaller bar/bat mitzvahs. In addition, she’s expanded her portfolio to include editorial work and photography for small businesses that realized, during the pandemic, the value of a stronger web presence within the ever-evolving digital marketplace.
How has your business responded to the pandemic in the last year?
Whenever I’m in a work setting, I’m focusing on both my safety and the safety of my clients and their guests. I have created a COVID-19 addendum to my contract, and I am always well-stocked with PPE. I work with longer lenses so that I’m never within six feet of clients. I’ve been doing headshots outdoors, bringing my lights and backdrop to a loading dock behind Mill180. I have also been pursuing a personal project – documenting how COVID-19 is impacting small business owners in Easthampton, MA. I have been photographing them through the windows of their closed shops and businesses to maintain social distance and interviewing them over Zoom. It was inspiring to see so many solopreneurs moving from panic to pivot so quickly and reimagining what was possible to keep themselves afloat.
Why is it so critical to support MA’s local businesses?
Across the Commonwealth, businesses are hurting, especially restaurants and folks in the events industry. What makes our towns so special is the character and unique flavor of the small businesses. It’s so important to encourage folks to shop local, buy books from independent bookstores instead of big box stores or online retailers, and to get takeout when they can. Customers need to know that local stores and businesses have really figured out safety protocols for the benefit of their guests and staff. If those businesses close, it will be a tragic loss of livelihood for so many people who pursued their dreams, as well as a loss of vitality and vibrance for our towns.