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  • Writer's pictureNina Bashaw

How "the Rona" has changed me and my businesses

Can you believe we are about it head into the 8th month since Covid-19 has hit the world? It's hard to believe that it's already been that long since our lives have been turned upside down or at least drastically changed in some way. I think it's safe to say that the majority of us have found our "new normal" and are adjusting to this new way of life. However, I am sure we could all agree that it hasn't been without a few breakdowns and challenges. Here is how it's changed me and what I'm doing to stay safe and healthy.


Those first couple months my husband and I were under so much stress due to moving (on a very short notice) and trying to sell our house back in South Carolina. My anxiety levels were defiantly at a high those first few months and I would tease my husband "I feel like I'm going crazy", half way joking. I did have a few moments where I stood in my tiny 800 square foot apartment and cried because I forgot to put a certain spice in something I was cooking. First world problems, right? It felt so strange to not be able to freely go places like Homegoods and not be able to go to my religious meetings. My faith is something that I cherish and hold dear to me, so when we couldn't meet in person anymore it made me really appreciate the religious freedom we have here in America and that we are allowed to meet openly and freely with our fellow brothers and sisters. But when the Coronavirus hit we had to abide by the laws and no longer meet in person. But we have been able to take advantage of Zoom had have our religious meetings virtually and for that I am very thankful!

Another major life change is that we haven't seen our families in months! And we all live with in a 3 - 5 hour drive of each other. But as much as we would love spend time with one another other we know it's the loving and respectful thing to do until the virus is no longer a huge threat, especially to our parents. But there again thank goodness for technology. We talk to them often and FaceTime when we need to see each others faces; no makeup, messy hair, PJ's and all.

We moved to Tampa a couple of months right before the pandemic happened, so we haven't had the chance to really go out, tour, and experience our new home. We LOVE eating at fun and local places but we haven't done any of that in months. But we both love to cook and try new recipes so thankfully we enjoy doing that together.

I've never had such an appreciation for cleaning products until now. It makes me wonder if people never cleaned their house before? And why they suddenly feel the need to buy ALL the hand soap? I am so over people hoarding all the disinfecting products!! It's like digging for gold in random isles at Target and Publix as you're searching for disinfecting wipes and spray. When you find one I imagine it's the same feeling when people win the big prize on The Price Is Right, total shock quickly followed by pure happiness. Who would have ever thought I'd give up a new pair of high heals for one bottle of Lysol?!


Right after the world shut down many bride and grooms where forced to postpone their wedding or have an elopement with their guests attending via Zoom. So you can imagine how this took an effect on all wedding vendors. In a nutshell our businesses came to a screeching halt during a time that is usually our busiest. I had many weddings in the Sarasota and St Petersburg areas that I was suppose to be second shooting and associate shooting that ended up rescheduling for next year. So you can see what a financial hit this took on my business. Many of my personal branding headshot clients and senior portraits had to reschedule their sessions for months later. I'm so thankful for all my clients that have hung in there with me through this crazy process!

Now that life is slowly starting to resume and weddings are starting to be rescheduled I am shooting more often but with a few changes. Here is what I'm doing to protect my own health and those around me.

1: As annoying as it is I am always wearing a mask. It's hard because that thing can get hot I feel like I sound like Darth Vader when I'm talking. It also reminds real quick what you had for lunch that day and that you might strongly consider popping a breath mint. In all seriousness though I wear it because I know it's the kind and respectful thing to do! You never know who you might come into contact with that has a compromised immune system, lives with someone that does, or takes care of elderly parents. For these reasons I will wear a mask even though it can be uncomfortable.

2: I am constantly washing my hands and disinfecting my gear. I have wipes that I use to immediately sanitize my camera, lens, and camera strap after I've touched a door handle, a wedding prop, a chair, anything. Not transferring germs is my top priority!

3: I'm strictly following social distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from all my clients. When possible and when I have enough room to move around I use my largest lens, my 70-200, that way I can easily stay at a distance. If I need to come closer I always have my mask fully my face and I tell my clients I'm going to step a little closer to them so they don't feel like their personal space is being rudely interrupted. This also means I'm not doing any physical contact with my clients, including hand shakes or hugs. I give my clients lots of direction when posing and have them mirror what I'm doing so I don't physically have to move their hands or any hairs that are out of place. We take our time during the posed shots so if you don't understand what I'm saying we aren't rushed to quickly get the shot.

Thank you again so much for stopping by my blog and as always thank you to all my clients, friends, family, and wedding vendors for your love and support. I long for the day when sicknesses like this are a thing of the past and as the bible says "no resident will say I am sick". It's been a weird and challenging year but I remain positive and thankful as we see what 2021 has in store for us. Be kind and stay healthy everyone!

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Nina Bashaw is a Clearwater Beach, FL based fine art luxury photographer that specializes in senior portraits, personal branding, weddings, micro weddings, and elopements throughout the southeast and is available for worldwide travel.

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