1st July 2021, this marks the end of the first half (H1) of Year 2021 and the start of the second half (H2) of Year 2021. The first half of Year 2021 had been mixed for me, taking this day to give myself some me time, reflecting H1 2021 and new themes for personal and business in H2 2021 while reviewing the themes that I set earlier in January 2021, Themes and Goals for Year 2021 (Photography and Travel).

Photo Credit: Isaac Ong

Reflecting H1 2021 

H1 2021 had been mixed for me, while we were still battling the ongoing global pandemic COVID-19 at the start, I was cautiously optimistic that we can slowly start our route to recovery. Q1 2021 seemed to be heading that way, I was working towards my 15 years milestone for my photography and travel portal/blog in April 2021, with my business expansion and diversification plans put in place.

For my leisure/personal photography, I had a lot more fun and enjoyment, I visited more nature parks, green spaces, photo walks and outings, testing new cameras and lenses. When I was backing up my H1 2021 photographs that I shot, this period was quite a fruitful time for my photography. 

As for my commercial/business photography, while the buildup and recovery was slower in Q1 2021, I was actually cautiously optimistic that the economy/market would be better in Q2 2021. During that time, I had started to move back into other photography genres due to the photography industry situation, no thanks to the impacts caused by the ongoing global pandemic situation.

Things took a number of twists and turns, when Singapore went into a Phase 2 Heightened Alert (P2HA) in May 2021. This period put the economy and market under great stress again, in short, this kind of threw my photography business plans under the bus.

During that P2HA period,  went into a bit of depression and rut from the P2HA restrictions and a few very personal matters that overwhelmed. You might have read about it from my personal stories published on my TGH Technology and Business Portal/Blog as well on my portal/blog here, TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog. 

I wrote about the situations, reflections, thoughts, feelings and emotions in my article in a more lengthy detail, “Reflecting H1 2021 and New Themes for Personal and Business H2 2021”. They are very personal, I was in a very bad shape, mental and emotional state, especially during the P2HA period. I was depressed, I was in a rut, I was close to a tipping point. Thanks to a few friends who pulled me out and set me on the slow climb back to recovery. 

New Themes for Photography and Travel in H2 2021

My themes for Year 2021 were “Recovery” and “Rejuvenation”, I decided to review them, and my themes for H2 2021 would be:

Survive 

Running a business is one of the toughest and hardest thing that you can take on. My first few years of running my own sole proprietorship photography business were all first and foremost, business and life lessons on running a business. First and foremost, I need to survive. This ongoing global pandemic has caused massive impacts especially to small and medium sized business.

Recreate 

I have been creating content over the years since I started my TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog back in April 2006. I decided to put myself to a different challenge, “Recreate”, to recreate myself and my content creation and visual storyteller roles. How would I go about getting to “recreate” myself and my works? 

Through my photography zines projects, mixed media works, personal projects and collaborating with artists from other creative fields/disciplines, I am able to “Recreate” myself and my photography works.

Relaunch 

After I “Recreate”, I have to “Relaunch” myself, my revamped/new photography and content creation business, as well as my portfolio of works.

In a nutshell, TGH Digital Studio is about TGH Photography + TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog + Content Creation + Social Media/Digital Marketing. 

H2 2021 – What lies ahead for my Photography and Travel? 

This is still going to be a difficult and trying period especially for small and medium sized businesses as we are still battling this ongoing global pandemic. 

Currently, I am working on strengthening partnerships and collaborations with fellow photographers, videographers, creative artists from other fields/disciplines and lifestyle portals.

I am upgrading/learning/working on adding digital marketing specialist diploma to my qualifications, fully transforming into my TGH Digital Studio business setup consisting of my TGH Photography, videography and content creation. 

Travel photography, travel content creation, it’s time to “Recreate” first and prepare for the “Relaunch” when the time arrives for us to travel out safely again. 

Other digital marketing/social media marketing plans/discussions are taking place, a work in progress. As for other business interests/collaborations/plans, there are some discussions in progress, planning and strategising. Let’s see if they can be materialised and turn into something feasible and workable. 

For my leisure photography, I would find more time to enjoy the leisure and fun side of photography, that’s where my photography spark first came about when I was reading National Geographic Magazine during my primary school days. 

Photo Credit: Isaac Ong

In Short

H1 2021 had been a mixed of ups and deep downs for me, Q1 2021 wasn’t too bad, Q2 pretty much went diving straight down. I was depressed, in a rut. However, thanks to a few friends, I managed to pull out and started the road to recovery. 

I was taught a number of life lessons in the past few months, they will definitely serve me well in the future as we gradually recover from this global pandemic situation and start to rebuild a new normal of life and new future of work in a post COVID-19 world.  

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