It’s 1st October 2021, the start of the final quarter of year 2021. Time flies without us realising it, we are still in the midst of fighting an ongoing global pandemic that has wrecked havoc, chaos, disruptions to how we work and live, giving us financial, mental and emotional stress since Q1 2020. Today, I am reflecting Q3 2021, followed by planning, goals and objectives for Q4 2021. The main theme for Q4 2021 is Survival.
Photography by Ryan Cheng
Before I go into my planning, goals and objectives for Q4 2021. First, let me take a short trip back in time to Q1 to Q3 2021.
Reflecting Q1 to Q3 2021
Entering into time machine mode, let’s go back in time to a few months back in 2021.
In Q1 2021, I was secretly and cautiously optimistic about 2021 that it would be a year of recovery albeit at a much slower pace. Looking back at this point, it wasn’t this scenario at all, more of a complete opposite instead.
Moving into Q2 2021, I was celebrating and marking 15 years of TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog in April 2021. Things look pretty alright until May 2021 when I got myself into a sticky and messy situation that is not helped with Phase 2 Heightened Alert (P2HA) situation. I was lost , shared through my reflections, thoughts and feelings during June 2021 with fate and time. I was kind of depressed, my mental and emotional health wasn’t in a good shape, I spiralled downwards to the bottom, got stuck in a rut, reaching a tipping point. I had a few dark periods in my life till date, this period would be right up there with my other dark periods.
Moving from Q2 to Q3, I slowly got myself out, thanks to a few friends who pulled me out from the rut. This started a period of making further pivots and changes. This was followed by Reflecting H1 2021, new themes for photography and travel in H2 2021 and some photography, travel and updates in August 2021.
During this period as I pivoted, changed and reorganised, those changes needed some time too. Opportunities come and go, sometimes you get them, sometimes you lose them.
Photography by Isaac Ong
Plans for Q4 2021
Entering into Q4 2021, what are plans, goals and objectives for Q4 2021? My main theme that I wrote down earlier in my introductory paragraph above is, “Survival”. I am pulling all my brains, mind, soul, as well as pulling strings, networks, connections to survive. Just by saying it’s very tough is an understatement of the predicament and ground level situation that some small and medium sized businesses are facing.
In my area of commercial photography services, I made a switch into other photography genres in the portraiture segments, covering leisure, family, pets as well as corporate portraiture. Although there is a school of thought that teaches us to specialise in one or two genres, the fallout from this global pandemic has shown that specialising in one or two genres have its pitfalls too. Having a few more specialisations will be very helpful for future-proofing, not just in the photography industry, in other industries as well.
I have also made a move back into doing wedding photography, both pre-wedding and actual day wedding photography. When the economy returns back to a more normal and stable level, I would relook into my photography services portfolio again.
Initially, I have plans for what I want to produce and achieve in publishing zines, an outreach for my photography, writing and content creation. At the forefront, I wanted to publish a zine commemorating 15 years of TGH Photography and Travel Portal/Blog milestone and a special project to seek funding on a segment of my documentary photography works that I did some years back. Due to unforeseen circumstances, both external and internal factors, those two zine projects were put on hold, I would relook at them in Q1 2022.
My focus is now on a photography therapy zine, an inspiration that came from my nature therapy walks during Q2 to Q3 2021 when I went trekking into nature and outdoors, with my camera and lenses, photographing landscapes, light rays, bringing me peace and tranquility.
NFT / Digital Arts
I embarked on the digital arts journey some time back on Makersplace platform. At that point in time, I didn’t do enough homework/research and preparation before entering into this space. While NFT has recently received quite a lot of limelight and attention from the creatives industry, I am doing more homework/research before I go more full in-depth into this platform to showcase my curated photography works.
Keep a lookout for my updates in the NFT / Digital Arts segment in Q4 2021!
Travel and Tourism
I would love to travel out again, just like pre-covid time for my travel photography and holiday. While I don’t have a timeline on when we can safely travel again, I would have to wait patiently for the time to arrive while I concentrate on my photography business and building up my digital agency business.
When can we restart tourism? I asked myself again on World Tourism Day 2021. Many of us wanderlusts are searching for this answer too. Meanwhile, I am networking with travel and tourism folks, from travel agencies, Travel Talk on Twitter (TTOT) community and travelers from all over the world. When it’s safe to travel again, I would share more on them if the universe and stars alignment for my travel photography fall into place.
Emotional / Mental Health
To be honest with everyone reading this article, I am still, and have been mentally and emotionally very fatigued for a lengthy period of time, the worst period was probably in May and June 2021. We are all exhausted battling this ongoing global pandemic, its economic, social, emotional and mental fallout and onslaught on our work and daily living.
Running your own small sole-proprietorship photography business is already very challenging and tough. Throw in a global pandemic situation and it just magnifies many times more.
How many would really know, feel and understand how small and medium sized businesses are feeling and coping right now in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic?
When can we see the light at the end of the tunnel?
When can we see the light at the end of the tunnel? We have been asking ourselves this question all these time during this ongoing global pandemic.
Help local small and medium sized businesses by referring clients to them, through word of mouth or do a shoutout for them on your social media platforms. Please don’t judge, please be kind, everyone one of us is trying and working very hard to survive this global pandemic situation.
All of us, just want to survive and get out of this ongoing global pandemic situation, returning back to a more normal life during pre-covid days, although we will most likely unable to return back to those days.
That’s basically in a nutshell, my main theme, my plan, my goal for Q4 2021 – Survival.