MINT Member Lockdown Reflections: Sarah Johnson

by | Mar 24, 2021

I still can’t believe we are a year on after watching the televised briefing to the nation to stay at home.

I remember breaking down in tears to my husband with shock.

What did it mean? How was it going to affect us, our friends and family, our jobs, the life we knew?

I don’t think that, even a year on, I have digested what we have been through and what we are going through still – but I thought it was a great opportunity to share joy, hope and the positive change that has come through from “2020, the year our lives changed”. I am so grateful I am safe and well and I know we are very lucky.

If I had only known what was to come the months before but we can’t focus on those things

As Boris told us to stay at home and my husband, like too many, was working out how to work from home, I was sat in a complete rut with not a clue what to do next.

I wasn’t allowed to go to work… I didn’t really have anything else to do.

An amazing business club I am part of, MINT Business Club, took everything that they once did in person and put it online and, as I have said a few times previously, they put that much out to their members I actually cancelled Netflix! Everyday a member of the team was delivering a way to help us and our businesses – from mindset to selling, marketing to websites – they had everything, and us, covered.

As the lockdowns went on, I knew I needed to get myself out there again some way – and I decided that the best thing for me was being with my camera. I challenged myself with a ‘picture a day’ and asked if anyone else wanted to “play” too. I set up my first photography challenge group and with the magic of my camera I helped to inspire others to take a step out of the door to get some fresh air and have a go at playing with photography too.

This sparked something in my tummy I had been wanting to do for so long but didn’t have the confidence to do but as every other business owner was adapting and “pivoting” (I absolutely hate that word… yes I have slapped my hands for typing it).

So I decided to start running my photography courses online

Oh my goodness, the messages I have received, the beautiful cards and gifts from those that found these such a lifeline will stay in my heart forever. These courses have not only helped to give me focus but to know I have helped and inspired you to find some calm, well I have to say its made me feel the proudest I have ever felt.

It’s certainly not been all rosey and spending so much time with nothing but screens to communicate, messages can be lost in translation, tone can be misinterpreted and the connection is lost (quite literally at times). We had time to over-think, to let those monkey minds have a field day and time to lose focus and play a comparison game – I know myself I really struggled over this time in periods for sure.

It wasn’t until I started meeting back up with my clients through charity doorstep portrait sessions – I had seen Joe Wicks had taken part in one. “Well that’s a good idea” I thought and when I saw others doing similar things too I wanted to be part of it. This changed my mindset, seeing people and their smiling faces capturing their family’s story of ‘the year we stayed at home’ and I was able to raise over £250 for NHS charities too.

Storytelling? I thought… mmmm, now that’s an interesting one…

What is my story?

Through amazing training sessions with MINT Business Club and their guests, and the given time of 2020, I have been able to really work on my business. From learning how to do things better, how to provide the best service and my “why”. A session I watched recently I think puts everything into place – thank you Moira Barnes for your Story Selling training.

Here is mine…

So, once upon a time a little girl and her sister, watched over by Mummy and Daddy, would sit for hours looking through the family photo albums. Cheeky giggles coming from these albums as they lived memories of years before they were born through the images in those albums.

Looking through their own memories of growing up, of family members and loved ones no longer here but firmly locked in their hearts and remembered in a second because of these images. Places they visited could be remembered through the images, the cuddles of grandparents and the smell of their perfume all through the power of an image.

Because of this, that little girl wanted to be able to remember her own memories through images and decided to start to learn photography. Because of this she is now working as a photographer to be able to help others to capture their memories so they can have them to remember all those precious moments, people and places that are all part of their story. Until finally this little girl became a business owner, a smile creator and your memory maker – your photographer.

Over the last year I have been given such an amazing gift of time and, with the help of so many amazing business coaches, family and friends, I have so much clarity on what I want to do with my business.

I am here to be YOUR photographer – YOUR storyteller.

Imagine in years to come opening those photo albums to be able to read through your images of your story.

It hasn’t been all bad this last year – and I want to thank every single person I have met, worked with, networked with, zoomed with, cried with, laughed with, quizzed with… Thank you for being part of my memories of the year we were all told to stay at home.

I am looking forward to getting back out with clients from the 29th in line with the government guidelines to enjoy what is left of spring and I can’t wait! If you would like me to help you capture your story or to help you improve your photography so you can capture your memories you can contact me here.