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Transition during COVID-19 has taken various forms. While it has completely disrupted the lives of some, others have remained relatively the same. For photographer and mom of two Mariana Benjamin, the former is true. Just as she was finishing her maternity leave and getting ready to head back to work, the pandemic hit.

“[It] forced us all into lockdown and took the wedding industry out at the knees with social distancing requirements,” Benjamin said. “Now, we’re sort of taking it one day at a time, and I’m doing the best I can to juggle an infant and homeschooling a rising kindergartener.”

Caring For Family During COVID-19

Taking care of two at home has presented its own set of challenges. One is ensuring there is enough time given to each daughter, particularly her eldest.

“I recognize that there are folks out there who choose this lifestyle willingly,” Benjamin said. “Hats off to them, because this is not for the faint of heart. I feel I can’t give my five-year-old the attention she needs because I’m caring for her baby sister, and it kills me that I can’t seem to live up the stay-at-home-mom expectations I see on Pinterest.”

COVID-19 Work-Life Challenges

By comparison, life for web developer Tricia Velasco has not changed much since the pandemic. Velasco worked remotely before COVID-19 hit and coping with not experiencing any break from her regular schedule was a challenge.

 “I know some people weren’t working as much and got a break from their day to day work responsibilities,” Velasco said. “However, that wasn’t the case for me. Everything stayed the same, and some days, it was busier. So, it was hard seeing everyone else get a break, and I didn’t.”

With so many closures, Velasco has not been able to take days off either. Although she is thankful that she still has her job, having a busier schedule has been tough. Velasco does find her work rewarding and is glad to use her skills to help businesses.

“[It’s rewarding] being able to deliver an end product that clients expect and want,” Velasco said. “I get to do something new every day. It’s like I get to play puzzle games all day.”

Finding Purpose During COVID-19

Similarly, Benjamin has found ways to derive satisfaction from her profession despite profound changes. She sees flexibility and adaptability as key to how she approaches her photography work going forward.

“I’ve already accommodated several date changes for upcoming weddings,” Benjamin said. “I’ve adapted to the CDC recommendations and will wear a mask and rely heavily on my long lens to document events. I’ve worked to improve my Photoshop skills so I can create composites if need be. “

Beyond The Pandemic: The Future of Work

Both believe there will be shifts in their profession, hopefully for the better.

“Photography will still have its place in the world,” Benjamin said. “But I think it may be less hands-on. Perhaps less in-studio work if folks have concerns about sanitation and closed spaces.”

“I hope that after this pandemic, corporations allow employees to take the proper amount of sick days or don’t hold it against their employees for taking the necessary days off, ” Velasco said. “Or if the employee isn’t feeling well, let them work from home until they feel well enough.”

Finding Comfort During A Pandemic

Creating a schedule and paying attention to their mental health has also been important for both Benjamin and Velasco. Managing what they can control has provided some solace during this pandemic- a clear strategy for less than clear times.

If you enjoyed this post, you should also check out How COVID-19 Transformed My Marketing Approach, by Choice Premiums’s Marketing Coordinator, Noelle Brooks or Weathering The Storm: Crisis Management Tips From A 35-Year Veteran, a perspective from Choice Premiums’s President, Lynn Lavery.

About Featured Professionals

Mariana Benjamin, currently based in Atlanta, GA, is the owner and lead photographer of Starglass Photography, LLC. For years, photography has been her creative escape from the world. It’s a bit like time travel, but less wibbly-wobbly {10% discount off any package if you catch the reference}. It’s as if, by freezing a moment in time, she can live in it a little longer, and is what Benajamin loves about it so much.

Tricia Velasco lives in Macon, GA, and has been a web developer for 8 years. She became a developer through mentorship and self-teaching. She primarily works remotely, which allows her to travel and focus on hobbies such as triathlons. She has a true passion for what she does and believes that has been the key to her success.

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