The 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic has dealt a severe blow to most industries in the U.S., and the imaging Industry was not spared. However, the creativity, generosity and ingenuity of our industry have always proven that where there is a will, there’s always a way.
What follows is a sample of the programs and extra efforts that have taken place across the imaging industry. We’re sure there are many others that we haven’t heard about. Additionally, we hope and pray that you and your families and loved ones are safe, and that by working together, we can return to some normalcy soon.
Industry Responds to Covid-19 Pandemic
Nikon School Online Streams for Free
Along with free Nikon School Online courses, Nikon is inviting its community to #CreatorsHour. It’s a place to view live talks with Nikon Ambassadors and photographers; participate in photo/video challenges; and share tips and techniques. Viewers can also enjoy Moments of Zen—serene images from around the world captured with Nikon Z mirrorless cameras. For the latest #CreatorsHour events and activities, follow @NikonUSA or visit nikonusa.com/creatorshour.
Now as always, Nikon is dedicated to helping creators stay inspired. That’s why it is streaming all Nikon School Online courses for free through May. The goal is to enable creators of all levels to continue exploring their creativity.
Nikon School Online provides easy-to-follow instructional videos photographers can access anywhere, anytime. Whether beginners looking to step up from smartphone photography or enthusiasts looking to enhance their skills, creators can explore Nikon School’s online curriculum from their living room. Prominent professional photographers teach the sessions, which span various topics. Storytellers can learn everything from video capture and macro photography to landscapes and portraiture. For a full listing of courses, visit nikonevents.com/us/live/nikon-school-online.
Sigma Dealer Program Donates to Covid-19 Relief Efforts
Sigma Corp. of America launched a charitable initiative in partnership with authorized Sigma lens dealers nationwide. Via this program, until June 30, 2020, Sigma will donate 5% of all its lens sales made through participating dealers to a charitable organization of the dealers’ choice.
The dealers select organizations working on Covid-19 relief efforts for the donations. The hope is to help ease the devastation communities feel as a result of the global crisis.
“Photography is a creative outlet that helps us all feel connected through the most troubling of times, promoting awareness, compassion and empathy. These qualities are at the heart of who we are as human beings,” said Mark Amir-Hamzeh, president of Sigma Corporation of America. “This contribution is meant to help ease the many and various burdens felt by those affected by the coronavirus across the country. To that end, Sigma will donate, through our dealers, a portion of product sales to much deserving charities around the country.”
For a list of participating dealers and benefiting charities, visit sigmaphoto.com/focused-on-the-fight.
DNP Donates Supplies to Frontline Medical Providers
DNP Imagingcomm America donated 35 half-face respirators and several cases of P100 filter cartridges to local hospitals. The supplies help support the safety of frontline medical providers as they treat Covid-19 patients.
The half-face respirators prevent the inhalation of harmful substances. Consequently, they are critical gear for working medical professionals during this challenging time. The masks are made of 100% medical-grade silicone and can be disinfected. In addition, the P100 cartridges are effective at filtering out 99.97% of solid and oil-based particles. As a result, it’s possible to safely reuse the respirators over a long period of time.
“We are very grateful to be able to help our local healthcare providers during this tough and uncertain time,” said Shinichi Yamashita, president, DNP IAM. “We are proud of our local community and also want to show support for the medical professionals who help keep us safe, not just during this time but in our everyday lives.”
In addition, DNP IAM continues to take action toward preventing the spread of the virus. The health and safety of its employees and customers are DNP’s priority while providing support to the local community.
Tamron USA Online Educational, Inspirational Content
Tamron is hosting a wealth of video content to help photo enthusiasts continue to hone their craft while staying at home during the pandemic. The company is working with local retailers to present online seminars and is also offering educational, inspirational content from the at-home studios of Tamron USA’s technical team of photographers.
Tamron’s tech team normally presents at photo specialty retailers, trade shows and camera clubs across the USA every day of the week. They host seminars on various topics, lead field workshops and showcase Tamron lenses. During the current social distancing and stay-at-home mandates, the team has set up home studios, where they continue to bring their expertise to enthusiasts of all levels in an online environment.
Follow Tamron on Instagram and Facebook for information about live retailer-hosted 20–30 minute online seminars followed by Q&As. Tamron will post information about upcoming sessions regularly.
Tamron is also hosting a photo contest on its Facebook page. Every week, it challenges followers to show off their best photos. At the end of each challenge, Tamron chooses one winner whose photo becomes Tamron’s Facebook cover photo for the week following. Followers should state which Tamron lens was used and a bit about the photo. They must also use the hashtags #lockedinwithyourlenses and #withmytamron.
Home with Olympus Sessions
For more than 100 years, Olympus has been committed to making people’s lives healthier and more fulfilling. Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic, it’s continuing to do so. In addition to offering healthcare organizations use of its cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant, clinical collaboration platform MedPresence at no charge for the next three months, it is offering educational sessions for all photographers via Home with Olympus Sessions.
The virtual educational sessions allow photographers to learn the features of their Olympus cameras at home. Photographers can sign up for one-on-one sessions with Olympus technical experts to cover individual and specific questions. They may also participate in specific group sessions, tailored to cover a range of photographic genres and/or OM-D cameras.
Moreover, non-Olympus users are welcome! This is an opportunity for photographers of any background to join together, continue to develop their skills and celebrate their passion for photography. The team of Olympus experts is available to answer questions through the free, virtual sessions.
Each group session is open to six participants, along with the Olympus session leader. The small group size allows for expanded conversations and personalized Q&A. Space is limited! For a listing of all sessions, visit learnandsupport.getolympus.com/home-with-olympus-sessions.
Sony Sets Up $100 Million Covid-19 Relief Fund
The Sony Global Relief Fund for Covid-19 is a $100 million fund supporting those worlwide affected by the virus. Sony Corp. will provide support in three areas: assistance for those engaged in frontline medical and first responder efforts to fight the virus; support for children and educators who must work remotely; and support for members of the creative community in the entertainment industry.
In terms of medical support, $10 million will go to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO, powered by the UN Foundation and Swiss Philanthropy Foundation; Médecins Sans Frontières; UNICEF; and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Sony also will work with partners to explore ways it can support activities that prevent the spread and contribute to treatment of Covid-19.
In the area of education, where children are losing educational opportunities due to school closures, Sony will explore ways to leverage its technologies to support educational activities.
For the creative community, along with its group companies engaged in the entertainment industry, Sony will seek ways to support creators, artists and those in professions supporting the industry who are impacted by the cancellation/postponement of concerts and live events, or shutting down of film and television productions.
Sony also announced employees can provide their support through a matching gift program it will offer to its approximately 110,000 employees worldwide.
#InspiredWithHasselblad: Creative Expression from Home
Hasselblad vows to keep up artistic expression during these trying times of home quarantine and social distancing via #InspiredWithHasselblad. The Instagram program was established to appreciate the unique nature of creativity, especially under the challenge of spatial isolation.
#InspiredWithHasselblad opens with featured photographers such as Austrian product photographer Günther Egger. He finds beauty in floral arrangements and lighting techniques at home. Swedish creative Olle Broksten gives tips on how to use household items to create a studio at home as he did when photographing luxury perfume bottles.
These photographers are also offering their own creative challenges to those at home whose living rooms are now their temporary studios. As the campaign continues, Hasselblad will present more featured photographers. They will also provide weekly highlights selected from creators who post their work shot with Hasselblad using the hashtag #InspiredWithHasselblad.
Creative Photo Academy Hosts Photo Boot Camp Online
Creative Photo Academy, the educational arm of Paul’s Photo, is offering its Photo Boot Camp curriculum online, beginning mid-April, for photo enthusiasts. The company is also offering Inspirational Images—Ansel Adams, along with free daily video/photo challenges online. “You’ve asked for Creative Photo Academy classes in your neighborhood. . . Now you can attend class from the comfort of your home!” the company announced. Photo Boot Camp online offers live classes with a personal touch and attention, as well as live image review of assignments to facilitate learning. It comprises six weekly lessons designed to jump-start photographic skills. Participants learn camera controls, explore the techniques of photography and boost creativity.
In addition, Inspirational Images—Ansel Adams, which began April 20, comprises 12 weekly lessons. The lessons inspire attendees to take their photography to the next level. The sessions move beyond camera settings to artistic thought and technical prowess.
Panasonic Reaches Out with Online Classes & Support
Panasonic Lumix continues to support its retail partners remotely during the Covid-19 virus. The company’s team is reaching out to set up online customer classes as well as employee training.
“We are creating new classes for online customer events and live classes once the stores reopen,” commented Kristin Long, group manager, Photo Specialty, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. “Several dealers are interested in creating entertaining livestreams that are informative, visually impactful and lead to sales. We are thrilled to support their goals.”
#LensbabyAtHome Photo Contest
Lensbaby, the maker of creative effects and selective focus lenses and tools, is holding a weekly photo contest to keep photographers engaged. “Right now, creative outlets are more important than ever,” the company said. “Show us what your current world is like through your Lensbaby lenses.”
Photographers can use hashtag #lensbabyathome on Instagram to participate. Lensbaby is randomly picking three photographers to win $50 in Lensbaby Bucks. Lensbaby makes selections on Thursday, when the next challenge begins. To be eligible, photographers have to follow Lensbaby on Instagram.com/Lensbabyusa and share their photos with #lensbabyathome.
Skip Cohen University f64 Lunch Bunch Interactive Webinars
Skip Cohen University hosted its f64 Lunch Bunch webinars. “Some of the best industry ideas and friendships have come out of sharing meals together at conventions and trades shows,” said Skip Cohen, president. “This ongoing global Covid-19 crisis changed this in the blink of an eye. It affects so many of us on so many levels from a lack of social contact to a sharp decline in business opportunities.
“The f64 Lunch Bunch was created as a way for us to practice a socially distanced lunch break to talk about issues and find solutions to the trials of running a successful business in challenging times and build your network.”
Six artists/educators with a passion for the industry hosed the program. Joining Skip Cohen were Larry Becker, Scott Bourne, Steve Brazill, Don Komarechka, Robert Vanelli and Chamira Young. The diverse group covered just about every photographic specialty; they also shared ideas to help photographers through the challenges created by the Covid-19 crisis.
Special guests joining f64 Lunch Bunch included Scott Kelby, Jen Rozenbaum, Anne Geddes and Joe McNally. They discussed marketing, business, finding new revenue, partnerships and expanding skillsets.