Due to the pandemic, many photographers have had to change the way in which they work in order to sustain a living. In this series of blog posts by Redeye's Rosie Dale, we celebrate the adaptability and resiliance of the photographic community during this past year, and highlight some of those that have sucessfully altered their business models, or tried something new, to continue working during what is now the new normal of the photography industry.
Emily Marcovecchio is a photographer, podcaster, and presenter based in Cornwall. She has worked for major music labels like AWAL, and is the presenter and photographer for OBTV, a live music show which highlights the best music that Cornwall has to offer. Alongside this Emily is a creative consultant for a property firm and last year founded Noisy Women Podcast in March 2020, which hosts honest and important conversations about females working within the music industry.
Emily had planned to shoot at festivals and go on tours after graduating from Falmouth University, but this was unfortunately all cancelled due to the pandemic. Emily explains how she had to rethink her whole business model:
When I was at Uni, the one thing I was set on when finishing was a really strong festival season and being able to get on the music touring circuit with different bands. Obviously as soon as Covid hit that idea went straight out of the window. So because I’ve lost the touring, that time is now being filled with things like the podcast, different branding bits, and doing more work that is still related to music but not specifically music touring. For example I’m now a presenter on a TV style show based at The Old Bakery [a creative hub] in Truro.
The podcast, Noisy Women, started as a Uni project so it was never meant to make money. The whole idea is that there is a massive gender imbalance in the music industry so it is to help provide a space for people to come and learn more about avenues that women can go into within the music industry. It doesn’t make money streaming-wise as it takes a lot for a podcast to make money from streaming; you either need a sponsor or thousands of listeners, and I don’t have either yet. However, I released merchandise for the podcast at the end of 2020 and sold out of almost everything, meaning it made a profit.
Some of the profit I made has gone to a Cornwall based charity called She Producer, who are a production company specialising in female based production. The rest of the money has gone into paying an editor to edit the podcast, so that I can then put the time I’d normally spend editing into other work.
Aside from the podcast, I did have to take up a part time job over summer to supplement things, which I have recently left. Myself and a friend also started doing more food and lifestyle based commission work. So we work a lot with local businesses and start-ups; if they need branding and photo work we will help them out.
I think I’ve always been quite adaptable and always had quite a varied skillset – I’ve never been just a photographer. So I was never suddenly out of work, I just changed the way that I work and now do a few varied photo jobs along with the rest of the work. I’ve had to learn a lot for the podcasts. Since recording the first season I’ve now invested in a different microphone, had to re-learn how to record through Zoom and also just knowing how to talk to people through a screen; it’s much harder than in person. I think that’s a skill in itself.
Emily is planning on continuing with her current business plan, adding in some touring and gigs work when events are able to go ahead again. She is also developing her podcast Noisy Women into something new in the near future so look out for announcements on that.
Emily’s advice: I would say social media is your biggest friend. I don’t think people quite understand the power it can have. It can give you new followers, new commissions, and new print sales if you can tap into the right network and message the right people. You have to be active and gain an active audience so I’d say reach out to people and see if anyone has any opportunities; you have to make the first move.
I also think LinkedIn is really underestimated; just spend some time following new people and liking new posts and the algorithm will provide opportunities quite naturally. The same with Instagram - it can be both your best friend and biggest time consumer.
See more from Emily on her website and social media:
LinkedIn: Em Marcovecchio
And have a listen to Noisy Women here: https://www.emilyanna.net/noisywomens1