WHITEHORSE - Yukon photographers uncover niche business opportunity amid pandemic
Whitehorse photographer Jeff Bursley says it started as a joke, but it turns out lots of people want a fitting memento of COVID-19. (Photo: Jeff Bursley)
As businesses across Canada seek new ways to earn revenue, a group of Yukon photographers has turned a global pandemic into a profitable opportunity.
"I read that sales of alcohol are up 55% since Coronavirus came to town" said Jeff Bursley, a freelance photographer based in Whitehorse. "It hit me that alcohol was the only way people could survive self-isolation and physical distancing. I figured some people might want a fitting memento of this time."
"It hit me that alcohol was the only way people could survive self-isolation and physical distancing." - Jeff Bursley, freelance photographer
Bursley said he initially offered the service to a few friends and it took off from there. The service has proved so popular that photographers across Yukon are now being asked to snap alcohol supplies in people's homes.
For Dawson City event photographer Katie Ford, alcohol photography has given her business the lifeline it needs. "I lost a half-year of bookings in the space of a week" said Ford. "I honestly thought my business was dead but now I can't keep up with the demand."
Photographers are able to get around COVID-19 precautions by taking bookings and payment over the phone. A time is organized for the occupants of the home to leave, allowing the photographer to enter.
"It's ideal" Ford explained. "Most clients are too drunk to drive and we are able to bring this service right to their door."
"Most clients are too drunk to drive and we are able to bring this service right to their door." - Katie Ford, event photographer
Callum Jonson has been in self-isolation with his wife and three children since March 20. The family was photographed by Bursely in their Riverdale home on Wednesday morning.
"We want to be able to look back at this time and remember it for what it was" said Jonson, as he poured white wine into his breakfast cereal. "Because right now, I can't remember what I did yesterday."