It’s more than a month that all Italy and half of the world have to live in forced quarantine, which means not only that all commercial activities, schools and public places are closed, but also all offices and agencies. We have all learned what the word lockdown means and suddenly everyone has become an expert on MES, European bonds and new Marshall plans. Everybody talks about them on the phone with friends, from the balcony with the neighbours and now we are addicted to all the evening TV broadcasts about Covid-19.
Faced with such an unpredictable and surreal situation (who would have imagined a global epidemic in 2020?), the Italians must stay at home 24 hours a day with no way out. The only exception is a “mission” to the supermarket, which became less enjoyable over the weeks because of the long waiting lines and the inconvenience of wearing masks and gloves (another favourite topic on the phone calls).
And so, among bored children to manage, the culinary enthusiasm of the first days that dampened by the constant scarcity of yeast and flour in the supermarkets, and various attempts to transform the endless skype calls into smart working modality with colleagues, customers, suppliers, not to mention the emails overflow (with the result that everything is less smart and more boring), we as Photofoyer team also had to adapt to the forced quarantine and manage the work in a different way.
Being a photographic agency with a digital archive management, in finding a new way to organize ourselves we started immediately with a great advantage, despite we are all working from home. We are able to work and easily maintain contacts both with photographers and with all the magazines in the world we collaborate with. Of course, “there is no direct relationship with the editorial offices”, as Roberta who follows a part of the Italian market says, “and consequently the human value of sharing ideas and opinions is missing. But thanks to technology we can get around this limit and continue to sell images and stories answering to the requests of the magazines”.
“We produce and sell interior and architecture images with Photofoyer, and entertainment and news images with IPA“, explains Marco, who plans commercial strategies for corporate customers. “In situations like this of forced quarantine at home, people need to have informations and inspirations, they have more time to read magazines and check websites. That’s why ours is a sector that knows no crisis”. Indeed, the media and online industries have seen record numbers in recent weeks.
“As Photofoyer we represent a big portfolio of the best photographers in the world,” explains Valentino, head manager of the agency, “but we also produce new images and organize shootings, developed by our production team. For obvious reasons in recent weeks we have had to stop the production of new shoots, but from our photographers we receive many new images every day to sell. And this is due to the fact that also our photographers are in quarantine at home, with more time for post-production of the last shootings they had taken before the lockdown“.
Fulvia and Ola of the Photofoyer sales department also had to juggle organizing their work from home. They managed to optimize working times, conquering new market sectors, and keeping contacts with the magazines of the countries we always work with.
Another consequence of working from home? Irene, founder and editorial manager, explains it well: “the relationship between Photofoyer and our photographers has intensified even more, and today they see us as an important reference point for a wider contact with all magazines and media”.
And so in the silence of a Milan that seems deserted, between video calls with the whole team and a lot of new images and shootings from our photographers to sell, we as Photofoyer agency also manage the quarantine limits in the most efficient way possible. And in the free time we can also enjoy our children and families, finally make that online yoga course and share the best recipes for making bread. Fulvia and Ola became very good on baking: we hope that their production will continue when we return to work in the office.
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