March 30th, the day the UK went into Lockdown. No work, no shopping, no seeing family or friends. We were in the peak of a global pandemic and we’re still in it…

For some people this was a nightmare, for others it gave them an open window (not literally of course) to a world of creativity they always had but lost. Over the years I found that I had fallen in to the dark whole that is… well, the same as everybody else. My photography and content became lack lustre, I lost the personality I once had in photos and to be honest, I just stopped enjoying it. I became the same as the 100 million other content creators or “influencers” on social media, I blended in to the background and I hated that.

The fact that I was locked in my house for “the foreseeable” meant that I really had no choice but to work on myself again and find the reason that I started. So I began to experiment within the confides of my own small home. I didn’t have any other locations but the rooms in my house and that in itself is a challenge. But then I realised, that’s exactly what I needed… I needed a challenge to wake me the fuck up and remember why I started doing this in the first place.

I don’t have all the props, the fancy backdrops or the professional lighting but what I do have is the creative mind and ideas that had been locked away for years. What happened next was weeks and weeks of hard work to create something new and different, to learn new skills and push myself to create unique work. Fast forward 10+ weeks and I can look back at what I’ve created with love. I have created some of my best ever work that I am beyond proud of and all whilst been at home.

I started to gain followers and recognition again, peers, clients and brands were contacting me again, telling me “your content right now is fire” or “Don’t think it hasn’t gone unnoticed” and that has meant the world to me. I remembered why I’m doing this again, BECAUSE I LOVE IT.

It mean’s so much more to me when the work I create means something to people and when brands genuinely love what I create. It gives the content depth and tells more of a story, giving it meaning and is different in all the right ways.

It’s easy to fall into a mundane and repetitive hole in any part of our life, not just the creative aspect of it. I’ve realised that its challenges that make you grow and ultimately achieve more in the long run. Lockdown although has been cruel to the hugely important social side to our lives, it’s in place for good reason.

I just want to be able to say when we go back to the new normal that I used the time wisely to grow and to better myself to take on more opportunities and believe in myself more. Self-doubt is an awfully destructive demon so when you receive praise from the people that matter on a job you’ve worked so hard on, it quite literally means the world.

I’ve pushed myself harder than ever when it comes to video content. I am much more comfortable working behind and in front of the camera when it is for still images. Video’s on the other hand is a whole other game to me. But I’ve put myself out of my comfort zone, created a YouTube channel and gained over 10 THOUSAND followers on TikTok in 10 weeks. Its ridiculous to think what you can do when you let yourself.

I am not saying this from a narcissistic “oh look what I’ve done” point of view but I want you to believe more in whatever it is you are good at. By no means has this been easy either. I’ve struggled on many days even to want to create and do anything at all. My mind isn’t always the clearest but if you don’t admit it to yourself and try work beyond that mind set then believe me you’ll just remain stagnent.

I want you to use this time for the same reason I have because I could quite easily have sat on my arse and watched day time TV all day every day. But you know what, even if sitting down and watching TV is your thing then enjoy it! If that’s your thing and now you’ve actually got the time to take a break from your usual busy and hectic lifestyle then go right ahead, give your mind and soul a rest… that in itself is bettering yourself.

I guess all I’m saying is there is no pressure but use this time to become a better you. It’s all in us and you can do it if you conquer the self-doubt demon and learn. If you’ve read this far I really appreciate it. Thank you for taking time out of your day, it means the world. Below are my most active social links and I would love it if you would like to support my journey.

Tom Sheard – Youtube

Tom Sheard Tik Tok.

Tom Sheard – Instagram

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