Lockdown in Portugal? Can I Take Pictures?

Today feels weird.

For an entire week we’ve been hearing that we’re going to be locked down here in Portugal for at least a month. But, it’s noon and there still hasn’t been an announcement. Moreover, the President (who is currently running for re-election) currently has picked up the virus (or has he?).

It feels weird.

It feels like we have a fixed destiny that everyone knows about, everyone is talking about, but no one is sure about.

Moreover, under Portuguese law the government can’t put the country on lockdowns that last longer than 15 days. Apparently, they will announce that they will “likely” be locked down for 30 days, with an evaluation every 15 days. I’m not sure what the legal difference is.

Can I Take Pictures During a Lockdown?

There’s a lot of debate about this on Twitter right now.

The lockdowns in most countries state that you can go outside for excersise. So a lot of people are claiming that it shouldn’t be a big deal to take your camera along for some photos while on your exercise. I mean, especially if you’re doing landscape photography where there’s no one else around.

In theory, I don’t have an issue with it.

But, I don’t wonder if there’s an ethical debate here akin to the same as taking a rock from a beach. Because, sure, if you take a rock from a beach it’s not having an impact. But, if everyone goes to the beach and takes a rock, it would be an environmental disaster.

It’s one of those things that likely doesn’t harm anyone, but if everyone did, it might.

What About Photography for Work?

The other comment a lot of people have mentioned is that lockdown rules around the world usually state something like “you must work from home unless physically impossible”.

Of course, you can’t really do landscape or travel photography from your apartment.

In fact, I personally know a couple travel and landscape photographers in the UK who are loving lockdown life because there’s no one at the locations that are packed with hobby photographers.

It’s the same argument that merits professional football players being allowed to train and play games, but not amateurs.

I honestly don’t have an opinion on this. I think it would be very easy for anyone to claim to be a professional photographer and then get around restrictions. That said, if you have press credentials I think you’d be fine to do so.

Can I do Photography in Portugal During Lockdown?

I’m actually in a trickier situation than most here.

I definitely can’t claim to be “working” since I don’t have a work visa. I’m not a resident yet, either. My residency meeting is supposed to be January 22nd, but will almost definitely get delayed.

Even if I could. I’m not really sure I could claim that my photography is essential to my work. Therefore my short answer is no. I don’t think I can legally do photography – outside of our apartment – during lockdown.

That said, I will potentially stroll out with my camera on our excersise walks.

So, What Happens to Your “Work”?

Lockdown definitely hurts my YouTube channel’s content. In fact, I’m really kicking myself for not doing more photo trips while we were free to do so. I could have built a nice backlog of videos ready to edit and work on during lockdown. But, alas, I’m not that clever.

I think that there will be some content. I’m going to try to do some editing tutorials, and I might do a live video with zoom as well.

But, I also think I might try a couple daily vlogs. Or even a week of daily vlogs, just to try to keep things interesting – and to keep myself busy.

I have also started publishing podcasts as well. I think I’m going to try to do daily updates on the podcast during lockdown. We’ll see.

What About the Coffee Shop?

If you’ve been following pretty closely on our move here to Portugal, you’ll know that Jodie and I have opened a new business. We’re working to get this coffee shop and gallery open for the start of February – lockdown dependent.

According to the last rules of lockdown in Portugal – back in March and April, 2020 – construction was allowed. So, in theory I should be able to come here and get things ready to go for when we do come out of lockdown.

Jodie and I are also talking about potentially opening the front window and doing takeaway snacks and coffee. But, we still have a couple things we need to do to make that happen.

Can’t Wait for Normal.

If 2020 was a disaster, 2021 just feels weird.

I think the thing about 2020 is that we all knew it was a write-off. We all knew that things weren’t going to go back to normal.

But when the calendar ticked over to 2021 we all had hope. I think we all still have hope. It feels like we’re on this epic hike and every corner we turn we’re expecting to see the peak. But, every corner so far, we’ve only seen more hill.

I know we’re going to see that peak pretty soon.