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Another industry hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis has been photographers. Shannon Rivera is a Reading based photographer and owner of Through My Lenz Photography. She has been in business for 7 years, and not only is she passionate about helping families capture special moments, she’s also passionate about the role of small business in our communities. Read her interview to learn more!

What is the name of your business and where is it located?
Through My Lenz Photography located at 235 Haven Street in Reading.

What is your name and what town do you live in?
My name is Shannon Rivera and I live in Reading with my husband and two kids (2 & 16 years old).

What type of goods or services do you provide?
Photography. I specialize in photographing newborns, family and children.

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How long have you been in business?
7 years

Why did you choose to open a business on the North Shore?
I was born and raised on the North Shore. I love my community and giving back to it!

How has the COVID-19 crisis impacted your business?
The unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic has forced me to temporarily close the doors to my studio and in order to practice social distancing I’ve also had to stop all scheduled sessions.

As a small business owner I can tell you that most small businesses keep their doors open because of the love and loyalty we have for our clients. All the money, tears, commitment, and hard work that goes into opening a small business is overlooked by most and understandably so. We appreciate our loyal clients beyond words and could never thank them enough for their support and commitment to making our dreams a reality.

Unfortunately, when things happen, like what is happening now, it effects our business in a huge way, and in some ways it’s irreversible. Businesses like my own are tiny in such a big corporate world, and we take the hardest hits when we can’t conduct business as usual. For me, I rely on my sessions to pay the studio rent and without sessions, I’m finding it difficult.

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How have you adapted the goods or services you sell during this pandemic?
I’m offering operation #INTHISTOGETHER2020. This is very similar to the front porch sessions you may have seen on Facebook and Instagram. I provide a 10 minute session at people’s homes on their front steps, front yard, or back yard, as long as there is enough distance between myself and the clients to follow social distancing rules. These sessions are provided at no cost to clients, I only request that they support a local small business such as mine or one in the community, by purchasing a gift card or whatever they may be offering.

To schedule a time for a session you may contact me by email at shannon@throughmylenz.com, phone at 781-315-9493 or via Facebook Messenger.

What is one way that the moms (or all residents) can help your business survive during this difficult time?
Local residents and moms can support my business by purchasing gift certificates for future sessions. Also by following and engaging with my business on social media at @shannon_rivera_tml on Instagram and @Throughmylenz.com.srivera on Facebook.

We need to support each other. Without our small businesses where would we be? The world is so impersonal, if we lose the small businesses in our community, we lose a lot more than a photo studio, or a gym, or a local boutique; we lose friendships, support systems, and so much more. Please continue to support local small businesses in anyway you can!

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Name another business that could benefit from the support of the North Shore Moms community.
Domenic Patrick Hair Artistry – Natasa Murphy

On a lighter note, name one fun or relaxing way you are using your time at home during this crisis.
I’m doing lots of painting and baking with my 2 year old daughter and exercise with my 16 year old son.

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