Piranha Photography - London Corporate Photographer

Local Essential West Oxford Shops Open for Business during Lockdown 3

Small shops open for business in Lockdown 3 - Oxford


Local Essential West Oxford Shops Open for Business during Lockdown 3

During this latest lockdown it became more apparent that the public are resorting to the large online retailers, rather than a local shop in the community. So, I decided to start a photography project highlighting the fact that all the independent essential businesses in the community were happy to remain open, serve customers in a safe environment and offer help, advice and a personal service.

The Story from the Shops

When chatting to the owners it became obvious that many members of the public ‘had no idea they were still open’. The opening hours would be on the website but in fairness it’s not always clear whether these hours apply during lockdown, but in all cases they did.

Each shop owner has an interesting story to tell of their experience of Covid-19 and operating in the current climate.

I spoke to Lucy, who is running Jericho Coffee Traders Roastery. She said:

 We are open for takeaway coffees and ground coffee, but often our customers don’t know the shop is still open, just with slightly reduced hours.”

Lucy is also working for a friendly doorstep theatre project with WhatNot Theatre, which she hopes will raise the morale of the local community.

The businesses Featured –

Taking the Photography on the Day

From the point of view of the photography, I had to be quick. explain why I was there clutching a camera and flash equipment, and get a representative portrait without holding up any customers or spending too long in the shop.

Newspapers like high contrast and punchier colours because of the paper stock, so I hand held an Elinchrom studio flash and bounced the light off the ceiling or even direct to get a better image. Manual focus is a challenge when the camera is held with one hand so the trick is to use an aperture of about f/5.6 and memorise the distance on the lens so that I know it will be sharp when I frame the image. This aperture means more flash is required which also increases contrast for the newspaper.

wine shop over lockdown in oxford

Press Coverage of the Photography and Local Business Story

Oxford Mail – Feature in Newspaper

We were very pleased to see that the Oxford Mail newspaper ran a double page feature using the photography and promoting the local businesses.  This will hopefully increase the trade and allow the shops to remain open long after the lockdown lifts.

A quote from the article –

The innovative idea came to light when Mr Fry noticed that a number of essential shops and cafes operating within a square mile of his home were being overlooked by locals, who may not even know they are still open.”

Oxford Local businesses feature in Oxford Mail

Oxford Daily Info – Blog Post

The Oxford Daily Info also featured coverage of the photography project and reported on all the businesses in West Oxford which are still open over lockdown.

Oxford Daily Info - blog post of West Oxford small shops photography project

Round & About Magazine – Summertown / Botley / Boars Hill

The March 2021 edition of Round & About for Summertown, Botley and Boars Hill featured Piranha Photography‘s story about local businesses operating during Lockdown in Oxford.

Round and About - Summertown, Botley and Boars Hill - Local Businesses Open during Lockdown feature with photgoraphy by Piranha


This has been a fun project and one that I have particularly enjoyed as each small shop has a different story to tell of how they serving the public. Their resourcefulness and good spirits are just what we need during this lockdown. - Douglas, Photographer