Coronavirus stories: Florida couple keeps business alive with FaceTime photoshoots

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida couple who owns a photography business got creative and turned to technology when coronavirus threatened their business.

Across the country, people are seeing all things virtual; meetings, parties, dance classes, you name it. With social distancing orders forcing some businesses to close down, many business owners are getting creative. That was the case for Kareem and Sandy Virgo.

“We went from working everyday, to oh my goodness, all of our shoots through June have been postponed,” Sandy said.

The couple owns Reem Photography based in Delray Beach, Florida. Coronavirus forced the couple to get creative when all of those shoots got canceled.

“I was like why don’t we test the photos out, let’s see how they look” Sandy said. “He [Kareem] had no idea what I was talking about he thought I was crazy,” she said. “I was like what?” Kareem added.

Sandy came up with the unique idea to do virtual photo shoots through FaceTime.

“We tried it out with some of our friends first and not only did it work, but it was fun,” Sandy said.

Kareem directs the clients during their FaceTime photoshoot.

“It’s a new challenge now to tell them where I want them to put the phone, where I want them to stand,” Kareem said. “We have them try all sorts of stuff and it’s not just selfies. They put the camera down, up and we try to make it mirror a normal photo shoot.”

After a few shoots, Kareem posted the work on Instagram. The couple immediately went viral on social media.

Kareem’s post gains thousands of likes after him and his wife publicize their virtual photo shoot idea.
Hundreds of thousands of people react to Kareem and Sandy’s virtual photo shoot on the popular blog site, The Shade Room.

“We did not expect this whatsoever,” Sandy said.

Not to mention, the couple are doing these photo shoots for free.

“To see the smiles on our clients faces whose shoots were originally canceled make this all worthwhile,” Kareem said.

What started as a crazy idea is now bringing hope to many across the country.

“We originally didn’t put a price tag on this,” Kareem said. “For people to be inspired and feel motivated they can do something through this is amazing. For any other photographer out there, I say just do it. Don’t be afraid. You never the know the impact you will make.”

Kareem and Sandy are now booked and busy. They have already completed 50 virtual shoots and have 450 booked through the month of June. Kareem and Sandy say couples and people in Tampa Bay have booked virtual photo shoots as well. June is their cutoff month for virtual shoots and they are completely booked. For more information on the couple’s business, click here.

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