‘Staying Open’: Video series from Jay Hynes tells the stories of businesses that survived lockdown


“Are we gonna be able to pay our bills? What’s the government gonna do?” asks Nathan Gamble of Kid Gamble Barber Shop. For small businesses everywhere, surviving the COVID-19 lockdown meant being brave, getting creative and staying open—in one way or another.


Inspired by the stories of resilience, photographer and director Jay Hynes decided to profile three business owners who were responding in different ways to the government restrictions.

Says Hynes: “Like most creatives during lockdown I wanted to use the time productively. I thought—these stories need to be shared. I can help bring them to life.”

Over four days in April, Hynes devised, directed and shot the series. Editor and gun storyteller, Jon Holmes, cut them together.

“I really wanted to investigate the human side of running a small business during the pandemic,” says Hynes, the son of a small business owner himself. “People are awesome. The different ideas they were coming up with and the way they were having a crack—it was great to see.”

Predominantly a stills photographer, Hynes also saw the personal project as an opportunity to expand his motion experience. “I wanted to challenge myself,” he says. “These people were choosing to adapt and grow and, through the process of working with them, I realised I was learning to do the same.”

“‘Staying Open’, isn’t just about keeping doors open for business,” says Hynes. “It’s about staying open to change and remaining positive.”

Director/DOP: Jay Hynes
Editor: Jon Holmes

View Jay’s website here: http://jayhynes.com/

View Jon’s website here: http://www.holmesediting.com.au/