OPPO, a leading global smartphone brand, has today revealed that friends come first for Brits this Valentine’s Day. Nearly eight in ten (78%) will miss friends and family most on the day, compared to just 10% who said their partners, according to new research. 

After more than 7,300 hours of lockdown, it’s close friends that have missed connecting the most. Singletons will find it even lonelier this year with only 23% able to safely see their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. But this year it isn’t just about romance — as a nation, more than three-quarters (79%) of Brits would prefer to reconnect with friends or family, rather than on a [virtual] date. 

To celebrate the people in our lives we can’t be with this February, OPPO has teamed up with acclaimed celebrity photographer Pixie Levinson to spread the love and create digital memories. Six lucky entrants from across the UK have won a remote photoshoot with Pixie, who will edit their special person in for a quirky celebration this Valentine’s Day. 

A majority of Brits haven’t been able to be with friends and family since before Christmas 2020 so through social media, video or phone calls, our tech kept us connected and enabled us to create digital memories. Nearly half (49%) of those surveyed, whether in a relationship or single, feel more positive about technology now than they did before the pandemic. 

Fashion photographer and creative director, Pixie Levinson says, “I got on board with this project because I adored the idea of finding different ways to celebrate and be with the people we love this Valentine’s. Connecting with lucky couples, from long distance relationships, to best friends and family members, hearing their stories and capturing them remotely through a smartphone lens has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience. I can’t wait to share our alternative Valentine’s portraits.”

Shannon Gallacher, 26, from Banstead, one of OPPO’s competition winners, was captured by Pixie on a remote photoshoot, with her best friend, Katie Gould, 32, from Epsom. Shannon commented, “It’s been really hard not seeing Katie. Although we speak every day, it’s not the same. This photoshoot really brought us together – it was so much fun! While we can’t celebrate as we normally would — with a long lunch and cocktails — I’ll have great memories this year with the portrait from the shoot!” 

To celebrate Valentine’s this year, Pixie suggests creating digital memories with a photoshoot party. Tips include: 

  1. Set your smartphone camera to RAW mode, giving you greater creative control. Why not try a low shutter speed with combined flash to capture dynamic images. 
  2. Enjoy yourself – photography is fun, so play with camera effects, get dressed up (outfit, make-up, hair) and change up your shooting space!  
  3. Own the night – use Night Mode on the OPPO Reno4 Pro to snap incredible low-light shots. 
  4. Experiment with multiple lenses — the Reno4 Pro has a 16mm ultra-wide lens to snap fun indoor pics. 
  5. Get creative – experiment with movement and have fun capturing Valentine’s evening memories.