With stay at home and quarantine orders going up all over the world, everyone is starting to get a little cabin fever. Every photographer might feel a bit limited by the COVID19 policies since most of our time is spent indoors. Businesses of every description are scratching their heads, looking for ways to work from home to keep their businesses afloat during these difficult times.
The most important thing to remember is that this doesn't have to be wasted time. It's a chance to think creatively and look for opportunities that we might not usually have time to take advantage of.
If you're a professional photographer, use the time to work on your business. If you aren't a business owner, then look at it as the perfect time to take on a personal project. Here are ten ways to keep focused on your photography while you're in lockdown.
10 Things for Photographers To Do While in Covid-19 Lockdown
1.Do All the Business Stuff that You've Been Putting Off
While every business owner feels the same pinch, artists like photographers know it all too well. We got into doing this because we love photography, not the business. And while COVID19 might but a dent in your earnings, that doesn't mean that it has to be lost time. Use this time to do all the things you've been procrastinating, also you can explore how other businesses are adapting to it. Can you imagine a better time to work on your taxes or update your social media presence? Here is an article on 12 social-media strategies you can implement to grow your business. If you're unable to be out shooting, you might as well set your business up for future success.
You can also spend some time redoubling your marketing efforts. Put together a list of previous clients that you can reach out to for future gigs. Spend some time increasing your online footprint by joining a new social network or forum. We had put together a list of top 25 Online Photography Communities and Forums for Photographers. If you aren't already on LinkedIn, consider joining to meet other photographers in your area. You might want to read our article on top eCommerce marketing strategies for your business.
Governments are working overtime to offset the financial burden of the coronavirus, especially for small business owners. You'd be remiss not to research the latest tax breaks and incentives. Every bit helps, and maybe you'll even discover a new deduction or rebate that you can use.
2.Improve your Online Presence
Use your stay at home time to put together an entirely new blog, YouTube channel, or portfolio website. Make sure that the portfolio website builder you choose offers the flexibility, features, and ease-of-use you need to put together a professional portfolio website without requiring any coding knowledge.
Pixpa is a portfolio website builder platform that is trusted by creative pros around the world. Have a look at some stunning portfolio website examples. Pixpa offers an easy yet powerful drag-and-drop website builder and includes Client galleries, eCommerce, and blogging tools to enable you to manage your complete online presence through one seamless platform. Explore all features that make Pixpa the perfect choice for creative professionals such as photographers, artists, designers, and others.
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Another thing you can do is find an online forum or Facebook group that you can participate in with like-minded people. Write a guest post for your favorite blog. Do check out our article on 30 blogs you must follow as a photographer, which will give you all the tips and techniques for successful photography blogging.
Have you ever wanted to branch your business out into a new specialty or nichÃ©? You can add a section to your website or even work on optimizing your portfolio for a new audience. Go through your old photos and add in more examples for new projects. For instance, wedding photographers might want to work more on family portraits or newborn photography. There's probably a baby boom coming, right?
There are many ways to drive traffic to your website or to increase your name recognition. Spend some time on optimizing your online portfolio for search engines. Here is a checklist on how to optimize your website for SEO. You could even work with Facebook marketing or Google Adwords. Most of these chores are pretty time-intensive, so now is the perfect time to put in the effort. Consider these activities an investment in your future, since they don't pay upfront but rather in future sales.
3. Work on a Fun Personal Project
All this unlimited time working on business stuff is probably going to become wearing. So as not to lose focus on the fun and creative aspects of photography, why not work on a personal project? Maybe you've wanted to do some editing of your last vacation photo sets, or maybe you've wanted to do a still life shoot in your living room. Whatever the project is, exercise those creative muscles and make some art.
4. Find Ways to Make Money Online
Many people work remotely all over the world. Photographers have many useful skills that businesses and people are always looking for. In this initial phase of the lockdown, businesses like yours are working to improve their websites and online marketing. That might present an opportunity for you if you play your cards right.
For example, check out online freelancing marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork. These sites allow you to post a profile and market your services. They are highly competitive, so don't expect big money. The good news, though, is that most of the freelancers that dominate these sites are beginners. If you are a professional with an established business presence and a strong portfolio, you will stand above the crowd and will be able to charge premium prices. Read here on tips to create a winning portfolio website.
So what freelancing opportunities are out there? Think outside of the box and look at the things you do well. Actual photography jobs are few and far between. You might find some product photography requests or other things that can be outsourced online. The better tack to take might be to offer editing, graphic design services, or web design. Take a serious look at your skillset and then see what sort of gigs are available online. There's never been a better time to try!
5. Clean Up Your Life
Yes, you should wash your hands often and for at least twenty seconds. But what about the other parts of your life that have gotten a little messy over the years? Many photographers have hard drive after hard drive piled up with thousands of photos. Organizing, keywording, and archiving often get put on the back burner. Here are top 35 photo apps that are worth your while and can help you save time and give great results on-the-go. Also, have a look at our list of the 25 top Photo Organising Software that will help you streamline your workflow.
For that matter, when was the last time you backed up your work? Maybe it's time to look into some better cloud storage solutions to make sure your newly tidied photo catalog is safe forever.
6. Learn a New Skill
Online learning is taking off right now. Most school districts and universities have closed their campuses and sent their students and professors home to work online. Online courses are nothing new, but what is new is the amount of time we have to use them.
Dozens of websites offer online courses for photographers. You can learn anything from a new lighting setup to business law matters. There're a wide variety of websites that offer free classes, and many offer unlimited courses with a monthly subscription fee. Don't immediately balk at the cost of these courses, since it is a business expense and will likely pay for itself in future opportunities.
You can also use the time to learn something small that will be of value to you later. What a perfect time to use your camera in a new way! Find a setting you don't ever use and start using it. Try shooting some stills lifes around the house, or try your hand at macro photography. Learn how to create Lightroom presets for desktop and mobile. We hope our article on top Lightroom presets will help you find the best one that works for you and saves time.
Play with different light sources, like using your strobes or window lighting. Imitate your favorite artists, or even participate in an online photo challenge.
7. Stay Mentally Fit
A lot of folks are having a tough time coping with this new way of life. Never before have our movements been so limited, and never before have we spent so much time at home. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the lockdown could be a recipe for depression and feelings of isolation.
Staying positive is always crucial, especially in difficult times. Avoid obsessing over the constant news coverage and the doom and gloom. Reframe the forced isolation time from "being stuck at home" to "finally having time to do…" In short, don't lose focus on your mental health and try to stay as close to your regular daily routine as possible.
8. Get Some Sunlight
While many restaurants, bars, and public gathering spots are closed, there are plenty of parks and green spaces available where you can spend some time in nature. Get outdoors, get some exercise, and take your camera with you. Even though the businesses are shut down, most localities will allow you to walk. Just remember, maintain social distancing and personal safety protocols recommended by the Center for Disease Control.
9–Spend Some Quality Time with Your Family
Not everything we do during this time revolves around photography. It's a great time to be close to your family and loved ones. How often do we complain that we don't have enough time to spend with the ones we love? Well, now we have the time. Even if we aren't in the same household, video chat and online meeting platforms like Zoom can get us all together more often than we are normally able to.
If you're in the same household, it's an excellent time for some photo fun too. Family portraits, selfies, and pet photos are a great way to pass the time. If they're old enough, teach your kids how to be a better photographer. It's a great time just to enjoy one another's company and have some general fun with a camera. Enjoy the break from the rat race for once.
10.Find Some New Inspiration
The internet is busting with people's creative expressions. Use your new-found time to get inspired for a new project, or to find a new way to do what you already do better. Browse through photo-sharing sites like Instagram and 500px.com to find images that awe. Start a digital scrapbook of things that catch your eye and techniques you'd like to try out. Then research online and find blogs or articles to help you figure out how it's done.
You could also find a photography documentary on your favorite streaming service. Or a book to download from your local library. It's also a great time to research the latest industry trends, like new cameras and new business tactics. Flip through the latest issues and websites of your favorite photography books, magazines and trade publications. Learning photography from books by master photographers gives you direct access to professional techniques and tricks that the pros have developed over their careers. Here is a list of 35 awe-inspiring Photography Books.
No one likes the feeling of being trapped inside for days or weeks at a time. Setting up some routine and creating a new normal is a good way to keep yourself productive. There is no reason to stop personal growth or to stagnate during the COVID19 pandemic, so use your isolation time for a productive purpose. Set up a daily schedule, and if you don't have one already, make a home office. Having a dedicated space where you "go to work" helps keep you on task. Continue growing your business online, or just use the time for professional development as you learn new skills. The world is changing fast, so when the stay at home orders are lifted, be ready to dive into the challenge!