17 Apr A Photography Renaissance During The COVID-19 Pandemic
How to Stay Busy As a Photographer Amid The Coronavirus
The year is 2020, April 17 and I’ve lost track of how many days we’ve been in social distancing mode. I miss clicking the shutter button and interacting with my clients. But I don’t miss putting on pants, just yet.
The field work part of photography is on hold due to the stay-at-home order in our county, as we have been dubbed a “non-essential” service. That’s fine and I’ll do my part to stop the spread and flatten the curve. But it does suck!
Some photographers are still out there stealthily shooting under the radar or conducting “porch” sessions. Although, it is in our nature as freelancers to be creative and do anything for our next paycheck, I would urge everyone to stay home as much as possible. Plus, I wouldn’t want anyone to be caught by a nosy neighbor or drive-by police officer and risk paying a fine or even worse, have your business totally shut down. That’s why my business is currently on hold for shoots in the coming weeks.
Luckily some photographers are using their creativity in a safer way by staying home and conducting virtual photoshoots, taking self portraits, conducting product photography, catching up on editing, or learning new techniques. Heck, I even started blogging. Look at me!
Photography outside our home may be on pause for a while, but photography certainly isn’t dead during the COVID-19 pandemic!
Really itching to get behind the camera? Some photographers have had great success with conducting Skype sessions and either screenshotting the phone or using their camera on the screen. It’s not the most ideal or best quality photo, but if you want to try a rustic, grainy style, then this could be a great opportunity to get creative.
Here’s a great example/how-to video:
Self-Portrait Mode Activated
For lots of photographers, it isn’t quite often that we are on the other side of the lens. That’s why this self-isolation could be incredibly productive and fun if you decide to do a little self-portrait shoot. Take a new headshot or put on a cute outfit! Set the camera to self-timer or use a shutter button and go crazy. You’ll probably be so happy with the results once you get a hang of it and you’ll be feeling like a star!
Pro tip: Unless you’re shooting on a large aperture, have someone stand on the mark and focus your lens automatically, then switch to manual so it doesn’t move. If you don’t have anyone else, try placing some objects.
I’ve had so much fun with the last two self-portrait sessions I did! One even with my iPhone and a tripod. Proving once again, it’s not the gear that makes us great!
Try Product Photography
If you’re not one to be in front of the camera at all, try your hand at some product photography. Knowing how to best light and display products can be an awesome skill that leads to more jobs right now! There are plenty of tutorials that you can find for free on the internet and you can get started easily with minimal gear.
Even if you don’t want to make it your career, the photos will look great in your portfolio and you can have fun shooting!
Catch Up On Work
Us photographers are notorious for having piled up edits, whether it be for clients, TFP shoots, or our own personal projects. Now is the perfect time to pull out that hard drive and get to editing. No photo should go unedited or undelivered!
You can also take this time to catch up on other business related tasks like updating your website, blogging, selling stock photos, sending emails, posting to social media, etc! If you’re a small business owner like me, it’s kind of a relief to be able to sit down, take a breath, and catch up on everything that has been haunting me.
If you need more ideas on how to “catch up on work,” make some side money, or prepare your business for post-quarantine life, I would watch these two videos!
Remember that photography is a long-game and not a get-rich-quick industry. But there is plenty of profit to be made with the right work put in.
Learn Something New
If none of these photography tasks jumped out at you, then at minimum you should learn something new! Creators love to put out free tutorials, podcasts, and learning courses that you can benefit from. If you’re not sure what to learn yet, take your search to the free stuff like YouTube. But if you know what you want to learn already, I would argue that the best places to start are the ones you pay for like SkillShare or my favorite, local photographer’s courses.
If you can support a photographer at this time, you should! Many are having deals on their courses to make a little extra cash during this time. Pick your favorite and go, go, go!
Photography isn’t dead and I hope it won’t ever be! Now is the time for a photography renaissance. We should all come out of this pandemic hungry for creation, better versions of ourselves, and with some bomb profile pictures!
In the meantime, stay tuned for more photography tips.