As we know Coronavirus has affected our photography business a lot and it will put your photography business down if you let it. This quarantine time sure is a hard time for everyone. But this does not mean there is no Ray Of Hope. Your photography business has suffered a lot and will suffer if you do not act now. You need to fight back in your photography game. Fight harder till you win and you will win. Motivating each other and even helping them any way you can, makes our photography community stronger.
Everyone has some story to tell – Here is mine
Some of you already know me, and some don’t. Well, I am Varun Patel, a fashion photographer based in Ahmedabad India. As I said I will share my story of pre and post-pandemic, here it is.
Before all these coronavirus lockdowns happened, I was building my new studio. It was almost ready and we were about to do a studio warming party. It got announced that there will be a self curfew for a day, and things started from there.
All my work stopped, my clients, students, and everyone was on hold. And I never knew this was beginning of a very long lockdown. During the lockdown the payments to be made were still due, but I did give the payments to all those agencies who asked for it even during the lockdown. But the earning has been stopped. And till today, lockdown is on and the situation is the same. Well I see this time as my self-improvement time. I am sure businesses will start again soon and we all will start our earnings.
Still waiting for the lockdown to get over, and start the photography business on routine. I have realized that I sure will need some change in my workflow and style of doing business. Trust me it is not just me, all you great photographers out there will need to adopt this.
I believe that this lockdown should not stop us from being creative. It should not stop our dream. We need to and we will fight back and here are some ways you can prepare your self during the lockdown.
AS A PHOTOGRAPHER WHAT TO DO DURING LOCKDOWN
Manage your old data and reorganize for better
It will make you find your images easily. You will know what data you do not require, so you can free up space on your drives. Your organized folders will be a big help when you need your old data for presentation. Always have a backup of your backup.
Start improving your photography and editing skills
Use your time for improving your skills with some online courses. If you are weak shooting with flashes, check out some online tutorials. Here is something which might interest you. Indoor-outdoor lighting setups diagrams. Even I have put up a free source to help you all learn with my BTS images. Clear your doubts by asking your questions. Especially to help you all ask your photography-related questions, we have a Free Helpline. Use it and ask you any number of photography-related questions online.
Start with a very new approach to your retouching. Try to learn new ways to improve your photoshop skills with some online professional retouching courses. I have a great professional retouching course if you are interested in learning. DURING THE LOCKDOWN MY BELOW GIVEN COURSE IS AVAILABLE ON 50% DISCOUNTED PRICE.
Start learning about business strategies
Invest your time learning about how you can find more clients. Have some feedback from your old clients and start improving accordingly. The more you spend on this topic will make your job easier later. Improvise your portfolio and keep it ready for presentation.
Paid marketing for your photography business
Game changer for marketing your photography business. We all know nowadays social media marketing is available. It has been a reason for success for many businesses. So learn and understand it if you are not doing it. It will surely change the game for you.
Relax and clear your mind
Not all the points are about your business. Your self requires more attention than your business. So give some time to your self, and your soul. Use some breathing techniques. They will help you reduce stress and clear your mind. A clear mind will help you focus and you will end up being more productive.
Stay creative during quarantine
Staying creative during quarantine is very important. Few ways you can do this are, Online shoots, Shooting for personal portfolio, Retouching old work with different styles.
Update your gears
Your camera, software and even lighting systems require updates. Download and install all new drivers for your gears. Updating will give you all new functionalities and will make your gears work seamlessly.
Know your gears
I know many photographers who own great gears. But what they do not know is how to operate them with 100% potential. So now is the time you change that. Open the user manual and start learning about your gears.
Maintain your gears
We normally never give a good time to clean the gears, especially when we are shooting on a regular basis. Clean your lenses, camera bodies, and even your lights. Recharge all the batteries to full. Remove and keep your cards in safe cases.
Make content from home
If you are some content creator, you do not have to wait to go to your studio. Start making your content from home, as people are interested in your content not from where you are making one.
PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS AFTER LOCKDOWN – Changes you need
The photography business after lockdown is never going to be the same as before. We as human beings have been adopting the changes for years. Adopting change will sure keep you in the business. And if you adopt the change you sure do not have to fear the post-pandemic business situations.
IMPORTANT: Before I start discussing this further. I have a request which concerns all the photographers and clients out there. After the lockdown when everyone is going to restart their business, RELEASING THE PAYMENTS on time will be one of the biggest factors for the economy and businesses. If you will pay to people on time, they will be able to pay other people on time, and that way the rotation will start slowly and smoothly. If you stop your payment, please keep in mind it is a circle and that will affect someone who was supposed to pay you, but now he will not be able to as he did not receive it from another person. DO NOT HOLD YOUR PAYMENTS.
Changing the way you work
After lockdown shoots are not going to be the same as before lockdown. You need to change the way you were working. Maintaining social distancing would be important in your photography business after lockdown. Hand sanitizers are going to be the most important part of your camera bag. Rather than welcome hugs you need to adopt INDIAN NAMASTE, which sure is cool.
Seems easy to follow right but when we are working as photographers. We have our focus on so many things like lights, models, and much more so practicing the social distancing and hygiene habits is going to take a little longer.
Lets meet for business talk
Yesterday itself one of my clients told me. We will meet after the lockdown to discuss the business. Well ya we definitely will meet but let’s do it online. There are many online meeting software such as GOOGLE MEET which can help you conduct live meetings online. So if it is something you can discuss online, you need to start doing it online.
Now is a good time to go for cashless transactions. Using cash might spread the virus and thus we should go for online transactions. No cheques, no cash simply transfer in the accounts directly.
Sanitize your space
Before and after your shoots, do sanitize your studio space. From Equipment, floor, gears, and everything. I know it sounds time-consuming process to sanitize. But at the same time, it is important as well.
Go advance in your photography business
I have been shooting tethered online for years. So my clients who are sitting in the USA or Australia or any other country can see my shoot results live. So when I shoot an image, it at the same moment shows up on their respective screens, no matter in which country they are.
Now is your time to go advance, there are many hardware and software which can help you do this. You might need a good understanding of networking or need to use paid software or expensive hardware to do this online tethering. But it is worth to spend.
This way you are keeping yourself and your clients safe.
Present your shoots online to your clients. Rather than sending a Pendrive use websites like wetransfer or apps like google drive, dropbox and much more to send a big chunk of data to your clients.
By changing your workflow and operating styles of your photography business after lockdown, you can fight back against this crisis and rise again.
So stay healthy and strong and use this quarantine time to your advantage. It’s going to be tough, but we’re all in the same boat, so let’s try and stay positive. Remember everything has a happy ending, if you are not happy it is not your end.
Do you have any tips to remain productive as a photographer during a lockdown? We would love your view about them so please share them in the comments below!