It’s a scary time for both wedding and lifestyle photographers. While clients are postponing, opting for a small elopement or just straight up canceling their weddings, photographers have to adapt to the changing situations where we can no longer be in physical contact with our clients. The photography community feels more divided than ever, with photographers publicly shaming those who decide to continue to shoot while others dangerously put themselves at risk by continuing to do sessions as the virus spreads in highly populated areas.

There’s no doubt about it: this is a terrible situation to be in. But as a business owner you can see this as both a devastating turn of events AND an opportunity for a reset, to work on things you never had time to work on and to get back to your values as a photographer and human. Read on for a list of things to do during this what feels like never-ending social distancing period.

  1. Communicate with your clients. We aren’t the only ones freaking out- our clients are too, especially our Spring and Summer wedding couples. If you haven’t sent an email to your 2020 Spring and Summer clients, NOW is the time to do so. It’s important to let them know you have their back and are on their side, and they need to know what their options are (whether they are looking to postpone, downsize their wedding or cancel altogether).

  2. Look over your website on both a mobile device, tablet (if you have one) and computer. Take stock- is your website eye-catching, informational, accurate, accessible? I’m like anyone else- my blog can sometimes be lagging behind, I always have a backlog of sessions I need to post. Now more than ever is a great time to throw things up on the blog so that followers and potential clients can view your work from the comfort of their own home.

  3. Same goes for Instagram and Facebook. I, being the millennial that I am, focus way more on Instagram than Facebook (posting every day, getting my hashtags just right, posting interesting stuff to my story, etc.) however after looking at my analytics, I realized that the most LEADS to my website were from Facebook! Now, when I post to Instagram, I also post to Facebook so things are consistent (I think you can do this with HootSuite, as well).

  4. Finish editing any old sessions, or re-edit your favorite RAWS. Remember those sessions that made you fall in love with photography? Now is the time to go back and edit those old photos with fresh eyes. As a bonus, you now have new(ish) content to share!

  5. Leave glowing reviews on fellow creative’s pages. It’s a hard time for everyone- be kind by leaving a sweet review on another photographer’s page, or recommend your favorite local musician or tattoo artist to your network. Photographers aren’t the only creatives struggling right now.

  6. Establish and/or update your Pinterest Page. SO many photographers don’t take advantage of Pinterest and the exposure that it brings— this is a perfect rainy day project. Simply create an account, add pictures and post! Pinterest is most helpful if you have a blog already up and running. Same goes for submitting your work (real weddings or styled shoots) to blogs such as Two Bright Lights or regional magazines!

  7. Invest in Education. Some of my favorites include the Booked Up Ads Course by Samantha Grant, Heart University and Unraveled Academy. If you want to keep your costs down, there are several ah-mazing Youtubers who are also wedding photographers and post free content- two of my favorites are Taylor Jackson and Joy Michelle. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started, listening to educational videos about photography or emerging trends keeps you current and is a great way to virtually escape during this crisis.

  8. Begin work on a personal project, such as a book, play or self-portrait series. I love writing fiction, and all this time cooped up has really helped stoke my creative fire. Sometimes as creatives, we pour all our creative ability into one avenue without exploring other ones. If you’re a photographer, I would encourage you to explore drawing, cooking, video work, writing or poetry- this cross-disciplinary practice will help you become more creative in your daily work.

  9. Read Books on Creativity, such as Big Magic, Steal Like An Artist, Creativity Inc., and The Conquer Kit.

  10. Strategize Your Next Move. With no end in sight, this can be an upsetting and confusing time. It’s essential that creatives take a look at their financial situation and figure out what needs to happen next- do you need to apply for unemployment or self-employed financial assistance? Do you need to defer bill payments? Do you need to communicate with your partner or family about what the future holds? Is it time to apply for a part time job or pick up shifts at work? Communication and honesty are key to getting through this thing.

I’m here for you in the midst of this wild turn of events. What are you doing to stay calm and grounded?

Laura


Photo by Elizabeth Salazar Photography

Photo by Elizabeth Salazar Photography

 

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