5 Tips to Keep your Photography Business Afloat During a Pandemic

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These are unprecedented times we’re facing during the Coronavirus pandemic and a lot of photographers and small business owners are struggling.

However, there’s still opportunities out there for you to make money and even connect with past clients.

Below, I outline five tips on how to survive during the Coronavirus pandemic as a photographer. I’ve used all these strategies to varying degrees and seen success with each one.

I hope this helps give you a path to move forward and continue to bring clients and funds in the door.

1. Offer Special Wedding and Family Packages

As a wedding photographer, there’s nothing worse than hearing the news that a wedding has been postponed for the year. But with the uncertainty of the summer season and the limits on gatherings, many, if not all, 2020 weddings are being postponed.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop booking weddings or family sessions!

Just choose any of the easy online portfolios website, create a professional selection of your best work and send it to as many people as you can. It is a good possibility that someone in your connection is having an event coming up.

Even while you’re stuck at home, you can offer potential clients an additional hour of coverage for a wedding or an complimentary engagement shoot to encourage 2021 clients to book.

Many couples were already starting to plan their 2021 weddings before the crisis and adding that extra incentive might just be the push they need to book you now!

2. Offer a Print and Album Sale

If there’s one positive of the Coronavirus, I’ve found it to be the deepening appreciation for family, friends, and community.

There’s no better time to strengthen the relationships we have and support one another during such a difficult time, which is why I reactivated the last three years of my family photoshoots and created special package deals for my clients.

This was my way of showing people that I care about their memories as a family and a simple way to utilize images that I’ve already taken.

There’s the option to offer a sale, package deals, or free shipping – whatever works for your business.

Personally, I put three years of my previous wedding and family photoshoots back online and I offered 15% off their total order, including albums and wall art.

This discount, given as a coupon code during checkout on my hosting site at Shootproof,  has resulted in several thousand dollars of income during this difficult time, which myself and my family are beyond grateful to have right now.

[Related: ShootProof Review | How to make more money using ShootProof]

3. Change Your Payment Policy

This might be the perfect time to switch up your payment schedules. Perhaps you were asking for a flat rate or a third of the total for your wedding retainers.

While that has worked for you in the past right now is a great time to revise your payment schedules and ask for a fifty percent down payment or larger flat rate to help stay afloat.

This simple change will help you to receive a larger deposit on all your shoots moving forward.

Just increasing those deposits will help make ends meet during this crisis.

4. Offer Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are a popular and simple way to support local businesses. Many people are willing to place money into a gift certificate to help keep your business running, so this is yet another simple and quick way to get money in the door.

You could also offer pay in advance options for mini-sessions, family shoots, holiday photos, back to school photos.

This has been really successful for many photographers and I plan on offering a pay in advance option for my annual holiday mini-sessions in the coming weeks.

5. Offer Photo Album Gift Registry

Lastly, you can offer a gift registry to your already booked clients.

I’ve done this for years and always make an extra few thousand dollars, not to mention the album upgrades that are added during the design process. Fundy makes this super easy with their Album Designer software and slideshows.

A crowd-funded gift registry  is a really great option for clients who already live together. They might not necessarily need the Crate & Barrel, or Bed Bath and Beyond “stuff” added to their home.

Having an option like a wedding album added to their home right now is something they will cherish forever.

There is also the offer the album as a wedding gift from the couple’s grandparents or parents. This is really such a beautiful and timeless way for them to give to their children or grandchildren.

There you have it! Five, short and easy tips that you can use to help you get you through this pandemic. Not only will these ideas help keep your business afloat, but they are also great ways to reconnect with past clients and strengthen relationships through photography.

Jessica is an award winning wedding and portrait photographer & educator with over 15 years of experience in Portland, Oregon

3 Comments

  1. Fotograf Nunta Cluj on May 20, 2020 at 12:03 am

    Excellent article & a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Adrian Gudewicz on May 13, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks. very useful article about photography.

  3. Jemerigbe lewis efe on May 10, 2020 at 6:32 am

    Thanks sir, I really love what I just finish reading now, not all photography will do this for free, God bless you….

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