Just a few months ago, the world was an entirely different place. Photographers could go about their business, shooting weddings, corporate events, and generally anything to help their photography business thrive.
But the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic has practically put the entire world on hold, leaving many photographers with a lot more time than they’re used to having.
After all, the nature of your business requires you to get outside, travel to different locations and interact with other people to get that perfect shot.
The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.
– John F. Kennedy
So what on earth should you do if you’re required to stay indoors and responsibly adhere to social distancing guidelines?
Believe it not, there are plenty of ways to stay productive during this downtime. Just because you might not have a gig at the moment doesn’t mean you can’t use your time effectively.
To give you some inspiration, we’ve highlighted some ways to put time back into your business and help you make the most of this home-stay period.
Table of Contents
11 Ways to Keep your Photography Business Productive During Lockdown
1. Organise your workspace and your day
Since you’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors, make sure your workspace is clean and functional. Studies show that an organised workspace leads to reduced stress levels and all-round productivity.
Organise your space to eliminate distractions and ensure that everything you may need is close at hand to avoid breaking concentration to look around the house.
If possible, write a daily schedule and To-Do list, that you can keep in a visible place to hold yourself accountable. Make sure to have a start and end to your day, and include breaks for mealtimes and exercise too, so that you don’t fall into the trap of continually working or not working at all.
2. Read the manual
This is a unique opportunity to get to know your equipment inside out. Dig out that manual you’ve been meaning to read for ages and you might find exciting new features that you didn’t know existed.
Most brands post their manuals online, so if you’ve lost yours, it should be easy enough to find if you search the make and model. There are also many educational videos you can watch online to brush up on your skills.
3. Catch up on your backlog
Depending on the time of year, you may have a backlog of edits that still need to be done. This is the ideal time to really get stuck into these. Once things start up again, you’ll have a clean slate from which to welcome new business.
If there are invoices that need to be sent out, emails that need to be responded to or taxes that need to be filed, be proactive and create a running to-do list. You’ll feel so much better knowing that you’ve finally attended to those admin tasks you’ve been putting off.
4. Use the time to update your website
Been meaning to update your website but struggle to find a moment to spare? Well, the time is now!
Being stuck indoors gives you the perfect excuse to update your photos, redo your copy or even redesign your logo if that’s something you’ve been wanting to change.
Reviewing your website is also an excellent way to make sure that your content is relevant, up-to-date and showcases your unique photography style.
5. Look at your marketing material
While you’re taking a break from being out in the world, review your marketing strategy. That way, when everything dies down, you’ll have a game plan ready to roll out.
Think about where you’d like your business to go and start creating content to suit that vision.
With social media such an integral part of online marketing, use this time to assess which platforms are working best for you and how you can increase your online presence.
Got some great footage from a previous job that you haven’t used yet? Use this time to improve your editing skills and put together some inspiring marketing videos that really showcase your skills.
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Decide on the style and message you’d like to convey, and make sure everything that you’re putting out is reflecting that.
6. Start or update your blog
Building a sense of community and maintaining communication during these tough times is crucial.
Blogs are a great way to show solidarity with other photographers, develop positive relationships with your audience and let them know that you’ll be there on the other side of this.
If you don’t already have one, there’s never been a better time to start a photography blog to showcase your skills and knowledge.
While you have spare time, plan and write some posts now that you can schedule to go out at a later date. You can never have too much content.
7. Spring clean
Lay all your equipment out, and clean and repair anything that needs a bit of attention. This way, you’ll also be able to take stock of what you’ve got, how well it’s working, and what potentially needs replacing.
You might find a lens you forgot about at the bottom of a bag or a new, more effective way of arranging your gear so that it’s easier to access.
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The next time you go out into the world, everything will be sparkling clean and newly serviced.
Trust us; your kit will thank you.
8. Take the time to plan, review and organise
Reviewing your systems and processes is a productive way to make use of your downtime. Having a filing system on your computer that is clear and easy to understand makes all the difference when busy times hit, and you’ve got to get a lot of work out under tight deadlines.
Delete everything that is no longer necessary, and give your hard drive a real clean up. Look at your online communication with clients, from your email signature to your online enquiry forms, and consider if there is a way to make the process of securing new business more efficient and effective.
9. Improve your skill with online courses
In the wonderful world of photography there is always more to learn, and keeping your mind busy with an online course is a tried and tested way to avoid growing stagnant. Hone your editing skills, learn about new software, start a niche site or practise a new shooting technique that’s interested you in the past.
There are so many sites online that offer tricks and tips, from the best way to clean your equipment to how you can grow your photography business.
While this may be a trying time for everyone, it’s also the perfect time for community building. We’re all in this together, so reach out to other photographers who are going through the same experience.
Every small act of kindness goes a long way, from sharing your skills with less experienced photographers to sending a text message to check that your friend’s doing OK.
Seek out or start communities where you can offer support and comfort one another. They’ll most likely persist after this is all over, leaving you with a solid support system and a reliable professional community.
10. Create Content from Home
Staying at home can bring surprising inspiration and new photography ideas. You could try and produce content using your own house as a set.
Freepik has come up with some ideas in their article such as taking photos of the correct hygiene process, or other #StayatHome activities such as cooking, exercising, playing with kids, remote working…
11. Put together an Album
Creating photo albums is something we never normally put aside time to do, unless of course we’re wedding photographers and our clients are paying us!
Spend your extra time reviewing some old photos, whether professional or personal, and arrange them with your favourite album software so you can order a new album when the time is right.
Don’t fancy spending money on an entire album? How about selecting a few photos to print, whether to frame or as a gift for a loved one.
Having prints or albums to touch is such a difference experience than viewing them on a computer screen or digital photo frame, so make sure you print at least one of your favourite photos this lockdown.
I hope you remain healthy and strong, and use this 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.
If you want even more tips, check out this helpful guide on how to work from home from our friends over at Location Rebel.
Do you have any tips to remain productive as a photographer during lockdown?
Share them in the comments below!