Yeah Covid-19 took everything and everyone in the world by surprise and for most of us it is changing much more than our personal lives, and to help some people to understand how the life of a photographer is right now I will talk a bit about how Covid-19 is changing my photography.
We all know that some professions rely much more upon and going out, being out, and dealing with people much more than others lines of work, I photography is no different. When you think about a photographer you are not wrong when you think about a person that stays inside of a studio all day just taking pictures and being totally “secure” all the time. And quoting a good friend here ‘’You’re dead wrong”.
I will take the risk here and tell you that a photographer spends about ⅓ of his/her working time in the “studio” or doing actual photography. Part of the remaining time is used to contact possible clients, in meetings discussing projects, and/or networking with other professionals. And when covid-19 came and closed shut down everything, we had to find other ways. clever ways to keep up with all these responsibilities that make a photographers’ life.
This pandemic not only changed how we deal with responsibilities but also changed how we deal with people on a day-to-day basis inside and outside of our professional lives. Things like being in the cinema and starting to talk with the person in front of you and end up making another business contact because of that simple conversation are something that we will probably see in our past from now on.
Or situations, where we were completely comfortable with, like weddings, for some photographers, will be something to rethink that way he or she approaches the work, for some at least during this pandemic, for others for the rest of their lives.
Photography during Covid-19
For some kind of photographers shooting during covid-19 has been a real challenge, professional photography during Covid 19 took a huge hit in some scenarios, niches like fashion photography, weddings I think were the most hurt with the inability to be with people, sometimes a lot of people, in the same place at the same time.
This affects their ability to create, creatively. Because of all the sensation of not being totally safe, one will not take some risks and will not produce what they would have done in normal circumstances. And for most of us, the financial impact was more than real, with some cases the inability to perform, like in some cases of event photographers, made some go out of business or for those who could afford to rebrand themselves.
Even niches like street photography were hit by covid-19, because it is hard to do it when we do not have people on the streets, for a variety of reasons. And don’t take me wrong here, I am not telling that people would be on the streets to be photographed even during a pandemic, I am just stating the reality of the situation. But I am sure that street photography during Covid 19 is harder than it was.
In other situations, and this goes for almost all professionals, we have to comply with a whole new set of guidelines almost overnight, which can change a lot in your workflow and how smooth things can go during the time of your shoot. Sometimes complying and being by the book with all the changes takes time to get used to and can get in the way of how you would approach some situations, and with Covid-19 deal with people got a little harder than it was in the past.
How Covid impacted me as a photographer
I will say, this last year was not an easier one, with all those restrictions in place, fears not just on one side of the fence, and for azure people deciding that saving money for more important things is their priority does not help the business. And all these reasons are completely understandable and valid, but the thing that put the most fear on my bones was the feeling of being stuck, involuntarily sometimes.
So what have I done to cope with this? Just like most creative people around me I put all that mental energy into things that will make me a better photographer when all this situation eases and we can go back to something that resembles a normal life. I have been using my time to learn more about my craft, to experiment with my crazy ideas, and also to learn more about a thing like communication and business, which one may not realize but these things are a huge part of a photographer’s life.
I focus on my weaknesses as a photographer to improve myself and put my career on a path that I want to be, all this with the time that this pandemic forced upon us. And I can say that this is at least a good time for me, using this time I’m evolving and moving forward.
Photography business after Covid 19
As most people like to say: When we get back to a normal life everything will be back to be as it was. I am a little skeptical to agree with this statement because the “normal” will be different with a whole lot of different perspectives as necessities that we did not know that we needed until a certain problem is raised. In my mind, we will have to deal with these changes for decades until we get to a point where we can call it normal again.
For most business owners it means to change the way they interact with their customers or to provide a new line of services and products. For other professionals, it means to branch out and try to establish a new business format, and unfortunately for some, it will mean going out of business. The best thing that I can think right, and can be done by most of us, is to plan and start gathering as much information as possible to do the next step and minimize some potential risks for your business.
If you have an online store, start to measure how your products are performing, try to identify what makes this performance go up or down. Invest in a new way to present your products and services, and no matter what, keep your boat on track to where you want to be.
The brighter side
Even though everything looks to be derailing, there is a bright side to all of it. We discovered new ways to do things. Take for example online meetings, which right now are an integral part of our professional lives. You can have a business meeting with someone that is on the other side of the globe without the need to go through all the hassle of planes, cabs, and hotels. You can have a DOP from the other side of the country right beside you during the shoot without the need of having he/her at the same place. All this because of these online meeting platforms.
And these changes are here to stay, and it is about time that we as a society start to think about some positive changes that will make us evolve as professionals and not to say as a person as a whole.
What you can do to stay active
It doesn’t matter if you are a photographer or other kind of professional, use this downtime wisely to improve yourself in some way and keep the flame lit in your body.
You can invest some time to develop a better portfolio, this takes time, but the time you may have right and using this opportunity to make things happen on this front is a wise idea. You can put aside some hours during your week to read about the field and gain some insights on how you can approach some situations.
On the technical part, you can use this time to experiment with different light setups, techniques, and photographing things that you do not usually photograph, use it to shoot still life, or to learn everything you can about photo editing.
The main idea here is to create a better you capable of tackling future challenges more easily. Plan your future as a professional and challenge yourself with different points of view, if you face these challenging times this way I’m certain that this pandemic will also change your photography.
Let me know in the comments below. How are you doing during this time?
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