As busy photographers, we're always wishing for more hours in the day. If only we had more time, we say, we'd update our websites, start that new project, and get our admin sorted.
Although it's in the most devastating circumstances imaginable, the Corona outbreak HAS given lots of us more free time – with shoots and commissions being cancelled or postponed, and travel suspended around the world.
With this in mind, we've dug into the minds of top pros to find out how they're staying positive, what they're doing to keep up the momentum with their work, and just how they're spending all this new free time.
10 tips for staying sane and productive in the current climate
The first pro to share advice is Jordan Banks, a travel, landscape and adventure photographer from London, with over 20 years’ experience shooting assignments and high-end content for tourism, and lifestyle brands and companies.
1. Write blog pieces
If you’re anything like me you probably have a seemingly endless list of topics that could make interesting blog posts but have never got round to writing them. With the extra time on your hands, get ahead of yourself and produce plenty of content ready to share over the coming weeks and months.
2. Freshen up your portfolio
I am constantly shooting so find it very hard to keep my website and portfolio fresh and up to date. I have a couple of years of work that still hasn’t been included on my site. Now I can spend some time in front of my computer, this is an easy and enjoyable task. Aside from updating images, freshen up pages and work on your SEO to make your website reachable by Search Engines.
3. Keep fit
It’s important to keep fit at any time, but even more so in the current situation. Exercise will not only keep your body in shape during isolation, but also help massively with the state of your mind. I do a HIIT (high intensity interval training) session most mornings – these can be done at home and don’t require a lot of space.
4. Watch videos for inspiration
There is so much great content for photographers, by photographers, on YouTube. If you have a topic you are interested in just search away and see where it takes you. There is some fantastic inspirational content and all the tips and trick tutorials you could think of. Often, these videos lead me to stumble across other talented photographers that I wasn’t previously aware of.
5. Make a social media plan
Social media plays a big part in my business and a very important role in modern-day marketing. If you already have an active following, work on ideas to keep your content and approach fresh and exciting. If you aren’t currently on any or some social media, why not start now. Instagram is a great start but if you’re feeling adventurous you could always start a YouTube channel.
6. Organise your images
I now have a pretty good structure in place to manage my image catalogues but I know many photographers struggle with finding the time to keep up with this. Hectic shoot schedules and social life mean these jobs are often done in a rush or not at all. Now you have no excuse not to get the back of house in order.
7. Reprocess old images
There are always things to improve on, and this is never more true than with image processing. Dig out some old images from the archives and practice some new editing techniques and methods on them.
8. Research future shoots
I’m always looking for fresh new locations to shoot but struggle to find the time to do this. Taking inspiration from magazines, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, I add pins with accompanying images of anything of interest I find to a Google map so it is saved for a later date. I have a couple of recce trips to Greenland and Mongolia planned for upcoming photo tours, so I will be working on these places.
9. Connect with others
With all the creatives on lockdown, now is a great time to connect with your peers. People who wouldn’t normally have the time to interact may now have more time on their hands to connect. This could leave to some fruitful collaborations and maybe even lasting friendships.
10. Revise your business plan
As the landscape for photographers has very suddenly and drastically changed, I think a revised business plan is essential for the continued success and longevity of most businesses. Hopefully, these will only be minor adjustments, but it’s best to be aware of the situation so you are on top of things and ready to implement your plans as the situation improves.
How are you keeping your photo mojo going?
We'd love to hear about all the creative ways you're staying inspired – whether it's trying new projects at home or simply sprucing up your photo editing space!
Ping us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our instagram @dphotographermag to join the latest conversations.
Look out for a full Corona feature – how to stay productive, creative and sane – in the next issue of Digital Photographer magazine soon!