Navigating in Rough Waters…and we’re all in the same boat!

Navigating in Rough Waters…and we’re all in the same boat!

Over the last few weeks, I’ve repeatedly thought about today’s post. I’ve avoided the topic because I honestly didn’t want to contribute to what we’re all dealing with already.

The truth is, the world has gone mad. I’m not suggesting that Covid-19 isn’t serious. Still, as I watched dozens of people at Costco loading their cars with cases of water, toilet paper, and paper towels I couldn’t help but wonder what’s going through their minds as they attack their fears with the same concern as a class 5 hurricane!

While I’d love to share my frustration with the media, politicians, and those at the forefront of the pandemic – my concern in this post is focused strictly on the business of photography.

So, think about two things we do know at the moment about the business: First, things aren’t going to change until reports start to show the virus slowing down. Second, more than likely, we’ve got the next two months the economy and the pandemic will force us to hunker down and find something else to do.

I don’t have a lot of answers, although there are some obvious things every photographer could be doing n now:

  • This is a time to fine-tune your skill set. Take advantage of the unplanned stop in business flow to practice and expand your skills. For example, if you’re a “natural light specialist,” then now’s the time to learn lighting! And if you’re a wedding photographer, how about fine-tuning your skills in macro and closeup work for better ring shots, flowers and details.
  • Think through your marketing plans for the year ahead. The business has evaporated for the moment, but not forever! Most of you have been doing the same old thing for years, and it’s time to change.
  • Look for partnerships with other vendors and photographers in your community. Now’s a great time to talk with other businesses and see what you can do together.
  • Clean up your database. While many of you claim to have everyone neatly stored in your computer, your organizational skills, when it comes to your clients, is one step above storage in a shoebox!
  • And speaking of databases – for wedding photographers, go back to your database and come up with an offer for your past clients. Let them know your wedding business is down and offer to do a family portrait. As you think about the idea, check out Bella Art Prints and Albums – great quality and pricing!
  • Clean up your website! Your galleries need updating and more than likely your bio and other pages too.
  • Build a stash of blog posts. Remember, for most of you, the target is Mom. She’s feeling the same stress you are right now. She’s lost all her personal time as the kids get sent home from school for a month or more of online education! So, what can you do to help her?
  • Establish yourself as an online photography expert in the community. How about helping Mom and the kids become better photographers?
  • Explore cyberspace – from YouTube to Lynda.com, Creative Live, and a host of online educational programs, including just about every photographer you admire, there are thousands of programs for you to watch.

Just to wrap up this post, Sheila, has this quote framed and on a wall of our home where I see it every day. I can’t think of a better thought to close with. You’ve got to have faith in things changing for the better…

Faith…
is being sure of what you hope for
and certain of what you do not see.*

Next Post:
Previous Post:
This article was written by
Skip Cohen

Skip Cohen is an industry executive recognized for his diversity. He has served as past president of Hasselblad USA, Rangefinder/WPPI and in 2009 founded his own educational consulting company. In 2013 he launched Skip Cohen University dedicated to helping artists build a stronger business. He's a regular speaker at a variety of conventions and writes for several different magazines, as well as having two business classes at Lynda.com. Click above to visit the SCU blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *