PHOTOGRAPHY ADVICE FOR THE QUARANTINED PHOTOGRAPHER
As we navigate as a world through this COVID-19 pandemic, it is hard not to feel isolated and overwhelmed with all the media and scary news flooding our every social media portal. As a fine art photographer, it has been one of the hardest things to not be able to grab my camera and go shoot. Safety is, of course, the number one priority though, and the more we all heed the advice and stay home, the quicker we can hopefully beat this and come out safe and healthy on the other side. We are all in this together. Rest assured we all feel the same. In times of crisis, reconnecting with what you love to do can be an invaluable lifeline, and practicing your craft can be just what you need to break the feeling of isolation and get you through.
YOU DON’T TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, YOU MAKE IT
This still remains one of my top quotes. while we indeed physically “take” the photo, we are constantly conceptualizing a feeling, watching the light, creating a story, and bringing it to life. All this comes from our collective experience and learning along the way. So why not take a step back, breathe, and when you feel up to it try one of the following…
Expand On your Technical Skills:
Whether you are a novice or a seasoned professional, there are always new creative and artistic ways to push your technical skills. Are you a beginner and always wanted to take your photography to the next level out of automatic? Grab your camera instruction manual or google it online and push yourself to the next level. Maybe it is learning the Aperture mode or Shutter Speed mode or even full Manual mode.
If you are a seasoned photographer, maybe you always wanted to learn to bracket, double exposures in-camera, even dust off that film camera your dad gave you and take it old school, or learn long exposures? There are many blogs and tutorials available for free! YouTube is a great source for tutorials.
Delve into Photoshop or Lightroom:
Have an editing routine down but always wished you could learn some editing tricks that could take you to the next level creatively? Find a photo that pushes you and use it to bring out the story through editing. One of my personal favorite YouTube channels and free tutorials online for learning Photoshop is PHLEARN, they have a plethora of free tutorials to get you started.
Update Your Online Presence:
As creatives, we tend to focus on the art of creating rather than honing our online presence. However, if you want to stand out from the crowd and want to share your work with the world, digital marketing is a must.
Your story, your creative process, your “why” as Simon Sinek (one of my favorite authors) writes about is your brand. Take some time to go through your Website, Social Media platforms, and Blog and make sure they all tell the story of who you are and your WHY. Have you always wanted to create a logo that portrayed your brand? Maybe now is the time for that refresh. Not sure where to start with Social Media? Instagram is always a good bet for photographers. If you already have an Instagram account, go through your photos and remove anything that does not portray your brand. Let the photos tell your story. Bring the viewer in and make them want to see the rest of your story and follow you.
Try Macro Photography:
As a fine art landscape photographer myself, I love Macro Photography but do not spend nearly enough time as I would like on it (pre-COVID-19). After the initial anxiety and worry started to dissipate, I found myself reaching for my macro lens and taking it on my walks or even just abstract objects in my home. Try your smartphone and see if there are lenses you did not know about. I have been playing around with my iPhone portrait mode a lot lately as well!
Looking For Passive Income?
If you are a photographer, then more likely than not you have drives of photos waiting to be seen and remembered. Maybe now is the time to start going back through all those folders and choosing some for uploading to a stock photography website. While one download is not a great amount, over time, several downloads can add up. Another option is to find scenarios around the house! Many magazines, publications, and even Content Marketing executives look for royalty-free photos to download for content. Why not capitalize on photos that are waiting to be seen again?
Most Important of All, Self-care:
If you find yourself as many of us do these days in these unprecedented times, with anxiety and unrest, and do not have the focus to be productive, that is ok too. Self-care is your number one priority. Maybe this time was the time you needed to catch up on rest, those books piling up you have been longing to read, listening to music, and instead of scrolling social media especially with the plethora of uneasy news these days, scroll through your photos albums. The important thing to remember is that everyone has a method and while as photographers, many of us when feeling unease, grab a camera, and go… as creatives we have other forms of art we can create. Self-care is an art form as well 🙂 For more information on self-care during COVID-19, here is an excellent resource from the CDC HERE.