I’m going to be honest here and say that the last couple of weeks as a freelance photographer have been stressful. I’ve bid on photography jobs and just not heard back from people… at all. Thinking it was awfully strange, I reached out to one of those potential clients to ask if they had any questions on my estimate or if they had gone a different direction with photography. Her reply, “Due to client and coronavirus we are not moving forward at this time.”
Bam, there it was, my first confirmation that this Coronavirus was having an affect on my business.
I immediately got on the phone and started calling my friends to see what was happening in their world of photography, and everyone had the same response. No bookings, no responses and lots of cancellations.
Why did I call my colleagues — aka “competition”?
It’s simple, really. I called because being a creative person is like riding a rollercoaster. When you’re working and creating, you’re as high as you can get. When you’re slow, it can throw you into a depression. Toss in uncertainty of income from a pandemic and it’s bad. I called my friends to try to let everyone know what I was going through, and to let them know others were going through the same thing. It was important that my friends know we are in this thing together, and we need to creatively think through it… together.
We live in a time of social media where things have to be put in the public eye in hopes of creating future work. We follow our creative friends to support them, but deep inside it can cause self-doubt and jealousy. Right now we look at posts and wonder how that person is working when I’m not, or if it’s old content being pushed out. We wonder how they’re getting work, who is hiring, etc., etc. It’s a really weird business to be part of, but the creative highs are so wonderful that we all stay on the rollercoaster.
What are we supposed to do as photographers?
- We need to support each other.
- We need to be honest about our current situation.
- We need to share work and pass along things that don’t fit our style.
- We need to help each other think through ways to approach our clients, and ways to create work for ourselves.
- We need to help each other figure out how our small businesses can survive this pandemic.
What can you do to help?
- Book future shoots during this uncertainty. It will help keep our spirits up, and we can always push the date if this pandemic continues. There are also a lot of ways to have a photoshoot and keep social distancing in place.
- Contact us to help us brainstorm your photography needs. Right now people are on social media to stay entertained and informed, so why not hire us to come up with some new content to promote your business during this time. We are creative thinkers and have great problem solving skills.
- Reach out about purchasing content from our archives to push out on social media.
- If you’re a client, reach out and let us know you’re thinking about us. One of my favorites reached out yesterday to say they still want to do the portrait session and asked how I thought the images would turn out if we did them through video conferencing. I got quite a giggle from that text, but it also let me know there’s a job once we get through this.
I’m thankful for my photographer friends, and proud that we are all helping each other through a difficult time in this industry. Cheers, my friends. Hopefully one day soon we can fill both glasses and drink together again!