Since the beginning of the worldwide quarantine, people are struggling to make ends meet, let alone expand and grow their business. It’s been particularly challenging for people from entertaining industries, including the photography business. Photographers are the first ones to suffer from the consequences of the lockdown – weddings and graduation ceremonies get canceled, businesses shut down, borders closed, leaving photographers without their main source of income.
However, every crisis opens up some new opportunities, you just have to look closer. Let’s try to uncover solutions to keep afloat in these confusing times and find ways to sustain your small photography business.
1. Consider Cutting Expenses
As a photographer, you probably have tons of photo editing programs that you are still paying for. These subscriptions tend to be quite pricey, which is fine for a blooming business but right now can turn up the pressure on your finances.
There is a solution – PhotoWorks is a photo editing tool offered by AMS Software that has everything a photographer needs. Imagine Photoshop and Lightroom in one package which has an easy interface, many intuitive functions and a one-time payment instead of a monthly fee. At the same time, all familiar tools are here – the Healing Brush, the Clone Stamp, the Noise Reducer – though the layout is so convenient and coherent that you will master this program in no time. And you will certainly not miss professional tools like Curves and 3D LUT Color Correction. However, in case you don’t feel knowledgeable enough to use them, check out the small tutorials right in the program which will help you exploit them most efficiently.
2. Try Stock Photography
If you have been practicing photography for a while, you definitely have lots of photos on your PC that you never used. Now it is time to give stock photography a try.
Check out some popular services like Shutterstock or Unsplash, look into what photos they prefer and send them your works. The more, the better, since these websites are usually quite picky with their collection and want high-quality images.
At first, it might not be easy to make money this way, the market is highly competitive and demanding. But once you get a hang of it, figure out the market demand and upload at least 100 pictures a month, you will get a sustainable passive income.
3. Expand New Creative Opportunities
During the past several weeks there have been so many graduation and birthday party cancellations, that people are desperately trying to create some sort of celebration for themselves and their friends and family. So it is your chance to help them.
Have you recently taken family pictures? Or perhaps you have shot a wedding? Contact your clients and offer them a slideshow with the pictures from their last photoshoot to commemorate this special event and brighten their day. SmartSHOW 3D by AMS Software – a program that gives you room for creativity to make amazing videos for your clients using various effects and design tools and celebrate an important date in an unconventional way.
Another idea is to offer them a family calendar. Use your recent photoshoots and check out Photo Calendar Creator to make a fun family calendar with your clients’ recent photos. This can also be used as a great gift on itself or just something to cheer up their friends in these truly difficult times.
4. Start Taking ID Photos
Even though we are all stuck at home, our passports and student’s IDs continue to live and expire. Since so many photography businesses are shut down, it is a good opportunity to seize the moment and start taking ID photos. If you have never done this before and are scared to get lost in the number of requirements and ever-changing regulations, take a look at Photo Passport Maker.
The idea behind it is very simple: you upload a photo, choose the correct country and type of document, and the program will do the rest. It will crop the image automatically and provide you with an extensive list of requirements, so you can change the background, clothes, and lighting accordingly.
Due to the current lockdown, we are obligated to maintain social distancing, however, there is a tethering option. No contact is needed – your client will be next door in front of the camera, and ready photos will appear on your PC in less than a second.
5. Take a Look at Freelance Services
Give a try to freelance job boards, like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. Get an account, upload your CV, best works, interests and you’re all set. Make yourself stand out by providing your incredible projects, Instagram page, or maybe your photography blog if you have one, and wait for your first gig.
If you are skilled enough to edit a photo and make it look professional and fashion magazine-ready, this will be a great opportunity for you to easily make extra money. Besides that, you can get a job designing a company logo or brochure. You can also browse through gigs yourself and offer your services directly.
The current situation has definitely made it more difficult to land gigs, a lot of photographers are struggling right now, however, you can certainly get some side job to pay your rent.
6. Think about Real Estate Photos
Although it is a very challenging time for wedding photographers, alternatively, you can try your talents in the real estate market, since it does not require any human contact: everything stays only between you and the property. Despite the apparent decrease, people are still moving and looking for a new home. Some people are looking for a cheaper place, the others are moving to a new town because of a job opportunity. This is when you come along and offer your services to highlight the most flattering parts of the property.
If real estate photography is something you can imagine doing, you should definitely give it a try. Along with taking high-quality pictures, you will need to learn how to make a house look cozy and welcoming on a photo, as well as capture the best features of the place and hide the downsides. This will require some experience and fallbacks, but you can certainly overcome the difficulties.
7. Take Part at Photo Contests
While offline life is shredding, the world of online possibilities is still blooming. There are lots of contests for aspiring and experienced photographers, where you can participate and expand your portfolio. Further, it is a good chance to extend your social circle by meeting new people and exchanging ideas. The organizers will give you feedback, explaining the pros and cons of your work, and provide you with helpful tips. And if you win, or at least get close to the first prize, it will look awesome on your CV and put you on a new step of the career ladder.
We know how challenging it is right now for you to make a living as a photographer. Hopefully, these little tips will help you take the first step and find new ways to make money in this truly competitive field.