How Covid Impacted My Photography Business
Updated: 2 days ago
Before the pandemic hit in 2020, I had just invested in a brand new Nikon D850 and I was ready to take on my first summer of being officially in business! I was very excited to use my new gear and had already booked numerous clients. Unfortunately, everything came to a halt in March of 2020 and due to my past experience with respiratory problems, I decided it was best to take some time off from meeting with clients. Little did I know how bad the pandemic would be and how long I would be away from photography.
I may be overly cautious at times but there is no way I was going to risk putting myself or my family in danger of being sent to the hospital because I wanted to take some pictures of people, it just wasn't going to happen. So I decided to ride out the pandemic and take a break from all things photography until a vaccine was ready and I felt comfortable going back to normal. It turns out this wasn't such a bad decision and I learned a lot about myself and about photography without ever even picking up my camera.
I definitely took a hit financially but I feel that I made up for it with the knowledge I now have which will help me take my business to new levels as we come out of this pandemic. Two things I learned while taking break are how important legally binding contracts are and sometimes simple is better.
Legally Binding Contracts
This is probably the most important and most underrated part of being a photographer. Yes, it sounds boring and can even be very confusing but trust me, learning about the legal aspects of running a business such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) which is how my business is structured, will pay off for you in a big way. It is all about protecting yourself as a business owner as well as protecting your clients.
A legally binding contract such as a portrait contract, print release or a model release will ensure that all parties involved know what they are getting out of the transaction and this will prevent any confusion or disagreements as everything should be in writing prior to the completion of any photography services. As a photographer, it may not sound exciting and you may hesitate to ask clients to sign a contract, but it is a perfectly normal part of doing business. An excellent source to obtain templates of various contracts you will need as a photographer is The Law Tog. This site has everything you need to protect your business and will be well worth it in the long run. I will definitely go into more detail on these various contracts and why you need them in a future blog post.
Simple Is Better
What I mean by this is sometimes as creators we get too caught up in how our work looks compared to others and we start trying too hard, especially when it comes to post processing. I think with the amount of "photographers" (I put that in quotes because everyone seems to be a photographer these days) we see on social media, it can sometimes make our work feel bland and we feel the need to keep up with others by overthinking and overeating our images.
For example, there are numerous photos I haven't posted on Instagram because I felt they weren't worthy of a post compared to other photos. But this time off has showed me that simple really is better. Not being able to capture images during 2020 helped me to realize the beauty in every image I take, even if it doesn't get thousands of likes, there is still beauty in it. Thats what is great about photography, there is no one way to make an image, it is all about what you see and what you think and that is all that matters. If people like it, great, if they don't, then who cares.
I hope you enjoy this post if you see it and I plan on posting more to this blog in the future!