Photography business tips for the COVID-19 pandemic

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Photography business tips for the COVID-19 pandemic

We know you’re feeling the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on your businesses. As photographers, we are too. We hope some of these tips will help you. And feel free to add other relevant resources in the comments below or email us if you have tome tips to share!

1. Cut expenses where you can

The easiest one that comes to mind is all of your monthly business subscriptions. You’ll be surprised to find out how many can be changed or offer suspended payments.

Go over your monthly bank statements with a fine tooth-comb and contact every single subscription service to either ask for a suspension of payments or a cancellation if it’s a service you don’t need. Examples of subscription services are client management software,  photo gallery software, bookkeeping software, editing software, publication software etc. A lot of these businesses are doing great things to help us out. And of course you can take it beyond your business expenses and take a look at your personal ones too.

There are numerous other ways to cut expenses, but a lot of those are more depending on local government regulations such as suspending loan and mortgage payments or discounts on utilities etc.

cut expenses where you can

2. Cancellations and rescheduling clients

The Rising Tide society made several free email templates available for scenarios such as proactively messaging clients to prevent cancellations and what to say when someone wants to cancel. Find all of their templates here.

For those dealing with clients wanting a refund, check your contract and consult a lawyer if needed. There are differences in countries and regions about force majeur clauses etc. For our photographer friends in the USA, check out the LawTog post about it here.

dealing with covid cancellations for photographers3. Creating extra income

At this very moment most people are not spending money on luxury services or non essential goods. But know that after a few weeks, the current situation will be our new. From the sound of it, COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere soon.

So right now you can start thinking of ways to ramp up business in a month (or whenever the general anxiety is declining). Maybe you can offer album design promos for past wedding clients. Maybe you have artful photographs that you could promote in a sale. Maybe you can offer coupons for future sessions. Or maybe you want to start a new side gig altogether.

While the current situation feels absolutely paralyzing, at some point people will spend money again. And also know that it’s ok to temporarily find a job that’s not photography. Anything you need to do to push through this.

4. Loans as a last resort

There are currently a lot of business loans available and it seems more tempting than ever to get a loan to get through the next couple of months.

While we absolutely understand this and are certainly not judging you if you need it, it’s very important to keep in mind that the future is very insecure. Not only are our wedding photography businesses not making any money right now, we are also losing out on money for next year with with a lot of current clients rescheduling.

If on top of losing all that money, you also have to handle extra loans, that can be a potentially disastrous situation. Consider what you would do, if you already knew this situation would last for 12 months.

5. Prepare for the future

If there’s one thing we all know is that people are going to get married. In this time of isolation, we can prep our business for the future!

A lot of online educators are offering amazing business classes. Several do so for free. Maybe you can take that SEO course you’ve always wanted to do. Or maybe you can write blogs featuring all those weddings you shot last year.

Keep your online (and offline!) business presence up to date and ready for when you can go out again.

Photograph by Love Tree Photography

6. Stay connected with your community

And last but not least: stay connected with your local wedding photography community. For example Facebook wedding vendor groups are very helpful. This will help you learn about local resources for businesses in the form of (government) aid and about other business’ policies.

But perhaps even more important you will feel heard and less alone, because we’re all in this together.

Where creatives come together, there’s creation.

Photograph by Kathleen Elizabeth Photography

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