Simple tips to make your time during Covid 19 lockdown more productive an useful
The world as we know it has changed over the past month. We are on the fifth week of the lockdown implemented due to Covid 19 and we’ll admit that it has not been easy. Trying to communicate with colleagues over phone calls and video conferences and working from home can be stressful. You might be worried about your business, or feeling stuck at home. As photographers, we are so used to travelling and being outdoors that staying in almost feels like wasting time. But perhaps if you look at it another way, you can find the silver lining in this situation.You finally have time on your hands to do all the things you wouldn’t normally be able to.
This is a great time to challenge yourself creatively and work on your business. Figuring out where to start might be tough, but it helps to make a list and prioritise your tasks accordingly. Here are a few things you can try out to improve your business, be productive, and feel better about your time indoors. A few of them we’ve been practicing ourselves, so we hope this helps you. Read on!
# Work on your online footprint
Now that you have all the time in the world, one of the things you could do is work on your online presence. What social channels are you on? Is there a place you haven’t made a mark yet? Look for all the social channels you can find your target audience in and work on your building your online footprint there.
If you’re a website owner, this is the time to work on it! Update your portfolio and your website with your latest work. If you’ve been waiting to give your website a makeover, do it now! Spend time on optimising your website for search engines and work on building your SEO rankings. We’ve been spending quite some time ourselves working on improving our website. While going through a general check, we saw that we hadn’t updated our gallery images in quite a while, so that’s the first thing we did. Next, we updated our wedding films page with our latest wedding trailers and then went through the pages of our website to check for any broken links. It might take a little longer than expected but improving your website is a step towards better credibility as a professional photographer.
Share your latest work on Instagram or try a different editing style to give your social feed a new look. If you’ve worked on some cool projects in the past year, share them with your audience on your various social media channels.
# Practice and learn
This is a great time to learn those skills you’ve been wanting to! A lot of great photographers are holding Live and AMA (ask me anything) sessions on their social media channels. Tune in to learn from them or ask them anything you want. You can also find webinars and online tutorials to up your editing game or learn design skills. In the past few weeks, Arjun in association with Fujifilm has conducted Rendezvous – a series of live sessions on Instagram which talk about life and art with some of the industry’s best photographers. We will also be conducting a few more Live and AMA session on our Instagram soon, so stay tuned!
If you haven’t touched your camera in days, do it today! Go out of your comfort zone and you might just learn something new. If you’re a natural light photographer, practice shooting with the help of artificial light. Try your hand at food photography or practice with a lens you aren’t comfortable with. Shoot a portrait with a wide lens and try to get it right. A lot of photography blogs have great tips about improving your photography skills, so choose any one from the list of Top 100 Photography Blogs and begin your leaning!
# Organise and archive
You know you’ve been putting this off for a long time. With this downtime, you can work on sorting and organising your data. During the wedding season, we know it’s super difficult to deal with organising all your data. You put it off and pretty soon, months go by. If you don’t already have a system in place, research on how you can build a solid backup system. We have spoken in detail about our data storage process in a blog before, so give it a read if you need some help.
If you already have a backup system in place, organise your data so that it is easy to find in the future. You can also dig a little deep and rate or flag your photos in Lightroom. When you go through your old work with fresh eyes, it helps you keep track of your improvement as a photographer. You have a better understanding of where you need improvement and the experience you have pushed you to learn and do better than the old you!
Organising and archiving is something we have also been working on extensively in the past month. We went all the way back to 2008 and have archived and rated our work. Seeing all our work of the past ten years made us quite proud of how far along we’ve come and how much we’ve grown.
All this sitting around at home and business stuff is bound to get boring. So to get out of this creative rut, find yourself a personal project to work on. While we’re used to finding subjects and shooting in the outdoors, looking for an idea inside your home can challenge you to expand your creative skills. Shooting indoors might be limiting but treat it like a challenge or a competition. For example, you could do a photo series using only your phone and edit on it too. Or shoot only in monochrome for a day. This will teach you to look for light and shadow or find interesting textures and lines in a frame. Try your hand at self-portraits or find subjects at home – your family member, your flatmate, or a pet. Choose an object at home and find interesting ways to shoot it. You can even video call with a friend and set up portraits virtually. FaceTime portraits are becoming all the rage these days. Don’t let this Covid 19 lockdown bring down your creativity as artists!
# Find new inspiration
This is also a good time to look up all the photographers you’ve admired and draw inspiration from their work. And if that’s not enough, look elsewhere! All the great artists have always found inspiration from different kinds of art. So if you’re feeling an artist’s block, look to other genres of art for inspiration. Watch movies, look at famous paintings and sculptures of the past and present. Inspiration can come from anywhere – your surroundings, nature, books, or even an object.
If there’s a genre of photography you have always wanted to try or improve at, study work of photography masters from that field. Or, you can even look them up on their social handle and drop them an email or message about wanting to have a conversation with them. They will always welcome a chance to talk about art and photography.
# Spend time with family
If you live with your family, this is the perfect time to alleviate all their grief about you not spending enough time at home. Not everything has to revolve around your business or work during this time. Set some time aside every day to sit with your parents, spouse, or children. Have meals together or do a fun activity in the evenings while taking a break from your work routine. If you are not with your family during this time, you can still spend some time with them through video calls.
The past month has been a difficult time for everyone. With nowhere to go, feeling stuck or unproductive is absolutely normal. When you’re working from home it’s easy for both to merge together. So the first step to staying organised is setting up a routine for your day. Have a dedicated space for your home office and switch off from work on a Sunday. This unprecedented situation has given us the gift of time, sure, but don’t feel the pressure to be productive all the time. It’s great if you use this time to learn and grow but it’s also okay if you take this time for a much-needed break and pursue your hobbies. Personally, this lockdown has given us plenty to time to rejuvenate ourselves after the crazy busy wedding season we’ve had. We’ve rested our bodies and minds and are happy to put our energies into our work. So whatever you choose to do during this time, make sure you’re energised and ready to go as soon as it’s safe enough to go outside again!
Let us know what you are doing with your time doing this Covid 19 lockdown and stay safe!