With the effects of coronavirus expected to be with us for some time, freelancer photographers will need to adapt their services to the 'new normal'.

freelance photographer

The coronavirus has caused widespread disruption to businesses around the world, from large corporations to small local businesses. Freelancers and self-employed workers have also been hugely affected, particularly photographers – who have seen projects cancelled and their diaries emptied as events and campaigns are postponed.

The bad news is that things are unlikely to be ‘back to normal’ for some time, with a global recession on the horizon and ongoing social distancing measures expected to be a fixture in our lives for quite some time.

Demand for professional photography services is likely to decrease during a recession – although photographers who have built strong personal brands and have recurring clients may feel less of an impact.

Ongoing social distancing measures are also likely to affect freelance photographers for the foreseeable future. Events such as weddings are likely to be more scaled-back affairs, for instance, and behaviours on photo shoots will have to be adapted – everything from avoiding handshakes to relying solely on verbal instructions rather than physically moving and positioning subjects.

Preparing for working in the ‘new normal’

If you currently have more time on your hands, there are several things you can be doing to ensure your photography business is well positioned when the initial coronavirus ‘lockdown’ is over and business begins to pick up again.

This could include:

  • Improving you skills in other areas (e.g. take online Photoshop or video editing courses)
  • Working on your website or online portfolio
  • Learning about new marketing strategies (e.g. Facebook ads, email marketing etc.)
  • Taking the time to catch up on your admin

For more information on this, read our guide: How freelancers can keep busy during self-isolation

Adapting your photography services

Although the coronavirus pandemic presents a lot of challenges for freelance photographers, it also presents new opportunities.

With certain levels of social distancing expected to be imposed on society for quite some time, there will be rising demand for new photography services – and those that are quick to adapt are likely to reap the rewards.

Below we have listed some potential opportunities for photographers to adapt their services to meet new demands in the near-future.

Livestreaming ‘special’ events for people who are unable to attend

It is likely that events such as weddings and funerals will have limited guest lists for the foreseeable future. Even when restrictions on large gatherings are lifted, there will be many family members and friends who are unable to attend – particularly those in vulnerable or ‘shielded’ groups (e.g. the elderly, those with pre-existing medical conditions etc.)

Providing a solution for those unable to attend special events like weddings, via easy-to-access livestreaming, could be a great way for photographers to attract new clients and earn new business.

If you are not able to provide videography services yourself, now is the time to reach out to a professional videographer and propose teaming up to provide this service going forward.

Offer and promote ‘retroactive’ photography services

There will have been a lot of ‘missed’ occasions during the coronavirus lockdown – birthdays, wedding anniversaries, engagements, last school photos etc.

Offering special services to professionally capture these moments retroactively, either in your studio or on an outside shoot, could open up a completely new source of income for you.

Work remotely with new online services

As there is currently a need for us all to work from home more, there has never been a better time to either offers your services online or diversify into online tutorials.

Some ideas around this include offering virtual photoshoots, running one-on-one or small group masterclasses in certain areas of photography, creating and distributing guides and ebooks, starting up a YouTube channel sharing tips and advice – the list could go on and on.

Make sure you are covered

If you do decide to adapt your services as a photographer, it is important to make sure you have the correct cover in place.

For example, if your new offering requires new equipment then you should make sure it will be covered under any existing policy.

Specialist insurance for photographers

Create Insurance offers specialist insurance cover for freelance photographers – get instant equipment cover tailored to you, as well as public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

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