The year 2020 has certainly been an *ahem* wild ride. It’s shaping up to be a year that will be taught in the history books for decades to come and whether we like it or not, we all have front row seats to the chaos. 

Covid-19 has rocked the world and upended industries in every sector but artists and photographers seem to have been particularly hit hard. With so many photographers out of work and travel on hold for the foreseeable future, we’ve been hearing from a lot of you that the motivation to get out (or stay in) and create is understandably low. 

If you’ve been feeling lost and stagnant with your craft, we feel you. Here are our best tips to help keep your creativity high and your photography muscles engaged.

1. Take a photo every day.

Sometimes the hardest step is to simply pick up the camera at all. Commit to taking a least one thoughtful photo every day. Whether it’s in your kitchen or your backyard, allow yourself 15 minutes each day to think about your immediate surroundings and compose a shot. 

When we all come out of this crazy pandemic, you’ll have a daily photo sequence to commemorate your lock downtime. 

photo of trees looking up_carl van den boom
Photo by Carl van den Boom

2. Focus on capturing a historic moment in time

Have you seen those old black and white photos from the 1918 pandemic? The old grainy photos of the women in petticoats and men in top hats, all doing their protective face masks. We’ve all seen those images floating around the internet to give context to our current pandemic and believe it or not, the person who took those photos is not too dissimilar to you. They were likely a photographer documenting their experiences in an unprecedented moment in history.

You too are in a unique position to capture what’s happening in the world. Maybe in 100 years, your photos will be the ones being passed around the internet (or whatever replaces the internet). If you can shift your mindset from thinking “Covid is a huge professional setback” to “Covid is giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity” you’re bound to find some creativity hiding in the depths of your quarantine house. How amazing that you’re being given the opportunity to document history. 

photo of forest at sunset by simon markhof
Photo by Simon Markhof

3. Take advantage of a photography course.

While some parts of the world are opening up, many countries are still social distancing and staying home and let’s be honest, there’s only so much Netflix you can watch before you need to find something else to do. With all of this new time at home, now is a fantastic time to take advantage of a photography course. You know the one. The course you’ve always bookmarked but had never really been in the right headspace to take up. Now’s the time. Dedicated an hour a day to learning your craft with online photography courses.

Not sure where to start? We offer a comprehensive Winter Photography Basics Course right here at Vallerret! If you want courses to improve your post-processing or workflow, check out Captured Landscapesby Christian Hoiberg. There are hundreds of fantastic and affordable online course out there. Find a photographer you admire and see what options they might have for you.

person snowboarding by isolated trees_simon markhof
Photo by Simon Markhof

4. Try a new type of photography

The truth is, we can’t just hop on a plane to Lofoten or Iceland as we could a year ago. Travel photography is limited to what we can drive to and in some places, what we can find in our own backyard. While this may seem like a giant setback for photographers who are used to photographing the big scenes in famous winter locations, this is also a unique opportunity to take a step back and find interesting scenes in your own backyard.

If you’re a wildlife photographer, try focusing on the wildlife you have in your immediate vicinity. Your backyard birds are a great place to start. If you’re a portrait photographer, try taking weekly portraits of your quarantine buddies. If you’re into adventure photography, get yourself a model train figurine set and create your own micro-adventures in your house. In fact, try your hand at macro photography all around your house. Try photographing a tiny bug on a blade of grass, the intricate beauty of a small flower, a singular droplet on a leaf. 

If you’ve always wanted to give videography a chance, start experimenting with the video capabilities on your camera. Learn a bit about Premiere Pro. Create a short stop motion film. Pushing pause on your normal photography gives you so much more space to create new types of photography. 

macrophotography snowflake by aaron burden
Photo by Aaron Burden

6. Re-edit old photos

If you’re anything like me, your post-processing style has greatly evolved and transformed over the past five years. Sometimes I look back at old images and hardly even recognize the style. It’s normal to progress and change over the years and with some extra time on your hands, now is a great time to revisit your old catalogue to see what might benefit from a fresh makeover. Perhaps you’ll even uncover some new favourite gems. Share your before and after images to show your style evolution. 

Photographer in the woods taking a phoot-carl van den boom
Photo by Carl van den Boom

The future with Covid is uncertain but as photographers, we have the unique ability to adapt and evolve with the times. Whether you’re a photographer who shoots weddings, wildlife or landscapes, you’ve been trained to work with unexpected circumstances and make do with what you’ve got and Covid is no different. Drop a comment below and let us know what you’re doing to keep your creativity muscles engaged during these unprecedented times. 

 


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