March 27, 2020
Covid-19 has managed to do what a month ago seemed unimaginable. The spread of the virus has put most of the world on pause, shutting down businesses and disrupting industries in record time and for many of use, the pandemic has left us stranded at home. As a small business who works to solve problems for winter photographers, we have seen and felt the effects first hand. Many in our photographer community make a living through freelance work, many lead travel workshops, many need to go outside and travel to create their content.
If you’ve been left behind by the Covid-19 economical crisis, you’re not alone but where there is a crisis, there is also opportunity. It’s time to get creative! Here are some ways to generate income during the global recession.
If you’ve lost your income due to the Coronavirus, you might be eligible for a government subsidy depending on where you live. As social distancing becomes the norm, businesses and industries around the world are coming to a screeching halt, leaving employees no option but to forego an income and go home. The good news is, you’re not alone. Millions of others will be left without a job and many governments are doing their best to manage the anticipated high unemployment. Check with your government to see if you can recoup some of your loses while we wait out the storm.
Alternatively, some non-government organizations are also trying to help the photography community like Format, who have created a $25,000 fund to help photographers impacted by COVID-19. Click here to check it out!
Selling photos online can be a hard gig but it can be done, especially if you’re just looking to make some money to get by. If you have a bit of a following already, you can explore setting up your own webshop to sell your photos online to your community. You can also look into websites that pay for stock images like 500px Prime, SmugMug Pro, and Shutterstock. Each site will have their own pricing and commission structure so be sure to read the fine print!
Remember that trip you took to Iceland a few years ago? And all of the stunning photos you took that impressed your friends? Like most digital files, photos seem to get lost and less relevant as time goes on but nows the perfect time to revisit them and put them into book form. You can self publish on a handful of sites like Blurb, Lulu, Snapfish, Shutterfly. Check out their pricing and see what works for you.
Photo by Lisa Germany
Okay, this one is a bit of a long term plan. We’re living in the digital age and it’s no secret that millions of people around the world make their income by simply existing online whether it’s Instagram, Youtube and even now, TikTok. If you think you have the chops to be an internet personality, you could eventually work yourself into a nice income. On Youtube, for example, you can earn ad revenue from the number of views you get on each video. Whilst this won’t be a lot of cash to begin with, I think you earn something like $2 from 1000 views, you can earn a little whilst at the same time build a community and a group of followers.
Another up and comer to the social media field is TikTok, an app that has soared in popularity with the younger generations. While it doesn’t seem like TikTok currently has a lot of paid advertising opportunities for creators, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them take the same path as Instagram and Youtube. Once upon a time, Instagram’s algorithm allowed influencers and brands to rise quickly through the ranks and those who had invested their time into Instagram early reaped the rewards when the algorithm changed, making it harder to grow a following. If you’re sitting around with lots of time on your hands, it could be a great time to download TikTok and get started.
Selling physical prints is no longer a reliable income option for most photographers so as the times have changed, so have the money-making strategies. Instead of focusing on physical products you can offer, try thinking of what skills you might be able to share with the world. Especially now, as most of the world sits at home waiting out this storm. Many people are out of work and have an abundance of time to pick up a new skill or learn something different. Lightroom/Photoshop tutorials could be a great avenue if you’re confined to indoor spaces.
As photography becomes more accessible for the masses, many people are looking for a quick fix to take their photo from average to awesome and an easy way to do that is to add on a Lightroom preset. As a photographer yourself, you probably already use presets to kickstart your editing sessions so sell your settings to help others improve their photos? You may be quick to think that selling presets is selling your signature look but like most photographers, it’s likely you start with a preset and continue to tweak from there so you don’t really need to worry about people copying your style. Rest assured that your edits are unlikely to ever be recreated the exact same way.
Okay, okay, this isn’t necessarily a money-making tip but if you’re a photographer reading this, you likely have a group of photographer friends who are also struggling and in these difficult times, it’s understandable if you don’t have the financial means to support them but there are a lot of other ways you can support photographers right now without forking over you precious money. Here are some quick wins that are totally free:
Leave a positive review on their social pages or google business page. Not only will this be a morale booster but it will encourage other people to book the photographer down the road when the dust has settled.
Do shout outs to your favourite photographers on your social media channels. Help spread the love and give your photographer friends some extra visibility they absolutely deserve.
Repost some of their photos you particularly love. Talk about why that image spoke to you and why you love it so much. Again, visibility is key!
Be an active member of their social community. Like, comment and respond to their posts and stories.
If you have the financial means, book a future session with them or ask for a gift certificate for a friend or family member to use down the road. If they are offering physical or digital products and you’re in a position to help, buy them. Show your support financially. It will mean so much in these trying times.
The world seems to be a mess but our community is stronger than ever. While this economy hit is going to hurt a lot of industries, it’s especially going to be felt with contract/freelance workers (like photographers) and small businesses (like us!). If you’re in a position to help out those who may be suffering financially, now’s a great time to offer up support.
At Vallerret, our operations are continuing as normal for the time being. We have plenty of stock left and while the delivery may be slower based on your location, we can get a pair of gloves for you to use and enjoy before the remaining snow melts. If the snow is already gone, they’ll be ready to go for next season! We greatly appreciate the support our community has continued to show during these uncertain times and we look forward to seeing how you put the gloves to use when it’s safe to do so.
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