Currently many of us are sitting in enforced quarantine which may or may not come with more free time than usually. Plans are cancelled, photo trips postponed and work schedules rearranged. This situation is new to all of us and we have to do our best to adapt and to keep going. In this short blog I want to give all self-employed artists or hobby photographers some simple ideas how to use this situation as effectively as possible.
Staying home as much as we can is the best possible support we can give to fight this crisis, let’s at least make the best out of it!
Written by Anskar
Try something new
With staying home a lot we also have a lot of time to learn something new in our field of expertise. For photographers there are a variety of tools, software’s or programs that can simplify or enhance our workflow. There is a lot to choose from ranging from simple editing software’s to the most complex video cutting programs.
You can take the time to either dig deeper into one of the software you already know, through watching tutorials or just by trial and error. Or you can also go the extra mile and learn a whole new program that will help you in getting better at what you do. We use the time to finally get started with video cutting and editing as we still have tons of footage lying around in our archives. A new software might look scaring in the beginning but always remember that the start is the hardest! It took me five tries to finally get into it cutting my first video but I’m just super happy to have made the first steps and didn’t give up on it!
The big clean-up
Being a photographer means that with time hundreds to thousands gigabytes of image and video footage will pile up on our computers and hard drives. Especially in times where digital space is cheap as never it’s tempting to just leave everything as it is rotting in the archives. But I regularly take the time to clean all my archives and images that I don’t need anymore. Why? Because just like tidying out your room of physical things it can be quite revealing to get rid of digital data which aren’t of any use anymore.
And if tidying out isn’t an option maybe (re)organizing is. A well-organized system can enhance your workflow immensely. It might look like a gigantic task in the beginning but it can be a real time saver in the future!
Ever dreamed of having a home-studio in the basement? Or a wildlife hide in your garden? Or the perfect set-up for product shootings? Well now is the time to build any of it!
Make a plan, get all the materials you need (while making sure to stick to the rules and keep everyone around you safe) and get going. We actually build a little wildlife set-up in our garden consisting of a simple camouflage tent and a wooden wildlife “stage”. The wooden set-up is made up of some interesting looking tree trunks and a single branch where we regularly put some seeds and nuts down. While patiently waiting in our plain and simple wildlife “hide” we welcome a variety of visitors on the trunks. So far different garden birds as well as some local Red squirrels took the chance to snatch some food which resulted in some beautiful images with a soft green background.
Regardless of photographing as a hobby, passion or job it can be very challenging and tiring at times. Worst case is that it will end up in a creative block when you push it too hard. Now is the perfect time to just take a break from all of it and turn to some other hobbies or interests, especially as we cannot really travel anyway.
A break from your favourite hobby (or job) can be very boosting and eventually you will come back as creative as never before. I can tell because I just recently had a break from photography, social media and everything involved. It felt good to just not think about where to head for a shooting or what to post in the evening. And eventually I felt more creative than ever and got the power and will to actually accomplish many of the ideas that were jumping around in my head for a long time.
I hope these tips were actually helpful and you might apply one or two of them. How do you spend your time these days? Has a lot changed or is business as usual?