How to be a Photographer in a Post-Pandemic World

The photography industry is facing dramatic losses and daunting challenges right now, and many photographers don’t know if their businesses will survive. Through candid conversation with real photographers, we explore solutions for keeping your business afloat and finding hope through fear.


How to Get Back to Work: Pandemic Edition

Four months after COVID-19 first exploded across the United States, photographers are still fighting an uphill battle. Photography clients continue to cancel and postpone, inquiries have declined or ceased altogether, and some locales have expressly prohibited photography businesses from reopening.

It all pales in comparison to the lives lost and the lives devastated. But, for those of us who are fortunate enough to remain healthy, life carries on. Bills have to be paid, and to pay them you need money, and to get money—that’s right—you have to work.

But what do you do when the work has dried up? Can your business survive? What are your options?

Here’s a deep dive into the real-life experiences of struggling photographers, and how they’re coping with this crisis.

“It took 10 years of grinding hard to build a successful book of businesses in our large event niche; and it was completely erased in 12 days due to COVID-19.” —Patrick Williams, PWP Studio

A bride and groom hold hands in front of the ocean with COVID-19 masks on their faces
Lavender Bouquet Photography

Before you go any further…

I’ll feel better if I remind you: ShootProof isn’t a lawyer, a doctor, or a team of both lawyers and doctors. We’re just here to empower you to take ownership of your situation, and to do what’s best for you, your business, and your family. Capiche? Capiche.  


First Things First: Know Your Rights and Restrictions

Before you do anything else (fine, pause the TV), research the mandates in your area. Literally go to yourstate.gov and click on the big button that definitely says “COVID” or “coronavirus” or “everyone remain calm” or whatever it may be, and read what’s there with your own two eyes. Don’t just assume your cousin’s Facebook post told you everything you needed to know. It’s your business, so you need to read for yourself.

What will you find? Some entire states are still in lockdown. Some states have trusted their counties or cities to determine safety measures. Some states are like, “COVID-what?.” Here’s what you’re looking to know:

  • Is photography explicitly prohibited where you live?
  • What are the penalties (if any) for shooting despite restrictions?
  • When and where do you and others have to wear a mask?
  • How many people are permitted to gather in one place?

“[In places where photography is prohibited,] many photographers are working anyway and just not talking about it. But they could be subject to a $10K fine if they’re caught working illegally, so it’s a real concern.” —Kim Fetrow

Next: Draft Your Own Internal Pandemic Policy

Once you’re aware of any state-mandated limitations, you can develop a pandemic policy for your own business. This does not have to be a public-facing policy, but you should still put the policy in writing and let it guide you as you evaluate future jobs, reschedule existing clients, and identify the best practices for ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved. As government guidelines evolve, update your policy.

A bride and groom share their first kiss as husband and wife in front of their mask-wearing guests during COVID-19
Kim Craven Photography

A thoughtful policy should include:

Cancelations and Refunds Due to COVID-19

Your contract surely already addresses cancelations and refunds; but if you’ve made the savvy decision to offer exceptions during this exceptional time, you should outline that approach in writing. When you’re faced with a decision related to scheduling, you can refer to your policy to remind you of what’s negotiable—and what isn’t.

For example, you might agree to be extremely flexible with rescheduling, but not to budge on your contract’s refund clause. Whatever the case may be, when a decision is made, don’t forget to add an addendum to your client’s contract!

“Scheduling sucks—especially in the South. We don’t know when things are going to lock back down or where you’re allowed to shoot because there’s no unified approach to safety.” – Mike Glatzer 


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Photography Session Changes During COVID-19

How do you need to adapt your photo sessions to, A) operate legally, and B) best support everyone’s health and comfort? Consider your unique clientele and their needs. For example:

  • “All sessions will be photographed outdoors.” (A big change if you’re typically a studio photographer!)
  • “I will wear a mask at all times.” (Find a list of our favorite masks below!)
  • “I’m unable to photograph groups of more than 10 people.” (Would affect weddings, events, and large group portraits.)
  • “All photography must take place in one of the following counties where photo sessions are still permitted.” (Before you choose to work in an area where photography is prohibited, research and identify the potential penalties your business could face.)

“We currently are back in our studio shooting, but our safety protocols have doubled as a result of COVID-19.” —Sarah Witherington, OWN Boudoir

Safety Protocols Throughout COVID-19

In addition to the photography session changes suggested above, create a detailed outline of any additional safety protocols you need to put in place. Do you need to implement new sanitation standards for your studio, sample products, and deliverables? What kinds of cleaning supplies do you need to purchase? Do you have any of your own health concerns related to a pre-existing condition?

Explore your safety measures from every angle until you’re confident in your ability to provide risk-free services.

A family is photographed in a field wearing medical masks during coronavirus 2020
Lorin Kelly Photography

Don’t Abandon Your Marketing!

This probably feels like the right time to take a break from touting your business and advertising your upcoming mini sessions. The truth? This is the time to double down on your marketing efforts! Here’s why:

  1. The market is wide open. The photo industry got hit hard, almost overnight. So a lot of photographers have made the personal choice to cut back, close down, or go on hiatus. Totally a reasonable decision to make for some folks. But that leaves even more opportunity for YOU to step in and promote your own work.
  2. People crave normality. It feels better than ever to see a friend, eat a delicious meal, or discover a new book. Be part of that sought-after normality by sharing photos of happy people, highlighting beautiful moments, and demonstrating how you can create similar memories for other clients.

Keep Up with Social Media

“We’ve seen an uptick in social media engagement (likely because people are browsing their phones at home), and that has led to an increased influx of leads.” —Sarah Witherington, OWN Boudoir

Just because people aren’t booking doesn’t mean they aren’t looking. Keep posting to social media, blogging about sessions, sending personal notes to clients, and looking for opportunities to showcase your work.

If you haven’t shot anything recently, dig back through your archives and share images from past sessions, or reshare photos that your followers liked the first time around.

Focus on Your Clients More than Ever

“I am going about my business as usual (posting on social media regularly) and still trying to focus my attention on booking new clients by having more one one one consultations with brides via Zoom and phone calls.” —Sara Shaikh, This Modern Love Photography

When work is slow, you can give so much more of yourself to the clients you do have. Wash your hair and make time for a face-to-face Zoom call. Send a check-in text or email to the clients you’re close to. Stay focused on documenting your clients’ stories, and leave the never-ending pandemic talk to the news pundits.

Experiment with New Ideas

It may seem counterintuitive, but now is the time to introduce new products, launch new sessions, and experiment with new ways of doing business.

“Elopements and micro-weddings are getting us by, as well as engagement and family sessions where it is much easier to practice social distancing.” —Megan Breukelman, Megan & Kenneth

Here are 15 of our favorite ideas:

  1. open yourself up to new photography genres
  2. launch a series of mini sessions
  3. offer albums to past clients
  4. consider making leftover digital files available for purchase
  5. announce a day of micro portraits (5 minute headshots) for professionals
  6. partner with other vendors you love to offer pre-packaged tiny wedding experiences
  7. discount your booking deposit for folks who book now for a 2021 session
  8. reopen archived ShootProof galleries and hold a print sale for all your previous clients
  9. photograph your favorite products and create a look book to inspire your clients
  10. help your clients get to know YOU with social media selfies and stories
  11. host a doggy day for proud pet owners to get simple snaps of their fur baby
  12. develop a digital info packet for local businesses who may want brand photography
  13. build out your referral program to inspire more word-of-mouth marketing
  14. offer repeat clients a personalized discount or product bonus
  15. encourage clients to book a series of shoots, not just a single session

“Currently we’re brainstorming on creative marketing ideas like album sales to past clients, giving clients the option to purchase digital images they didn’t originally select, offering deposit discounts so that clients can book further in advance, etc.” —Sarah Witherington, OWN Boudoir

Market Like Your Life Depends On It

You have everything and nothing to lose right now. Don’t let your usual fears hold you back. This is your chance to stand out, speak up, define your brand voice, and declare your brand values.

Get laser-focused on finding your ideal clients, and don’t let up. If you can make it through this chaos, you’ll be amazed by how strong you are on the other side.

Sara Shaikh, This Modern Love Photography

Solutions for Portrait Photographers

Due to the nature of this coronavirus, it’s easier to continue photographing if your clientele are primarily individuals and families. These clients are best able to flex their schedules, shooting locations, and even group sizes.

For our purposes here, we’re defining portrait photography as non-volume, non-commercial work. Couples and individuals, families, newborns, and seniors are all considered portrait photography. (We’ll even include pet photography in the mix, since pets are typically photographed with individuals and families.)

How to Manage Babies and Kids

Little kids are surprisingly resilient, but they’re also wild and unpredictable. If you proceed with photographing a youngster, make sure they can follow their parents’ instructions and wear a mask if they’re old enough.


IMPORTANT: Out of an abundance of caution, all photography involving newborn babies should be approved by the baby’s pediatrician in advance. 


How to Make Safe Portraits

Some photographers are successfully rebooking their portrait sessions to shoot in the client’s yard. If this approach works for your business, make sure to:

  • Get a sneak peek. Request a few pre-session photos of your clients’ front and back yards during the time of day when you’ll be shooting. Look for sufficient open shade and spots that will photograph well.
  • Shoot long. Bring a telephoto lens so you can shoot from a distance of at least six feet. A long lens’ compression will also help to blur out any unwanted background elements. Don’t have a long lens? Buy or rent a used one!
  • Keep your distance. Avoid entering your client’s home for any reason. Even if you’re the healthiest person on the planet, you don’t want to risk tracking unwanted germs into their home when so much is at stake. Social distancing works!

Many communities also permit small gatherings in public outdoor spaces, such as parks. Be sure to scope out the area in advance so you know it won’t be excessively crowded.

A young pregnant mother wearing a pink skirt and black hat stands in a field with her daughters and husband during COVID-19
Lorin Kelly Photography

#ShootProofPRO Tip: Maternity Sessions

“My biggest challenge is when a client needs to delay their maternity session due to a possible COVID-19 exposure. Of course, their health is the top priority! But with time-sensitive maternity sessions, it can be challenging to find a reschedule date before the baby arrives. I’ve re-examined my process for booking expectant mothers, and I try to schedule them a little earlier in their pregnancies than before to allow for a possible delay in case someone is exposed to COVID-19.” – Kristal Bean


You Can Still Deliver a Great Portrait Experience

If your adult sessions typically include hair or makeup styling, research whether that’s even allowed in your area. You may need to offer alternate ideas to help your clients look their best.


REMEMBER: Hair stylists and makeup artists are struggling, too. So if you are legally and safely able to continue providing those services to your clients, your beauty industry friends will thank you!


If you typically provide wardrobe options for your clients (such as maternity gowns, boudoir outfits, newborn props, etc.), let your clients know in advance how you’re sanitizing these items to ensure their safety.

How to Keep Making Money with Portrait Photography

“We took the initiative to reschedule all of our boudoir sessions for two months, meaning we were relying on payment plans and creative marketing in order to continue to stay open.” —Sarah Witherington, OWN Boudoir

Portrait Product Sales Ideas

If you’ve never put much emphasis on product sales, this is a great time to change gears! Instead of conducting in-person sales, switch to a virtual sales approach, like the ones implemented by The Blumes and Alison Winterroth. Your clients will appreciate the convenience, and no one will need to worry about germs.

If the very thought of “selling” anything makes you cringe, consider partnering with a talented sales person who will handle your product sales session in exchange for a percentage of the sales. You’ll be helping your clients, earning more profits, and helping to support another professional all in one move!

A couple gets married outside with their guests looking on from a distance wearing masks
Lavender Bouquet Photography

Commercial Photographers: How to Pivot

In a sense, all for-profit photography is commercial in nature. But here we’re talking about photographers who shoot product, fashion, editorial, and advertising photography—still a wide range of photography approaches!

Product Photography Solutions

Depending on the size of the products you photograph, you may be able to shift your product photography approach enough to continue working. If your clients require location photography, or work that demands a large team of people, this may be more challenging—even impossible.

As companies accept this “new normal,” it may be the perfect time to open a dialogue with your corporate contacts to discuss reimagining your products shoots so the work doesn’t have to end completely.

  • How much of the work can be done solo or with a very small team?
  • Does the shoot location matter? If the client can be flexible, where can you legally go to shoot?
  • Can you revisit your contract(s) and offer a scaled-down version of the originally proposed project—one that causes fewer challenges?

“We are doing restaurant photography for local food spots because online ordering is so big right now. Some places are paying cash, others are paying in food; we are all trying our best.” —Megan Breukelman, Megan & Kenneth

Fashion, Editorial, and Advertising Photography Solutions

These categories are quite broad, and they often overlap into both the product and portrait photography arenas. Focus on:

  • clear, consistent communication with your client contacts. Keep them posted on your availability, and try to avoid losing any clients to a more flexible photographer.
  • outside-the-box, creative ideas for getting the work done safely. Can you create social media and web imagery using FaceTime? Can you shoot outside instead of inside?

“Thankfully, my FaceTime photo shoots proved to be a success and offered great financial support during the months of quarantine.” —Lauren Rodriguez, Lauren Alexis Photography

Expand Your Reach

“I’ve been driving long distances to counties that are open to photographers. I even flew across the country to do a commercial shoot in Nashville because it is still legal to work there.” —Kim Fetrow

Lavender Bouquet Photography | Kiyah C. Photography | This Modern Love Photography

Wedding Photographers: An All-New Approach

Unfortunately, wedding photographers have been deeply impacted by the global pandemic, because each wedding accounts for a larger percentage of the photographer’s income than, say, the average portrait session. (Although if you’ve been rocking $4k portrait sessions, GO YOU.) And since weddings are typically large community celebrations, couples may struggle to make the decision to scale back, which could mean they’re forced to postpone their weddings for quite some time.

“COVID-19 has impacted my business by dwindling my year of 15+ full-sized weddings and events across a few states to less than five small and intimate celebrations. My heart has gone out to all of my clients that have had to postpone their celebrations.” —Kiyah Crittendon, Kiyah C. Photography

Help Your Wedding Clients Rethink Their Plans

Stay in close contact with all of your postponing clients, and even consider a follow-up email to any clients who full-on canceled their wedding photography. Many couples are tired of delaying and have decided to reimagine their wedding as an elopement or a “micro-wedding.” Make sure they know you’re on board with their plans—whatever they may be!

“We are starting to get back into micro-weddings with COVID-19 precautions—guests tested ahead of time, masks, socially distant receptions… There are still no large celebrations in sight for pretty much the rest of the year. Many of our clients have been flexible and understanding, and we hope to mirror that back to them as things continue to change.” —Megan Breukelman, Megan & Kenneth

Incentivize Your Wedding Clients to Keep You

Consider offering your wedding clients a service discount or a product bonus if they keep you as their photographer—even for a smaller celebration. Tiny, back yard weddings deserves great images, too!

A socially distanced family portrait in a large seaside field after an outdoor wedding during COVID-19
Lavender Bouquet Photography

Event and Volume Photographers: The Hardest Hit

WE SEE YOU. If your livelihood depends on corporations having events, sports teams playing games, or schools teaching school in actual school buildings, then you probably feel pretty desperate right now. And that’s entirely understandable. Because this really, really sucks.

“The studio has been decimated, and no one knows when that will change. We have large events on the books for October and November, but we are just starting to hear grumblings of ‘it may be virtual’ and ‘we may cancel until 2021.’ Do we pivot outside of our industry? Do we borrow to keep the studio intact for another three, six, or 12 months? Do we dig out our 10 year old portfolio images for weddings and portraits and pivot to the over-populated social space? The impact is real, and the decisions are hard!” – Patrick Williams, PWP Studio

Exactly how have event and volume photographers been impacted?

“Between March 10th and July 15th of 2019 we captured 50 events with an average attendance of 6000 people. Between March 10th and July 15th of 2020 we have captured one event with 30 people.” —Patrick Williams, PWP Studio

Stories like Patrick’s are unfortunately not uncommon for event and volume photographers. When your income relies on massive, high-volume shoots, there simply isn’t any way to magically transform your business overnight into a portrait photography business or a cookie making factory.

“The large event industry is in the midst of the biggest disruption in history. We are not only seeing events postpone repeatedly or go 100% virtual, but now our client contacts are losing their jobs, and many of our 200 sub-contract photographers are leaving the industry to find work.” —Patrick Williams, PWP Studio

Think Beyond the Super-Big Jobs

As with weddings, you may be able to incentivize your large clients to repurpose their planned photography investment for another photo project.

  • socially distanced outdoor headshots and portraits
  • small product photography
  • architectural images of the company’s or organization’s building and grounds
  • team collages of individual players rather than one big group photo

Whether you run a team of photographers or work solo, you may want to refocus your business toward other related industries. What else is your business equipped to do? How can you repurpose your skill set for other industries? Can photo galleries from years passed be relaunched and resent to former clients? (This is easy if you use ShootProof archiving!)

None of these ideas are brilliant or life changing. That’s because what’s happening has never happened before—well, not to any of us here today. There are no easy answers or simple solutions. And that’s excruciatingly painful, to us, of course, but most especially to you.

A commercial event photographer sets up to photograph the decor for a convention
Patrick Williams, PWP Studio

Can You Survive with Your Business Intact?

I’m going to be uncomfortably honest. Not every business will get through this.

Some of you will decide the photo industry is simply too vulnerable to stick it out any longer. You’ll go back to teaching or accounting or lawyer-ing or some other abandoned talent. Others will put their full-time photography dreams on hold and come back to their cameras when the world feels a bit more normal.

Then there will be the folks who, beyond all logic, manage to make it. Some businesses will survive because the owners are exceptionally savvy. Many who make it will simply be lucky.

No matter how you proceed, you are correct. Because all that matters is that you do the next right thing right now. 

Here are 10 steps that will help embolden you to stay the course, survive, and thrive!

A beautiful Black bride carries a bouquet of red roses for portraits with her new husband
Kim Craven Photography

#1: Make Some Noise

“Professional photography is still not allowed to reopen in our part of Washington state. It’s so incredibly frustrating when the MALL is open.” —Kim Fetrow

If you think your local government is doing an abhorrent job of handling the coronavirus crisis, CONTACT THEM. Every day. Call them, email them, send carrier pigeons… Sure, you might be ignored. But if enough people make enough noise, you’re more likely to be heard. Complaining can’t make the pandemic end, but it CAN push your local leaders to make decisions that will help you.

#2: Research Your Financial Aid Options

“Luckily I was able to file for unemployment so that’s been a great help in allowing me to focus on other things like writing my first book which is a guide for brides.” —Sara Shaikh, This Modern Love Photography 

Find out what options are still available to you as a small business owner. Your accountant or attorney will likely be your best resource for that information. Do you qualify for unemployment? How about disability? Don’t be afraid to contact your local government and ask about the resources that may be available to you.

“The CARES Act has literally saved us in every way. We secured over $200k in funding (every SBA and State program, loan, and grant available) to make it through this pandemic.” —Patrick Williams, PWP Studio

Not every business can qualify for a government grant or loan; and some programs are already out of funding. But keep in mind that even a bank loan might be an appropriate option if you only need a bit of cash flow to see you through for the next few months.

#3: Branch Out Into a New Genre

Look outside your preferred genre at other ways to make money with your camera, such as:

  • lifestyle family sessions at the park
  • pre-wedding shoots to document this time for couples who have postponed their weddings
  • portraits of local political candidates (they need all the help they can get right now!)
  • small product photography for Etsy shops
  • food photography for local restaurants

“I’m reshaping my wedding photography offers to serve couples in the ways I can in Washington state for 2020. This means very micro events and elopements in this season, while planning for larger events in 2021. And although revenue is split between the years, I’m finding ways for it to stay in my business!” —Shelby Schmidt, Something Minted Photography

Empty rows of chairs overlook the elopement of a young couple getting married outside
Shelby Schmidt, Something Minted Photography

#4: Stay Connected to Your Community

We need each other now more than ever. Yet it’s now, when we’re the most desperate, the most lonely, the most overwhelmed, that we are the most separated from those we love, like, and admire. Make a point of regularly reaching out, even if it’s just a regular Monday “appointment” to email a word of encouragement or text a thoughtful message.

“No matter how deep you are in your business, COVID-19 has impacted it. It’s an event that has people all over the country, all over the world, experiencing drastic change… together. This hardship offers the chance for us to share what we’re learning and lead through empowerment instead of letting fear hold us back.” —Shelby Schmidt, Something Minted Photography

There’s Strength in Numbers

Have you ever hit “like” on someone’s post about “community over competition”? Well, now’s the time to put your money where your mouth is. Or your actions where your “likes” are, as it were.

If we all walk around feeling threatened by other photographers and terrified of trying to salvage our businesses, we’ll become more and more disconnected from one another. If we remain mindful, however, and push purposefully through these dark times, we’ll come out stronger on the other side.

“Find ways to directly help your community. When we get to the other side of this, people are going to remember how you made them feel and how you made an impact on their lives.” —Megan Breukelman, Megan & Kenneth

#5: Diversify Your Income Stream (We have ideas!)

Every photographer I spoke with for advice said: “Diversify!” This can mean everything from shooting a new genre of photography to adding pizza delivery or painting contractor to your repertoire. Nothing is off-limits when it comes to your long-term health and happiness.

“Get creative! Offer product photography, real estate photography, retouching, mentoring, etc. Utilize the skills you have that can be done with social distancing.” —Kiyah Crittendon, Kiyah C. Photography

Diversification can be tough in the best of times, and I fully recognize that it’s even tougher when the sky seems to be falling all around you. But if desperate times call for desperate measures, then this is the moment to get drastic.

“Lean into any other creative strengths and dream up ways to make money with them. For example, offer one-on-one photography training via Zoom, or if you’re great at crafting, open up an Etsy store, and sell your products. Establish streams of passive income: sell photography presets, business templates for photographers, educational photography material, etc. The goal is to create a product that will continue to sell and make you money.” —Lauren Rodriguez, Lauren Alexis Photography

Look for opportunities to collaborate with other business people to expand, enhance, and differentiate your business. You might be the first photographer ever to pair photography with pet sitting; who knows? The point is: the sky is the limit.

A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on the cake table at a socially distanced wedding held outside during COVID-19
Lavender Bouquet Photography

#6: Don’t Assume ALL Your Clients are Struggling Financially

It’s easy to assume that everyone’s struggles are the same. It’s the idea that “if I can’t afford it, surely no one else can afford it; so I shouldn’t even try to sell it.” But that’s FAR from the truth. While you’re praying that $20 invoice gets paid, someone else is out there buying a brand new car in cash.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out to past clients to see if they have any photography needs you could meet. Some people are in a great financial situation and are willing/able to spend money on a new session, purchase prints, or buy an album.” —Kiyah Crittendon, Kiyah C. Photography

Make a point of presenting your most expensive offerings to every client. Don’t assume they can’t afford it. Simply present the options, and see where the chips fall.

And if you’re one of those people who is NOT hurting financially, find ways to give back. Hire a photographer for your own family. Order food from a local restaurant. Hire your neighbor’s lawn service company to mow your grass. Basically: be a person. It makes the whole world a better place.

#7: Reduce Your Spending

“Look at which expenses you can eliminate right now.” —Kiyah Crittendon, Kiyah C. Photography

In other words, cancel what you don’t need, reduce costs wherever possible, and take the time to evaluate what’s adding to your business and what’s just sucking money out of your bank account.

Even when business is slow, there will always be unavoidable expenses. But there’s no shame in cutting back when it’s reasonable. Your clients may be doing the same.

A groom in a mask fist-bumps one of his wedding guests, and his bride hugs the same guest while wearing her mask during their COVID-19 wedding
Kim Craven Photography

#8: Plan for the Future

Some people are incredibly diligent when it comes to saving money, and those photographers have struggled the least during this crisis. You might be tempted to begrudge them their foresight, but instead take this opportunity to plan for the future. Rework your budget, and makes plans to save as soon as saving is a viable option.

“Thankfully, I’ve been in a good place financially as I’ve been diligent about having a hefty emergency fund over the years and I’m still able to book weddings for 2021. While my total income for 2020 will be incredibly lower than all other years before, I’m grateful to have a home, clothes, food, and my health, and a job. This pandemic has taught me to be grateful and get creative about how I can maintain my job.” —Kiyah Crittendon, Kiyah C. Photography

The Future May Never be “Normal” Again

Planning for the future also means recognizing how the photo industry may be changed forever. For example, ShootProof is now a Work from Anywhere company, when only a few short months ago we all worked from one big office. The large event industry has also been permanently impacted as companies cancel conventions, couples cancel large weddings, and even educational experiences have been shifted into virtual spaces.

“My team and I usually shoot large-scale Southeast Asian weddings, but now I am seeing more couples opt for smaller weddings and intimate gatherings. I think this is great, but it also changes the income aspect of our business and how much we are used to earning.” —Sara Shaikh, This Modern Love Photography

Don’t wait around for everything to get back to normal. Go ahead and begin planning for a future in which this is normal.

#9: Make the Most of the Time You’ve Been Given

I don’t know about you, but this is the first time in my life that I’ve read so many books in such a short time frame. It’s amazing what happens when you can no longer “grab a quick drink with friends.”

So take this opportunity to grow, learn, and build. There are already a gazillion articles out there about what you could be doing with your extra time, so I won’t bore you with those ideas here. You know what kind of time you have and what matters most to you. Now go do those things. 

“I just wrote a book, and I’m hoping it takes off and is able to help earn residual income. I have put my years of knowledge into it to help educate brides in a relatable way!” —Sara Shaikh, This Modern Love Photography

#10: Don’t Stop Shooting

You don’t need clients to take pictures. In fact, some of the world’s most impactful photographers shoot solely for their own artistic enjoyment. This is the time to reconnect with your creative roots and fine-tune your vision.

“Above everything, keep shooting! Find ways to keep the creativity alive, and use this time to practice things that you have maybe been putting off.” —Sara Shaikh, This Modern Love Photography

A family stands at a social distance in a field while holding hands and wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic
Lorin Kelly Photography

Bonus: Our Favorite Masks for Staying Safe and Looking Fab

I asked the ShootProof team who makes their favorite, most-worn masks, and this is what they recommended:


A couple runs through a tunnel of sparklers held by guests at the end of their wedding
Kiyah Crittendon, Kiyah C. Photography

Believe in Yourself

It sounds cheesy, I know. “Just believe in yourself, kids!” But it’s not about having blind faith that everything will just work itself out. It’s about believing that you are worthy of success. 

When you woke up this morning, you were worthy. When you yelled at the dog for howling at the mail carrier, you were worthy. When you forgot your kid hates triangle food and you accidentally cut their sandwich into triangles, you were worthy. When you fell asleep on the sofa instead of finishing that website update, you were worthy. When you ate cake for dinner, you were worthy.

You matter. You art matters, your feelings matter, your ideas matter, and your dreams matter. And just because everything is all topsy-turvy right now doesn’t mean you did anything wrong.

“You know what? The best advice I can give other photographers is to just not give up. As a breed, you’re bloody resilient.” —Sarah Wayte

I couldn’t say it any better. So, “Cheers!” to all you worthy, resilient photographers. You’ve got this.


Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs and insights shared by: KIM CRAVEN KIM FETROW  KIYAH CRITTENDON KRISTAL BEAN  LAUREN A. RODRIGUEZ LORIN KELLY MEGAN BREUKELMAN  MIKE GLATZER  PATRICK WILLIAMS  SARA SHAIKH  SARAH WAYTE  SARAH WITHERINGTON  SHELBY SCHMIDT


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