It’s an understatement to say that the past several weeks have been stressful for photographers. And that goes for almost any photographer in any industry, no matter what genre they’re in.
The Pandemic: What’s Happened So Far
As the virus has spread from country to country, we’ve seen media outlets across the internet publishing “I Am Legend”-like photos by street photographers that depict the effect coronavirus has had on life in cities and suburbs. The images show near empty cityscapes and tourist attractions around the world.
But aside from these street photographers, the effect has been very difficult for many other types of photographers. Here are just a few example of the ways we’ve been hearing how photographers are being affected:
- Wedding photographers rely on gatherings of large groups of peoples at events. However, those crowds won’t be getting together at least for the next several weeks, and maybe longer. So, wedding photographers have had to deal with a host of cancellations. In fact, many news outlets reported last week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had officially recommended the cancellation of weddings for eight weeks in the United States
- Any photographer who might be having a large opening for a fine-art exhibition at a gallery, museum or non-profit space will either have to have the show postponed or cancelled. Also, some large festivals have had to be rescheduled, including Paris Photo, New York (rescheduled dates are yet to be determined) and Institut Pour La Photographie in Paris (rescheduled for the fall).
- For sports photographers, most college and pro sports have also been cancelled or postponed. The NCAA men and women’s professional tournaments has been cancelled. The NBA and Major League Baseball has also been suspended or postponed. And many are concerned that one of the biggest events for sports photographers, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, may not take place.
What You Can Do About It: Resources
During this challenging time, it might be a good idea to try and learn a new skill or find resources to help you keep your photo business going. Here’s are some helpful resources:
PPA Offers Free Access To More Than 1,100 Classes
Want to learn some new skills? For the next two weeks (ending April 4) The Professional Photographers of America’s website will allow you to unlock all of PPA’s education. On their site, PPA tells photographers “Times are tough – we need to be at our best. More kindness. More patience. More giving. And we at PPA want to pitch in to make things a little easier. What better way to spend your time at home than preparing your business for when things kick back into high gear?…That’s why PPA is opening ALL of our online education to ALL photographers and small business owners worldwide for the next two weeks.” To take advantage of the offer, you’ll need to sign up for a free account.
Adobe Gives Students Access To Creative Cloud
This primarily applies to students and teachers: According to Adobe’s website, “Adobe is making temporary at-home access to Creative Cloud available until May 31, 2020 for schools and colleges who currently have only lab access for students, at no additional cost.
ASMP’s COVID-19 Info Hub
ASMP’s website hub on the coronavirus has a number of valuable resources listed on the site, including a list of banks offering relief to customers affected by coronavirus and a slide show on the potential business ramifications of Coronovirus (COVID-19). The info hub also includes a webinar with Executive Director Tom Kennedy and ASMP General Counsel Tom Maddrey covering various coronavirus topics
Freelancing In The Age Of Coronavirus: A Survival Guide
This long blog post includes a number of topics, including cancel culture, ways to not feel so isolated and to keep dreaming:
Free Classes In Art And Art History During Isolation
Since many art museums and galleries are closed for the next several week, the Don’t Take Pictures website is offering this page, with various links to videos on assorted topics. The website notes, “These courses range from brief lecture series to multi-week assignment-based learning,” and includes four 30-minute episodes of John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing.” In each episode, Berger “examines the impact of photography on our appreciation of art from the past.”
New York Foundation For The Arts: Emergency Grants
The New York Foundation of the Arts has compiled a list of emergency artist grants in New York and elsewhere. Any artist, including photographers, can apply.
Additional Resources From Photographers
Also, here are some inventive examples from photographers:
- Wedding Photographer Jesi Peterson communicated with her customers by writing a blog post, “Wedding Postponing Tips And Tricks I’m Here To Help!” It’s helpful since it offers tips, including direct links to websites like the CDC.
- At Popphoto.com, freelance photographer and videographer Jeanette D. Moses produced an article for freelancers: “Tips for freelance photographers affected by the Coronavirus outbreak” includes a number of helpful suggestions, from doing your taxes to applying for grants or entering contests.
- This article, “Coronavirus Dos and Don’ts for Photographers and Filmmakers” by Shawn C. Steiner, provides some helpful reminders of what we need to do, and not do, during this crisis.