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Five Pandemic Habits Photographers Should Bring Along in 2021

Get The Most Creatively Out of Your Pandemic Bubble

Without a doubt, 2020 was one of the most challenging years in recent memory. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, a tumultuous election year, and a major newsworthy event occurring every month, many have coined the first installment of the roaring twenties as the worst year ever. It would be a tall order to find anyone that didn’t think that every bad bit about last year should be shown the door. 

But, in the midst of all that chaos, 2020 was also a very revealing period. Every household and every industry had to rethink their day-to-day procedures. Like never before, we all had to become cognisant of how our actions impact not only ourselves directly; but, how we impact everyone in our community.

Credit: Julian Wan

Something else was brewing…

As we were fighting over toilet paper and figuring out grocery delivery apps, 2020 saw a creative boom. As reported by Essence, “consumer behaviors are shifting in real time. As creatives and marketers, our job is to read the room and adapt. And the room has spoken, loudly and clearly…it will create new moments for brands and creators to connect with new audiences on new platforms.” Sure, we can’t wait to plan a trip or to go to a concert. But, there are certain social distancing changes that are here to stay. In order to thrive professionally in 2021, let’s take a look at five pandemic habits that photographers should bring into the new year.

Before we jump in, here’s a quick snapshot:

  1. Covid-Safe
  2. Home Studios
  3. Contactless Shopping
  4. Learning & Networking
  5. Screen time

Covid-Safe Shoots

Credit: Anastasis Chepin

In 2021 and beyond, make the following number one on your daily to-do list: safety always. This also applies to photo or video shoots

Across all industries, ensuring a safe work environment for all is a top priority. That means social distancing, wearing a mask, frequent hand sanitization, and removing yourself from said environment if one begins to show symptoms. This is not only the case for big box retailers or Fortune 500 companies. From conglomerates to small businesses, everyone must do their part to keep themselves and everyone around them safe. 

For photographers and videographers, new protocols threw many for a loop. While it is not unusual to tackle a job solo, there are many instances where the creative process is a collaborative one. From here on out, strive to make suggested safety protocols and procedures not only the norm; but non-negotiable. 

Big Clients, Small Home Studios

Credit: Szabo Viktor

Never underestimate the creative potential of a small space – even if that small space is your living room, bedroom, or kitchen.

The past twelve months have provided its fair share of lessons in ingenuity. Photographers and videographers have had to provide the same professional quality work with fewer resources and reduced accessibility to large studios spaces. This has been especially the case for those working in product and even fashion photography. And, thanks to resources like YouTube, photographers are demonstrating how they accomplished just that. 

In April 2020, photographer Tyler Babin uploaded a video titled, Shooting a Nike Advertisement in My Living Room. In about 15 minutes, Babin puts one’s mind at ease at just how plausible it is to meet the needs of big name clients within the square footage of his own living room. It’s a must watch for any photographer on the fence about accepting a job offer from a major brand. 

Contactless Gear Pick-Up

Credit: Chuttersnap

Since last March, odds are that one has had to utilize contactless payment or pick-up. Tech retailers like Samy’s Camera, Best Buy, and even grocery stores have not only begun expanding options for contactless shopping; they are encouraging customers to utilize them while stay at home orders remain in effect.

Contactless shopping, payment, and pickup are great ways to get everything you need for your next shoot while keeping our communities COVID free. These socially distanced solutions are simple:

  • pay with your phone while shopping in-store
  • place an online order for home delivery
  • or request curbside pick-up. This is especially handy for rental customers or PA’s picking up on behalf of a production or studio. 

All of the above will help expedite your shopping errand while reducing in-store capacity. In a nutshell, by utilizing contactless shopping, one is helping businesses of all sizes remain open. It’s a win-win. 

Distance Learning & Networking

Credit: Chris Montogomery

Sure, online courses have been increasingly common over the past decade. But as of late, distance learning and networking has become part of everyone’s day-to-day routine. From work to school to social encounters – business meetings, midterm finals, and Sunday brunch now happens over Zoom. 

Don’t get us wrong, we miss in-person gatherings of all kinds. However, the benefits of online conferencing have become apparent throughout 2020. It’s possible to make a 3pm meeting without having to brave Southern California traffic? Sign us up!

For both aspiring and professional photographers, utilize free platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and more to accomplish the following in 2021:

  • Collaborate remotely
  • Hold meetings, host webinars, and teach classes all on one platform
  • Start a Zoom club
  • Offer live demos
  • Offer on demand customer service or public relations 
  • Create transcripts for blogs or podcasts

Whatever conferencing platform one prefers, all have the potential to be both a creative and powerful business tool. 

Make the Most of Your Screen Time

Credit: Claudio Schwarz

During self-quarantine, something shocking happened. People spent more time on their phones. 

Believe us, you’re not the only one who felt exposed when that weekly screen time report would pop up. Between streaming services and scrolling social media, our smartphones have been working overtime. From streaming DJ sets to the latest Neftlix series – it was our window to the outside world. 

Our phones allowed us to escape our four walls for a bit. Escapism became a form of much needed therapy during quarantine. However, it was also clear that some weren’t just binge watching Tiger King. A quick search on Instagram or TikTok revealed that 2020 saw a small business boom. 

Many people saw themselves out of work and bills were quickly piling up. A number of small businesses popped up overnight and took off thanks to social media. The lesson here is clear – make the most of your screen time in 2021. Get inspired, publish, Interact, or make a sale – it can all be done from a device that fits in your pocket.  

Final Thoughts

For non-professionals, flexing those creative muscles proved to be a kind of much needed outlet. For photographers, content creators, designers, and a variety of other artists, the situation at hand has opened a door for new creative and entrepreneurial opportunities. By utilizing habits cultivated during self-quarantine, one is laying the groundwork to thrive personally and professionally during and after the covid era. 

About Author

Destiny A. Lopez is a writer based in Los Angeles. Destiny has previously covered pop culture, lifestyle, tech, and personal finance for various media outlets.

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