On the face of it, the low season should be a time to celebrate for professional photographers. You’ve finally got to the end of your editing backlog, the finishing touches on your last jobs are nearly all done, and the end of a long and tiring season is almost here. However, it can be a tricky thing for a freelance pro to fully relax and let their hair down, and there is always that nagging feeling that you should be doing something, no matter how hard you’ve just worked.
Rather than seeing the low season as something to be concerned about, why not take advantage of the rare gift of time, and get cracking on those important but overlooked jobs that you’ve been putting off for a while?
We’ve put together a list of things to do that can not only fill your time, but can actually supercharge your future work. The off season shouldn’t just be seen as wasted time when you could be working, but rather as an integral part of your business! So, here are six things you can do during your low season to supercharge your photography business!
Nail your photography biz admin
When you’ve got back-to-back shoots booked, and a serious editing backlog, basic business and life admin can fall be the wayside. But keeping on top of your organization is a serious and important part of freelance life, and therefore the off season is the perfect time to deal with it!
Do a deep dive into your computer and make sure your storage files are well organized and all sorted out. Tidy up your work space – that old empty coffee cup is trash, not an executive toy – and file paperwork, receipts etc. You could also review your client contract to make sure that it’s up to scratch.
Make sure that everything from old jobs – images, obviously, but invoices, emails and so on too – are backed up and safe. It is maybe even time to take a look at your taxes and financials…
Refresh your photography portfolio
This is absolutely vital for future work, but something that many photographers let slide when the busy season cracks the whip. Take some time to update your website with your latest, greatest photos and jobs, and make sure your shop window truly paints an accurate picture of your work.
An up-to-date portfolio is vital for allowing clients to get the best idea of your style and previous work, so is well worth a day or two. Don’t forget to optimize the size of any images you put on your website to make sure your portfolio loads quickly. We like JpegMini for this.
Whilst you’re at it, why not do a health check of your website to make sure it’s optimized for search traffic and converting potential clients?
Your blog is an important part of your work, and what draws new clients to you, so make sure you haven’t neglected it!
A great personal blog boosts your portfolio, helps with SEO and is a great place to show off some of your favorite shots from the past year. There’s no excuse not to write extensively when you are less busy, so get cracking, and get enough material to see you through the rest of the year.
Here are some tips to get you blogging like a pro.
It is never a bad time to add new strings to your bow and to learn a few new skills. The low season is a great time to take an online course to supercharge your editing, to get some practical training under your belt with a workshop with other industry pros, or even just to learn a new skill that might come in handy later down the line.
Try something new
Part of the appeal of professional photography is that for many, if not most, it allows you to combine your hobby with your job, and do something you love. However after a hectic season of shoots and long periods buried in the editing suite, this love can sometimes ebb a bit.
Why not take the opportunity to find a new hobby, and try something new that you’ve always fancied doing? Having a few other creative outlets can help you avoid getting jaded with photography, and finding a new love is a great experience in itself!
Take a break
Sometimes you just need to take some time off…and why not? You’ve certainly earned it. Go for a vacation somewhere special with your loved ones, hang out with friends, or just veg for a bit. Self-care is an important part of working, and keeping yourself rested and healthy every bit as critical as hustling for new work.
The off season is a fantastic opportunity to deal with all the little things like admin and personal improvement that can get lost when you are working solidly during the rest of the year. It can also be a bit nerve-wracking, as the sudden shift from working flat out to chilling out can be tricky to manage. Hopefully the tips above will help in filling your time, and proving that there’s just as much to do when you aren’t busy as when you are!
Whilst you’re at it, why not check out these 5 things photographers can do to get more bookings in 2019?