YOUR BUSY SEASON IS OVER, YOU HAVE ALL OF YOUR CLIENT WORK DONE AND DELIVERED, SO YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHAT’S A PHOTOGRAPHER TO DO IN THE WINTER?
If you are like me, a natural-light on-location outdoor photographer, the winter months can be a little chill (no pun intended).
Depending on your location, you might not have another session booked until March or later. I personally enjoy these months off to think of new ideas for my business and come up for a “game plan” for the upcoming busy season.
Winter doesn’t have to be a daunting time for a photographer, it can be a useful time to get things done and organized before you approach a new year!
SO I AM SHARING 25 THINGS THAT YOU COULD BE DOING THIS WINTER, INSTEAD OF TWIDDLING YOUR THUMBS AND WAITING FOR YOUR NEXT OUTDOOR SESSION!
1. ORGANIZE YOUR COMPUTER FILES AND PROGRAMS.
This can include organizing your Lightroom catalog, organizing client photos, and making your photography templates and folders easier to find. It’s always refreshing to start a new season with a super organized system.
2. BACK UP ALL YOUR PHOTOS TO ANOTHER COMPUTER, HARD DRIVE, OR CLOUD SYSTEM.
This is always a good idea to do this weekly (or even daily), but if the busy season has got the best of you, now’s a good time to back up all your photos. Having your photos in more than one place is a smart business practice!
3.UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE WITH CURRENT PHOTOS
Take the time and browse through all your favorite photos over the past year and update the galleries on your website.
This not only will give your website a fresh look, but it will give future clients and more accurate representation of what your current work looks like!
4. SPEAKING OF WEBSITES, HOW IS YOUR SEO?
If you aren’t getting as many hits to your website as you would like, read a book or take a course about SEO; it could play a HUGE role in potential clients.
5. GET CAUGHT UP ON YOUR BLOGGING!
Did you know that your blog can be your BIGGEST marketing asset???? Use it to your advantage and learn how to effectively blog to bring in more clients!
6. CLEAN UP AND REVISE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRACTS AND MODEL RELEASES WITH YOUR LAWYER.
Every season brings on new experiences and situations that call for a change in your contract/agreement.
Grab a ready-made photography contract from our friends at the LawTog and if you haven’t met with a local lawyer, do it now!
7. VISIT YOUR CPA.
Being blind-sighted by taxes at the beginning of the year is not a good way to start your season.
It’s a great idea to stay really organized with your bookeeping so you won’t be surprised at tax season!
8. UPDATE AND RE-DESIGN YOUR CLIENT FORMS AND GRAPHICS
Who couldn’t use some fresh design for their brand? I love checking out Pinterest to fun ideas and fresh inspiration!
9. SPEAKING OF GRAPHICS, THESE COLD MONTHS ARE A PERFECT TIME TO RE-BRAND IF YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS IT!
If you aren’t as skilled at designing than you are at photography, talk to your favorite graphic designer about getting a fresh new look!
10. MAKE A MARKETING CALENDAR FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR.
Fill it up with mini session dates, charity events, and vacation time. This is a good way to stay on track so you can stick to your schedule!
Need help with a year-round marketing plan?
I’ve got you covered in Fully Booked – a actionable business-building and marketing program for portrait photographers. Never be left wondering how & when to market your business when you become a member.
11.GET YOUR GEAR CLEANED PROFESSIONALLY.
While you are whipping your camera out every other day, take your camera to a local camera shop to have it professionally cleaned. You won’t regret that you did!
12. PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT!
If you struggle with certain areas of photography, now is your big chance to get the hang of it before taking on new clients for the year.
13. LOOKING TO BUY SOME NEW GEAR?
Rent it before you buy it; this will also give you a chance to practice!
14. WORK ON PERSONAL PROJECTS
From planning to executing, winter is the perfect time to schedule all your personal work that you’ve been dying to do!
Why not take a stab at a 365 project? Or perhaps a 52 week project? This will help you try new things and get in more practice in your down time.
15. NETWORK WITH LOCAL BUSINESS OWNERS.
This is a great way to get your business on the fast track to more clients. Being buddies with local business owners can be a HUGE asset to your business!
See if you can exchange goods or offer incentives for advertising with them.
16. SUBMIT YOUR WORK TO MAGAZINES AND WEBSITES
Now that you have a year’s worth of work to show off, why not submit to your favorite blogs and magazines for a feature? This will not only give you a confidence boost, but will add to your credibility as an artist!
17. SIGN UP FOR A FORUM AND MEET OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS
Owning a business can sometimes feel lonely, so why not join a few forums or Facebook groups to ask questions, get inspiration, and meet new peeps?
So much can be learned from others who are willing to share!
Come check out my Photography group on Facebook for a fun and safe place to learn and meet others!
18. IS YOUR WORK COPYRIGHTED?
If you are serious about publication, look up the most up to date information on copyright laws and get yourself protected!
19. ARE YOU A HOBBYIST LOOKING TO BECOME A FULL TIME PHOTOGRAPHER?
Talk to your local government agencies on how you can get your business officially branded.
20. BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS AND TAKE AN E-COURSE OR WORKSHOP.
No matter how much you know, there is always something to be learned! Focus on your weak areas and improve them during this winter season.
Take a look at what you can learn from me here.
21. ARE YOU A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Sign up as a vendor for places like theknot and wedding wire to get more exposure to your business.
22. LEARN A NEW EDITING STYLE YOU’VE BEEN DYING TO TRY
It’s always fun to experiment with new editing styles for your work. Find something that suits you and your brand and build on that!
Don’t forget to take a peek at my signature, colorful Lightroom presets before you leave. Find your style and start editing quicker today!
23.FOLLOW SOME NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS TO GIVE YOU INSPIRATION!
Who doesn’t need inspiration?!
24. RE-ORGANIZE YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS
Pinterest can be used not only for inspiration, but can be helpful for your clients.
Create “what to wear” boards for all your niches and direct your clients to these resources when they book you; they will appreciate the advice!
Looking for fresh ideas to pin? Check out all of my photography boards on Pinterest and pin away!
25. UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE COPY
Your portfolio can change a lot in a year, so why not take this ‘down time’ to update the photos AND copy on your site?
Or better yet, take it a step further and give your site a fresh look.
Check out this post for a list of the BEST and most affordable WordPress themes for photographers!