Friends with Vision: Photography in the Time of Covid

We reached out to some of our Friends with Vision to see how they’re adapting during Covid19. We asked them if and how they were changing their work, if their business models have changed, if they were exploring any new techniques, and what advice they might have for other photographers. From innovative approaches to traditional assignments, to learning new skillsets, in life as in photography, sometimes a shift in perspective makes all the difference.

 

 

 

Chris Lin

 

At Lin and Jirsa, we will be implementing new shooting and safety procedures. Most are based on state and federal guidelines, such as using facemasks and hand sanitizer. However, some are unique to our business, such as using handsfree posing whenever possible and using longer focal lengths when possible to maintain distance.

 

We’re maintaining the same core business model but trying a few new promotional campaigns such as discounts on wall art, gift certificates, and pre booking holiday mini sessions at a discount.

 

My advice to other photographers is to stay positive! The pandemic has been tough on business, but we are starting to see an uptick in bookings for 2021 weddings and events. This has forced us to evaluate and reduce many of our expenses, which will make us much more lean and profitable when our clients are booking at the normal rate again. Use this time to adopt new marketing techniques, build up your web presence, and learn new skills. To see more images, visit linandjirsa.com.

 


 

Mark Mawson

 

It’s proving to be a very difficult time for work during this pandemic. Being a liquid photographer, my work often required the assistance of some crew members to throw or pour liquids as it’s not always possible to do that and fire the camera at the exact time single-handed.

 

I’m returning to doing more simple set ups and have been shooting images from my home studio to promote working from home and hoping clients will like them and want to go down that route.

 

I’m trying to adapt and my advice to others would be to think from a client’s view as to what kind of imagery they may want which represents the times we are going through. I hope, things will return to some sort of normality in the not too distant future. See more images at Markmawson.com

 


 

Luke Stackpoole

 

My business model has changed massively. My typical month revolves around me travelling to a range of destinations, creating content in these places for both brands and the local tourist boards. Of course, with travel now being disrupted, my focus is on creating key learning resources for people who want to understand my workflow better. This is also given me the time to take a step back and review my goals as a business and to work on improving my own photographic style.

 

I’ve been dipping in and out of video production now the last couple of months which has proven to be both a challenge and an exciting new venture. I already feel that video is going to play a key part in my projects going forward once the lockdown ends. An interesting development of recent is that of Fpv drones and picking up one of these and learning the techniques is going to be the next challenge for me!

 

A typical photographer’s schedule is always busy, so I would advise to take this as an opportunity to give yourself some personal reflection time, try and diversify your business to meet the “new normal” this is through increased online marketing, or varying the style of images you create. I have taken this opportunity to review my photo archive and I have found a few images that I missed which have been fun to work on! Find more images at withluke.com.

 


 

Holly McGlynn

 

When the pandemic hit, my work evaporated overnight. Shoots were cancelled or postponed indefinitely and as my son’s nursery closed, I’ve had to focus on looking after him during this time. However, I’ve carved out slots of time to work and assess my career. I’m now offering portfolio reviews for other photographers, emerging and established. I set up an e-commerce page on my website where photographers can purchase a portfolio review, send me their photos by We Transfer, and we arrange a video conference to discuss and edit the portfolio. It’s been fun to meet new photographers and see fresh work, as well as use my editing skills.

 

I’m a fashion photographer and really passionate about sustainability. During this time, I’ve been taking an online course in Fashion and Sustainability offered by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion. It’s been fascinating to learn more about the complexity of the problem as well as see the potential for solutions emerge.

 

I’ve also taken this time to update my website and social media. I’ve run photography workshops for clients through Instagram but mostly I’ve read books and enjoyed time with my family and tried not to focus on a work situation that I can do nothing to change. I don’t think things will ever be the same, but I think that’s a good and necessary thing. I’m hopeful for the future. See Holly’s work at hollymcglynn.com.

 


 

Markus van Hauten

 

When I think back to my last trip to Iceland in January as a landscape photographer, it would never have occurred to me at that time that traveling wasn’t going to be possible for a long time. I think that’s true for most of us.

 

When the first travel restrictions to other EU countries were put into place, I slowly became aware of the huge impact a virus can have on us. I had to cancel two trips due to the Covid19 pandemic and therefore had to think of new ways on how to expand my portfolio.

 

A big advantage was that there were no lockdowns in the region where I live in Germany, therefore, I decided to focus more on my immediate surroundings, which is something I always wanted to do but never had the time to.

 

Another aspect of the Covid crisis is the more frequent use of online conferences and online discussions. I reach my customers through webinars and online lectures.

 

But I don’t want to say that the crisis is not leaving its mark on the photographic industry. These are tough times and we’re trying to make the most of it. I also use the additional time to train myself online. Currently, the use of social media is critical and will continue to be more valuable and important in the future. To view more images, visit van-hauten.eu.

 


 

Christian Høiberg

 

Being based out of the popular Lofoten Islands off Norway and having photography tour as a major source of my income, Covid19 has had a big effect on my work and income. While most of this year’s workshops have been cancelled and it seems unlikely that there will be any international tourism this year, I do hope to teach photography to some of my fellow countrymen in these beautiful surroundings.

 

Luckily, a big part of my business consists of teaching photography online and with many photographers being in lockdown, there’s a noticeable increase in the interest of video tutorials, eBooks and free educational articles. With the workshops being cancelled, I’ve had a fair bit of extra time to catch up on my writing and have been able to release a new eBook and other products on my photography platform.

 

My business model hasn’t changed much, since I various streams of income. I have, however, focused more on my online teaching and have finalized projects and products I’ve been working on for a while.

 

I’ve been exploring new techniques in post-production. I’ve been working on photography projects that I’ve been struggling with but have now succeeded in achieving the style I wanted for them.

 

We’re finally getting some sun here in the north and the snow is slowly melting, so the hiking opportunities are getting better. I’m looking forward to doing more hiking and camping and to focus on creating images featuring the magnificent mountains we have here.

 

My advice for other photographers is to keep your head high! It’s a tough time for everyone and there’s no doubt we have challenging times ahead. Keep believing in your work and keep creating photography that makes you happy. Use this time to reflect on your art and perhaps catch up on post-production. It can also be a good time to go back and re-edit old images. I also recommend spending some of this time learning something new, whether that’s photography techniques or business-related. Let’s try to focus on the positives rather than just the negatives. We’ll get through this! Find more of Chris’ work at http://www.choiberg.com.

 


 

Jeff Cable

 

As someone who relies on event photography and photo tours (not to mention covering the Olympics) this is a really tough time. All of those have been cancelled. For events, the start of large gatherings is still uncertain. I am reaching out to clients who never selected images I had taken for them and encouraging them to select and purchase images and albums. I can’t say that my business model has changed much – just the amount of workflow.

 

Last month, I started shooting video tutorials for my YouTube Channel. People have been bugging me for years to do this and I didn’t have the time. Now I have the time. I used to use iMovie to edit my videos, but wanted to learn Adobe Premier. I’ve spent the last month learning Premier and now feel pretty proficient at it. I’ve completed 32 videos which I am slowly rolling out. They are going to be featured by B&H and others, too.

 

My advice to other photographers is to hang in there – this will all pass. If you need the money badly, pivot and try to shoot wherever you can to bring in some income. If not, hang tight and learn new things to make you a better photographer.This is a great time to build your brand, strengthen your marketing efforts and weather the storm. Come out of it looking stronger than ever. To see more images, visit Jeffcable.com.

 


 

Marcus Schwier

 

A lot is changing during this time of Covid19. Urban space is used differently and cities like New York or Paris show an emptiness that has never been seen before.

 

This is an opportunity for me as an architectural photographer to add another chapter to my hometown in the series “Düsseldorf Still Life” as a city portrait.

 

Popular places like the city center, the old town and the airport are deserted and are also emptied of their function or purpose. The newspaper “Rheinische Post” reported on this. My basic working method is to react to my surroundings – I record them like a seismograph. When I discover something interesting for me, I often find that I breathe in more deeply – usually an indication of a good image. You can find more of Marcus’ work at http://original-photos.de.

 


 

Sascha Hüttenhain

 

During Covid 19, my work has not changed fundamentally, but in regards to time it has. I work more or less like before – but still somehow differently. There is a shift, but it should also normalize again over time.

 

Fortunately, I have some customers for whom I am doing stills and product images at the moment. This can be done by sending the product per mail with a briefing, followed by a Sykpe conference.
People shots are a bit more difficult to do at the moment and there are official requirements that are very restrictive. It will only be a matter of time though before we can get back to normal rhythm.

 

Due to some new or changed projects, I start putting into place some new techniques. It is quite exciting to find new ways of seeing and working, all of it initiated by corona changes.
One might not have expected this, but it can also be regarded in a positive way, because as a photographer you are given the opportunity to further develop yourself.

 

My advice for other photographers would be: Keep calm and wait, you can’t really do anything about it anyway … times are difficult, of course since there is quite some uncertainty and this new situation we have to cope with.
I use my capacities for free projects that I have not had a chance to implement in the past due to time constraints. So, I suggest others to do the same.

 

www.huettenhain.com