Should Photographers Still Be Doing Outreach During Covid-19?

Should Photographers Still Be Doing Outreach During Covid-19?

There's no denying that, as photographers, we are living through unprecedented times. No one truly knows what we should be doing or how the next few months will pan out. One big question that keeps coming up is this: should we still be reaching out to brands, magazines, and agencies we'd like to shoot for?

Obviously, there isn't an easy answer to this question. However, I do personally think that photographers should continue to reach out to brands or businesses that they'd like to shoot for even during the coronavirus pandemic. Creatives and buyers may be working from home, but they are still working. In fact, they're now sitting in front of their computers a whole lot more, rather than out on shoots. This is an excellent time to get the attention of that person you've been so desperate to connect with for so long. Who knows when we'll get to shoot again, but when we do, those shoots will need to be planned out and conceptualized. If I were you, I'd want to be front of mind. 

So, how do you go about reaching out at a time like this? 

1. Be Gentle 

This should be self-explanatory, and no matter the time of year or the circumstances globally, I believe you should always approach potential clients with kindness and compassion. At this time in particular, though, we want to keep in mind that everyone is struggling, no one knows what is going to happen, and everyone is feeling stressed. You won't know what the situation is for the person on the receiving end of your email, so always remember that. 

2. Build Relationships 

I wouldn't hold out hope on getting hired right now (although that's not totally out of the question). I encourage you to use this time to build relationships with the people you'd love to work with in the future. Share your portfolio with them. Ask them what they're working on and how you might be able to help. Offer to jump on a Zoom call if they have a spare minute to tell them about your work. You want to build a genuine connection with people who will be looking to hire photographers when this all comes to an end. 

3. Pitch Future Ideas

I'm a fashion photographer. I don't shoot still life, and I don't live with a model, so there's not a whole lot that I can shoot right now. However, I can plan future concepts out, so that's exactly what I'm doing. Get on Pinterest, build mood boards, do loads of research, get creative. Then, put together beautiful proposals (I like to use Apple Keywords for my proposals) and send them to brands and businesses that you believe would like to work on them with you. 

If you take anything away from this, take this: when this pandemic is over (because it will eventually be over), businesses will need photographers more than ever. They will need content to promote themselves, to share their stories. Make sure you're the one they think of when they're ready to hire.

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19 Comments

super steel_'s picture

not specific to photography but im perplexed by the way americans behave. they rally to get back to work but the vast majority are not keeping distance. very few wear masks. how the heck are the numbers supposed to go down? and the numbers are not down enough for the mass of the public to get back. depends what state but looking at the graphs

it does not shock me to see the numbers in the usa. the rebellious "land of the free and ill do what I want" mentality adds to that. lines in costco supermakrets everyone bunched together. skiing going to the beaches, going to bars.
I hope the numbers decline but Im not certain with so many not maintaining the basics. it will decline but will take so much longer.

in my country we have some who are slacking in keeping distance wearing the mask on the face (if you dont cover your nose and mouth, might as well not even wear one) and not down around your neck. people are patient and keep their distance and only a certain amount can enter a store at one time.

so sad the situation is like this. but do the basics in public to try and prevent. the medical staff dont need people infected because the didnt care to do the basics.

Ed C's picture

Broad generalizations based on individual observation generally are not accurate. What I have seen is the vast majority are keeping distance and most are wearing masks. Lines at every store I drive by have been spaced out for weeks now.

Interesting how you are observing from your country wherever that is and you are the authority.

super steel_'s picture

I lived in the US for 21 years and have many friends still there. they tell me. they show me videos, and you see it on the news. you see tons who dont keep distance and are in groups and no masks. did you see the footage of hundreds in florida beach? did you see the rally of thousands of people bunched together with no masks? youre selective on what you see. the numbers on not good. the us, unfortunately will have the most deaths (besides china that we know is not 4600 but at least 10x that because they lie)

super steel_'s picture

lets see how the numbers turn out.

super steel_'s picture

its very sad people dont do basic stuff to try and minimize c19. everyones in the same boat. we all have to put minimum effort. its a change of behavior we all must do in public. the faster we get stricter, the faster it can subside.

you never know who has or doesnt have it. maybe some people are asymptomatic. thats quite scary. poor medical folks who work so hard and people in the streets just dont follow basic rules giving them more work.

I do like trump at times, but sheesh, the bullshet hes feeding on news with his fakeness. its like a soap opera between all these governors. miss ice cream is in lala land. too much information all over the place. hes saying one things and they say something else.

he did good to stop payment to the WHO, they screwed everyone. if the actual numbers from china had been shown, I think people would have a better chance to prepare but for certain he knew how bad the virus (as all leaders get intelligence info) was and reacted too slowly because he waited to see how it played out and how bad the damage would be of infected and deaths vs the economy. trying to not waste money, and saving on preparedness, it will boomerang back.

Ed C's picture

No good answer and an anger problem so you result to name calling. Pathetic really.

Deleted Account's picture

Good news for you, you don't have to come here. BTW, we don't care what you think.

super steel_'s picture

ah, ok, you speak on behalf of merica..I see. youre actually no one.

Deleted Account's picture

Seriously, you don't live here so why do you think American's give a fuck what you have to say? Worry about whatever coutry you live and don't worry about what we do. Like I said before, you don't have to come here and no one here gives a shit what you think. We really don't.

Deleted Account's picture

Let's see - you attack my grammar and my politics but guess what, I still don't give a fuck what he or you think. One more thing, Covid is STILL not worse then the flu. Can you prove otherwise? Has it killed more in the US then the flu? Just in case you can't do research. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

Deleted Account's picture

During the 2017-2018 flu season we lost 61k people. We're you sheltering in place then? Hiding in your mommy's basement? Social distancing? No? Your problem is that you are just another sheeple. You regurgitate what you hear on MSNBC and CNN. You have no critical thinking skills and that makes it impossible for you to think for yourself. You bought it all hook, line and sinker. You can insult me all you want but I'm not like you, I don't follow other people or let Governments and the media tell me how to feel or think. That's where you and I are different. I am free and you are a prisoner of liberalism. You haven't read a single article about all the serology testing being done in California and elsewhere. If you had actually read any of those studies you will find that the death rate is far lower then ANY of the previous estimates. Yet you still live in fear. Here's one from one of your liberal rags https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-20/coronavirus-serology.... You're welcome to continue reading articles that tell you to stay home, that the meds aren't working, that thousands more will die, that lifting the stay at home orders are going to cause a rebound in cases. Stay home in fear while the rest of us are free. Every liberal media outlet is telling you how to feel and how to act. They told you to panic and you listened. Every liberal Governor is taking your freedom away from you and are hell bent on destroying the economy. All in the name of power. Enjoy your destiny because all you have are attacks and fear. None of which has any effect on me.

Deleted Account's picture

That was so eloquent and informative, especially the part about the 61k number. That number was taken from the CDC. The same site you quoted to bolster your panic stricken rant. Looks to me like your off your meds. You better call mommy and have her get your psychiatrist on the phone. In the mean time I'll be at the beach enjoying the weather. Oh btw thanks for the grammar lesson, that was the highlight of my day.

Deleted Account's picture

Look here Bob, I found someone as dumb as me... Shoot holes in this for me please. I can't wait for your measured, articulate response. https://www.dailywire.com/news/epidemiologist-warns-lockdown-policies-no...

Deleted Account's picture

Of course I wear sunscreen, it helps prevent skin cancer. I'd take Hydroxychloroquine if I needed it too. I don't know why you think I wouldn't take medicine. Hey Bob, can you show me one data study that proves this lock down prevented a single death? I gave you an article about a credible professor who states there's no science behind this lock down so you send me a study that proves otherwise. Can you do that without the childish rant? I bet you can't.

Deleted Account's picture

Yeah, just what I thought. You can't give me one single study that proves the lock down has saved any lives. You're just a panicked little alarmist, following the libtard media because you don't have a shred of critical thinking skills. Crawl back into your closet, put on your gloves and lather yourself up with hand sanatizer. Leave the rest to the adults. I have a job and better things to do with my time then argue with you. We'll let you know when you can crawl out of your hole.

Motti Bembaron's picture

actually, the death rate in the US is around 5.5% (over 40k deaths on over 800k cases). A garden variety flu has a death rate of 0.1%. The death rate of this particular flu is much higher than the 1957, 1968 pandemic and closer to the Spanish Flu death rate.

Motti Bembaron's picture

No, I am not going to push my business right now. The longer we are in that situation the harder it is to speak to potential clients. Right now I keep low profile and don't push myself in people faces. Maybe it's my old age that makes me more respectful and patient.

When time comes I will be out there. That will be a couple of months at least.

Catherine Bowlene's picture

Of course we should do everything we can to keep our business alive! Maintain and build the relationship, cull some old stuff, etc- all these things may be done not to waste the lockdown time. Might as well learn some new Photoshop or Photodiva tricks or maybe try some new type of preset. Whatever to stay sane, actually, lol.

Steven Gotz's picture

I don't shoot a lot of family portraits, but I have found that I can stay in touch with the clients who have children by sending them coloring pages that I have made from the portraits I shot of them. Children like to color pictures of themselves.

I stay in touch with headshot clients who have children by sending them coloring pages made from my wildlife photos.

And lately, I can send everyone Zoom backgrounds from my wildlife shots.

The idea is to appear to be checking up on them to wish them well during this crisis and provide them with a little something. A bit of a friendship offering. Clients will remember someone who offers them something with no expectation of payment. Especially if the clients are having a rough time.