What to Do If You’re A Photographer During A Pandemic

Spoiler alert: I really don’t have the answer, but I hope I can be an encouragement.

This is a difficult time for everyone, but I think it’s especially difficult if you’re a photographer. What do you do when your income depends upon events happening and people gathering, and there are no events and no gatherings? What do you do when you take photographs for a living, and suddenly everything is cancelled?

Well, I’m thankful that I don’t depend on photography 100%, but I have friends who depend upon being able to travel, and photograph events, and now there are no events! And Honestly, I depend upon photography for part of my income, and 100% of my mental well-being!

Thankfully, photographers come in many different flavors. There has been some work to be found for journalists covering some of what’s been happening in the world – so that’s something. Some events are starting to begin to open back up – like some horse shows in Texas – so there’s something to look forward to. I think more will happen in July and August, like rodeos and other outdoor events. Maybe football, soccer and basketball will start again in the fall/winter – but that will be very interesting since they will probably restrict attendance to 50% or less – and I’m not sure what restrictions will be in place for the media. They may very well limit the number of photographers on the sidelines. Auto racing is showing some signs of starting up – but again, with limitations.

This is a very strange time, indeed. It’s times like this that I’m (almost) glad my father pushed me to study more than just fine arts in college. I’m glad I have more than one career path. Even colleges are limiting everything now to online classwork, and very small class sizes, so going to school (or going back) will be challenging as well. I’m not sure what high schools and other schools will do in the fall.

I just hope and pray that things will get better, and people are able to do events again soon. If you’re a photographer, I hope and pray that you can find work, not only to support yourself financially, but for your mental well being. It’s like our whole purpose in life has just disappeared, and suddenly there is nothing to do.

Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up. I hope and pray that this will end soon. The truth is, I can’t see the future. I don’t know what it will be like tomorrow. I don’t have answers. I wish I did.

I hope I can be some small bit of encouragement, but if I can’t bring you encouragement, I can at least empathize with what it’s like to not have work to do. This has been difficult for me, mentally. But I’m at the end of my career. I’m very close to retirement age, so for me it is different.

If possible, have a good week, photograph when and whatever you can, never stop learning, be an encouragement to others, and never give up!