Well damn. If you’re like us then this year isn’t turning out exactly as you had planned for your business or your personal life. We thought we had a banger year lined up and were so excited for 2020 to be “the best yet”. And then good ole Corona Virus had to throw her big fat wrench into our plans and mess everyone up. With nearly 60 weddings postponed this year we think it’s safe to say our work has been profoundly affected by the pandemic. And while all of us could just walk around in the haze of fear, uncertainty, and panic sick to our stomachs with worry that will get us nowhere fast.
We hope to look back on 2020 a few years from now and be able to tell the tale of how we survived it and came out relatively unscathed in our business. We hope you will be able to chronicle a similar story of scary crap you survived through. That said, it has been difficult not to operate from a place of fear during all of this or as the mindset advocates say ‘lack’. We have definitely had our fair share of anxiety over the situation and when that happens I tend to shift into overdrive. Like a fight or flight mechanism I start doing ALL THE THINGS. It fully consumes every thought and all I can do is go into hustle mode knowing that if we go down I went down doing everything I could to keep this ship afloat.
That said we want to share here all of the free resources we have dug up from near and far to help you photographer use this time wisely, going to be so cliche here and use the term ‘level up’ your business and keep your doors open and food on the table for your family. For Ryan and I, this is our livelihood we are full time wedding photographers, this is how we provide for ourselves and our four year old soon so closing the doors isn’t really an option for us and we wholeheartedly hope it’s not for you either. The world needs your art and your voice so you have to fight to keep it out there.
Getting found in organic search is more important than ever. We can’t depend on customers finding us on social media with the constant changing algorithms and bombardment they receive from every Joe, Paul and Sally on the daily they’re probably tuning you out. But showing up top of the page in a search THEY generated now that’s powerful stuff friends. Get Corey and Dylan of Fuel Your Photos Free SEO Guide HERE and get crackin’ on those blogs.
This support guide created by LEELU is amazing. Its a beautiful pdf that you can download and edit in PS (Photoshop) if you have it or ID (InDesign). It’s a beautiful thing to email to all of your couples to help them know what their options are during these uncertain times. You can check it out HERE.
Here is a beautiful pdf guide you can send to your couples to start planning their engagement session with them and give your clients a more luxe experience.
Here is a beautiful pdf timeline that you can fully customize with your images to give to your clients after you’ve constructed their timeline, the presentation will really have them wowed.
Here is a great blog post by Laurken Kendall about protecting yourself with your contract and what your policies should be moving forward. She also details how she is moving forward by offering elopement packages which if you haven’t already began to offer you probably should it would be very 2020 of you.
Our love note on this topic, you are not a charity you’re a business if your contract states that the deposit is non-refundable then it’s non-refundable. We have been offering clients who would lose their deposit due to cancelling rather than postponing an engagement or couples session on us whenever they choose to use it if we are available on that date so they at least feel they are getting something. Disclaimer we are offering that to our couples who are asking if the retainer will be refunded to them, we always try to turn things into a win. That is a very good rule in business to live by, turn a negative into a positive whenever possible, no one asked for this and they are devastated too.
This is a great time to go through your hard drives and design some albums or wall art. If you aren’t already offering albums to your couples then what are you waiting for? It provides a better client experience and makes you a more full service photographer also you are leaving money on the table by not offering them. We have an amazing discount for you with nPhoto and NO this is NOT an affiliate link, we get no kick back we just really love nPhoto and have partnered with them due to our success with album sales for our own business. The more you can save on your album cost to you the better your margins are making you more money. It also allows you to offer them to your couples at a more affordable price which in these tough times is a bonus.
Get 40% off all non sample albums for an entire year and a complete set sample album at 75% off HERE.
Adobe is offering two months of its software for free if you cancel your subscription and renew, get the details on how to do that HERE.
If you aren’t familiar with Tailwind, it’s an app that allows you to easily schedule posts to Instagram as well as Pinterest. They have set up a relief fund that allows you up to three months of their services for free.
Yup, us. We poured a lot into writing this blog all about posing your couples for more genuine emotion and we created a free prompt guide with pretty much every prompt in our tool belt so you never have to feel stuck on a shoot again because getting stuck is THE WORST.
Free help is also available in these two facebook groups Promptography and Unscripted
Corey and Dylan are the SEO masterminds behind Fuel Your Photos. They work SPECIFICALLY with photographers for their wealth of information is literally invaluable. They have a Facebook group where they serve up a ton of value and we personally have also purchased their course which we are binging in the current state of isolation we are in.
A little bit of everything
B&H is like a candy store for photographers but they offer so much more than the newest gear to geek out on. Their YouTube channel has been such as amazing resource for education and inspiration throughout our photography journey. We linked their main channel above which will allow you to browse over 600 different videos but here is one of my favorites from Lindsay Adler that 1. taught me new techniques and 2. inspired the heck out of me.
If you don’t know of Oli Sansom, the brilliant genius behind Briars Atlas then we are very happy to introduce him to you. He has that something in his work you can’t quite put your finger on and it’s a bit like magic. He has released numerous blog posts that are very thought provoking in addition to educational which personally are the kind of blog posts we love to read, challenge our brains make us think and not just think but think outside of the box. Well he’s your guy if you’re into that sorta thing. Seriously though even if you don’t want to read a blog just go take a gander at his website and get inspiration overload from the genius of branding and design he employs then sit down and pour yourself a stiff drink and reevaluate how we can be as good (that was our initial reaction anyway). He was named international wedding photographer of the year in 2019 and rightfully so.
Sign up for his free online workshop here or binge some of our favorite blogs of his about editing, how to take dark and moody wedding photos
Tony’s website and YouTube channel offer a wealth of free information for photographers. Whether you are just getting started or are years into running your photography business you can find something of value.
Ever wondered about passive income? We bet you have thought about it a lot more lately considering the governmental restrictions have tied our hands as far as shooting weddings goes. Here Refined Presets Co. outlines some passive income ideas to get you started and on your way to getting paid while you sleep.
Jamie offers a free course on how to style flat lays. It’s a three part series so pour some coffee or grab a drink and start creating gorgeous detail shots that will have event planners knocking down your door to work with you.
Here is a blog post from Jamie with 67 props to use in flat lays. And after checking that one out you will want to check out how she uses those props to create beautiful flat lays here.
On the subject of flat lays here is an awesome blog post from Mallory Dawn all about what she carries in her flat lay styling kit and the container she uses to transport it all. This one from her is how she styles beautiful flat lays.
Vanessa is a self proclaimed Pinterest Pro and can help get your Pinterest game on track because what else are you going to do when in mandatory isolation?
If you scroll to the bottom of this page and sign up for Lindsey’s email newsletter you will receive her free 15 page instagram guide so you can start ruling the gram in 2020.
I love watching a lot of Elise’s YouTube videos on how to create Instagram Reels and she is always offering free downloads with your email address to things like 300 Instagram captions and story ideas.
Mallory outlines 10 tips to help get your work seen here.
If you aren’t familiar with Jenna Kutcher yet then let us introduce the two of you. She is the host of the goal digger podcast and her blog is chock full of content that can have you down the rabbit hole until winter. Here she gives you a clear action plan of where to start with beginning an email newsletter. If you don’t already have an email newsletter we HIGHLY RECOMMEND Flodesk as a provider. It makes the work easy and dare we say fun? They have templates complete with copy than you can leave as is, tweak or throw it out and start from scratch. You can upload your brands color scheme, fonts and all of your images and logo so each email your clients receive is on brand. We have a DISCOUNT CODE for you to save 50% off Flodesk for life (in full transparency this IS an affiliate link but we cross our hearts we are only sharing because we love Flodesk).
We have decided that this is going to continue to be a living and breathing document where we will continue to add all of resources we can to help you out. We are in this together and honestly believe we can all get so much further by lifting each other up rather than stepping on your neighbor to try to climb that ladder.
If you are really struggling right now we would love to offer you a mini mentor session to help you get back on your feet. Contact us and we can set up a zoom to chat ALL THE THINGS honestly a mentor session with us is no holds barred. You can ask us anything and we are happy to impart any and all knowledge we can to help get you out of the muck and back on track for success. Whether it’s editing, posing, client experience, marketing, workflow, automation, storytelling, best practices, getting out of a creative rut, getting started with offering associates we are an open book and there to help.
If you’re struggling in a creative rut right now and can’t afford a full mentor session or are a bit timid to take advantage of the mini then we highly recommend you pick up the book The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. IF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH is suffering please check out the resources available to you, no one should suffer in silence and there are people and programs out there to help. There’s no shame in feeling that your mental health could use a check up we are all in uncharted territory and our psyches are responding in ways we may be unfamiliar with.
Em + Ry
We are wedding photographers for those who believe in love, because Emry originated out of love. Love for each other, for imagery and for creating things that were made to last. We serve southern California & beyond. Outside of photography, our life revolves around our son, Jude and our families.