The Winter Blues… the photographer’s simultaneous best friend and arch nemesis. I say this because winter is slow. I like this because I can spend a crap ton of time with my family and relaxing doing nothing; I also hate this because I’m not doing what I love. There’s always bunch of people who scramble to find a really great deal on some family photos for Christmas, but besides that it’s just too friggin’ cold in Utah to expect much out of November-March as far as client sessions go. HOWEVER that doesn’t mean we have to sit around and do nothing :)
I’ve been brainstorming. Chyeah. I know. Trust me, I hate that word too. I promise, in my head I’m not sitting us all at a conference table eating salads for lunch during this brainstorming session. I don’t have any charts or slideshows for motivation or visualization. This is a laid back brainstorming session, where two friends hang out on bean bag chairs swapping gold nuggets of information while eating Mike and Ikes.
Here’s some ideas I have of what we photographers can do with our winter months, and how regular chaps who aren’t photographers can use photographers to their advantage during these frigid months as well!
- Lots of photographers update their pricing structures at the new year. So hurry up and contact your favorite photographer before January 1st to lock in their old prices (even if your session isn’t in 2011).
- Also, many photographers give discounts to people who book in December. December is a great month for booking!
- If you can find a photographer who is still doing mini-sessions for the holidays, you should totally take advantage of that jack pot! Mini-sessions are basically 15-30 minute sessions wherein you get a few great photos with a very reduced price tag. It’s just a regular session, cut in half, but also generally with a reduced cost and extra goodies like free prints as well. Helps your wallet during this holiday season wherein you’re spending all your money, but it also gives you one of the best deals on photos you can find all year round.
- Speaking of mini-sessions… As a photographer, mini-sessions can be pretty beneficial. They can still be profitable if you manage your time well. Remember to stick to your time and edit limits, and you’ll be golden. Just book as many as you can. You can even consider extending your deadline into January, or doing a second batch of mini-sessions in January or February.
- Winter months are a great time to focus on birthdays and milestones. For all you regular joes out there, just because you don’t want brown grass in your group family photos (since we don’t even have snow yet), doesn’t mean it’s not a great time to still celebrate your kids. If your kid has a birthday, baptism, or even just a super terrific Jr Jazz season, a photo shoot with a photographer is a great way to be sure you’ll always remember the way their teeth were growing in when they just turned 8, or how grown up they were starting to look when they were 16. For all you photographers, I think a lot of people forget how great it can be to have a nice spread of photos of their family at different times in their lives. So go for it!
- This next idea is one of my favorites as a photographer :) Go take some pictures of some other stuff! I get so motivated and find so much inspiration in taking photos of food, animals, nature, and all that. Make a project out of it. Last year I started a family heirloom cookbook and took pictures of all the recipes after I made them. Let your creativity go wild. Try telling a story.
- Take a class. Read a book. Cultivate your talent.
- Update your website. You know you haven’t done it all year.
- Make a posing guide.
- Go inside, silly.
- And finally, charity. I know, so simple, right? The new year is a splendid time to relax your brain. Find a family, or individual, or entity who could benefit from your photographic services, and give give give. There’s nothing quite like a photo session without any pressure, no expectation, and the combination of pure unselfishness and gratitude. If you don’t know of anyone specific who you can help this winter, there are actually tons of organizations that promote this very idea! I plan on checking some of them out this season, and you can too. Check out this list of charities you can donate your time to; I know I am :)