Top 10 Ways to Stay Productive as a Freelance Photographer during self-isolation

2020 has been a very intense year to say the least.

For many photographers out there, this kind of economic downturn due to the novel Coronavirus has been unprecedented.
Freelancers are struggling, their line of incomes for the foreseeable future are shrouded in uncertainty, not knowing whether they’ll be able to support themselves or their families.

Events have been cancelled, samples and products have all but stopped shipping in from China and the term ‘self-isolation’ seems to be the new norm amongst global households.

What does this mean for photographers?

Well, it certainly means that anxiety and stress has been creeping into the minds of us all, the uncertainty already taking it’s toll on the self-employed.

However, I feel a lot of doom and gloom has been reported on in recent times by the media, and I’m determined to make this blog post as positive and constructive as possible. I want photographers out there to take this undoubtedly tough time and turn it into a potential opportunity. Use this extra time to your advantage, because when the gears start turning again, there is the potential to be flooded with new work and a sense of being overwhelmed.

So without further adieu, here are my top 10 ways to stay productive in your photography business while in self-isolation.

1. Learn a new skill (or refine one!)

With so much spare time now available for a lot of small business owners, this can be the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill where you may not have previously had the time to do so. 

Experimenting with a different genre of photography, learning how to retouch, graphic and web design; these are all topics that can potentially be of interest to photographers. Learning something new while you have the time to do so is one of the most productive things you can do for your business.

2. Update your website portfolio

Using this extra time to update your website portfolio is a wonderfully productive thing to do. Ensuring that your portfolio is up to date and looks professional, whilst ensuring your website looks fresh and displays your portfolio in the best light possible is something very important for potential future clients.

3. Start a YouTube channel

Ever thought about setting up a camera in your bedroom and filming yourself chatting about your interests/hobbies/profession? Now is the perfect time to do so!
There are so many ways that YouTube can be utilised from a business perspective, this is all an individual preference of course, however this is a great way to start using another platform to give your work exposure. 

Whether you want to provide tutorials, chit-chats, q&a’s, behind the scenes, vlogging, gear reviews, etc. There are countless ways to use this platform!

4. Find an extra stream of revenue

This is obviously an important tip particularly during these harder times. However, it’s always a good idea to find extra streams of revenue as a freelancer and it really does provide a safety net of income. 

You could potentially consider selling prints, presets, calendars, etc. There are also revenue streams such as stock photography, google adsense and affiliate marketing that you can incorporate into your business. 

5. Writing a long list of all your dream clients

This is something I find a lot of photographers don’t tend to do. If you know me personally, you’d know that I’m a huge advocate for ‘knowing your client.’

It’s an incredibly important thing and having any extra time is a great chance to write down your favourite brands or dream clients so you can know exactly what you want to aim for in future. 


If you’re like me and tend to be a bit blasé about this, now is the time to turn it all around!

Use this extra time to start securing your work both through online and physical hard drive backups. I know that this is something we don’t always get around to doing and the consistency lapses from time to time, but it is so so important.

7. Create a ton of mood boards and find new inspiration

Basically this is the perfect time to start planning ahead when all this craziness subsides. 

Start getting some new inspiration and planning those upcoming test shoots, because when everything returns to normal, you may not have as much time to do these smaller tasks!

8. Be even more active on social media

This is truly something that should already be implemented in this day and age. However, if you’re one of those photographers that struggles to stay consistent on social media, now is a great time to create as much exposure to your work and business as possible. Post daily or even more regularly to sites like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. and see your business following rise before your eyes.

9. Create a schedule

Create a schedule and plan out your days, weeks and even months to help yourself stay on track with your business. This is something that can be kept later on once the work starts flowing again. Creating a routine and schedule will help breed success.

10. Having a big clean-up

This is the time to get everything in order!

Start by cleaning up your workspace, tidying virtual files, sorting out your tax receipts and details. Try to keep organised during this time so when things get busy again, nothing will get out of hand!

I hope these tips have been helpful for you all at this uncertain time. Just remember, try to stay positive and focused. We will all get through this!

I’m here and ready for anyone needing advice at this time, so don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments here or on my YouTube channel.

Until next time, take care!

Kayleigh x

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