Covid-19 really put a damper on my plans for shooting. Before everything shut down, I had ten shoots lined up for March to April. Had to cancel everything after hotels, studios, and airlines shut down (well airlines didn’t but it became harder to fly). I shoot for fun, so while it didn’t impact me as much as it impacted others (losing their jobs, getting sick, etc), it still was a bummer as shooting is a major hobby and passion of mine, and I missed working with all the awesome models, hair stylists, and makeup artists I have.
Taking 2+ months off from shooting has allowed me some time to work on improving my website. I have had the same layout for the last 2+ years, so I thought it was time to change things up. If you read this, let me know what you think. If you’re wondering, I use WordPress along with a theme called Oshine. It has over 40 different looks to it, so you basically get 40+ different themes all for the price of one. I’m still working on it, so it may not be 100% finished, but it’s getting there.
Lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for me for a few reasons. Stopping all shoots has allowed me to take stock of how I was running my shoots in the past, and how I could improve that going forward. In the last year prior to Covid19, I spend over $30,000 USD on shoots, without seeing a dime in return. The top three expenditures were: Models, Outfits, Locations (hotels, studios, etc). While this never bothered me, it was beginning to get expensive, and taking a pause has allowed me to re-evaluate compensation, outfits, etc. (I spent 1600$ feeding models during shoots alone). While I will still continue to compensate models, I will be re-evaluating what I find reasonable, as giving models outfits, pay, and up to 10-12 photos is extremely generous. Editing can take me 2-3 weeks, so when I shoot I basically work all month long turning images around.
I will never ask models to pay, but in re-evaluating compensation, if models request high hourly rates, I will either limit the outfits they keep, or not provide image rights afterward. I am now a published photographer, so practice isn’t high on my list and I can choose to be more strict with this. This decision was purely economical in nature, as I need to cut costs to continue doing what I love.
I am also working on starting a Patreon to try and earn something to help fund future shoots, so stay tuned.
With this new layout, I can now add a blog/journal section, so I’ll be posting upcoming shoot ideas, future outfits, after-shoot teasers, and probably anything else I can think of to document my photography.