Six months into what has been an unusual year to say the least.
When I was planning my blog posts at the end of last year I envisioned this one to be focused on more practical and technical things.
However the pandemic has meant that with the exception of some product branding photography done at home, I haven’t had a shoot since March. That said, there is still ample opportunity to learn even when you don’t have a camera in your hand.
Here is what I have picked up on my journey through 2020 so far.
1. Learn to adapt...
Life doesn’t always – indeed rarely – goes to plan. This year has been a prime example of that. Working out how you can adapt to any given situation is an important means of ensuring you keep moving forward, even if it is at a much slower pace.
2. ...but don’t be afraid to step back
This year put an enforced break on my photography which initially filled me with guilt and worry. But running a photography business is hard work – we all need time out – and I have come to accept that taking a step back, whilst uncomfortable, has been necessary.
3. Confirmed: travelling is my source of inspiration
Right about now I should have been in Colorado exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park. That trip can wait yet the prospect a year without hiking and taking in grand mountain and lake vistas has made me realise just how much it fulfils my life. And my photography.
4. There is no single solution
Photography can be very partisan at times. In reality, there is no single solution. Case in point: I purchased Capture One Pro in May. The learning curve is steep but the results are superior to my trusty Lightroom. But more importantly that that, it has made me realise that I can use both systems together – it doesn’t always have to be one or the other.
5. I’m a huge fan, but I’m not a mirrorless convert (yet)
Don’t get me wrong: the Fuji X-T2 is my favourite camera for everyday photography, especially when travelling. But I am less convinced that for commissioned work mirrorless pasts the test. My Nikon DSLR is still my workhorse on jobs and for studio work and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
6. Identify your weaknesses
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months critically reviewing my images to identify my weaknesses. It’s not a comfortable process to go through but it has helped me hone in on two very specific things I have decided to work on going forward.
7. The business goes on
I desperately miss holding shoots and I am continually monitoring the situation to see when I can safely resume them. But in their absence the business goes on: the networking, the marketing, the blogging, the posting, the strategising, the finances, the learning. None of that goes away. Which is how it should be.
How have you been coping this year? Any new lessons picked up along the way? Let me know in the comments!