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- Photography Business Tip: Things Photographers Can Do During Stay-at-Home Orders
photo by jacoblund via iStock
Although there is hopefully some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel now that vaccines are being distributed, there is no mistaking that many of us will continue to be spending a lot of time at home in the coming weeks and months.
But as I’ve said before, the time we’re spending at home shouldn’t be viewed as time wasted. Instead, for photographers like you and I, there are plenty of tasks that can be undertaken to both utilize the extra time we have and to help streamline our working lives.
Below is a quick list of some easy tasks you can undertake while you’re under stay-at-home orders. In some cases, these tasks are intended to spark your creativity. In others, they’re intended to help you preserve your old work. There’s plenty of recommendations in between as well!
Digitize Old Negatives and Slides
photo by Solovyova via iStock
If you’re like me, you might have a good number of boxes in your attic with old negatives and slides.
Rather than letting those precious memories continue to decay, why not take some of the extra time you have during lockdown to digitize them?
If it sounds like a laborious undertaking, you’re wrong…
In fact, digitizing old negatives and slides can be done quickly, easily, and with the push of a button.
I’ve used the Wolverine Data F2D Titan to digitize my negatives and slides, and it has been a breeze to use.
This film-to-digital converter is an 8-in-1 device that allows you to digitize 35mm, 110, 126, 127, and APS film, as well as slide, 8mm movies, and Super 8 movies.
It has a 20-megapixel sensor that turns your analog files into high-definition images at up to 5472 x 3648 pixels. The best part is that it takes just three seconds to scan the slides or negatives!
After the slides or negatives have been scanned, you can view the results on the 4.3-inch color LCD. You can also connect the F2D Titan to your computer or TV for viewing on a larger screen.
With internal memory, an SD card slot, and controls for brightness and color balance, this device is totally self-contained and will help you make the most of your time in quarantine. Check out my review of the Wolverine Data F2D Titan to learn more!
Try Food Photography
photo by olgakr via iStock
Food photography is a great way to hone your photography skills while you’re in quarantine.
Like any other kind of photography, food photography requires you to harness your creative skills, compose a great shot, work on lighting, dial in the right camera settings, and so forth, in order to get a quality photo.
Whether you create a still life of a bowl of fruit, a mouth-watering photo of your dinner, or something in between, practicing your food photography skills can help you become a better all-around photographer.
Highlight the Objects in Your Home in Product Photos
photo by Rawpixel via iStock
Like food photography, product photography is an activity that’s perfectly suited for photographers under stay-at-home orders.
Product photography is all about highlighting the features of the product. This requires finesse on your part to make the product shine.
You don’t need fancy gear to do product photography, either. Though things like a light box or tent would be helpful, they aren’t required. Simply practicing your photography skills by photographing items in your home will help you tap into your creativity and learn new skills.
Digitize Old Movies Too
photo by mphillips007 via iStock
You’ve already digitized your slides and film, so why not do the same with your old home movies as well?
My parents passed down dozens of 8mm film reels and some Super 8 film reels as well. And after years and years of hanging out in boxes in my house, I finally digitized them to bring those old memories to life.
Much like Wolverine Data made digitizing old slides and negatives a breeze, they’ve done the same with 8mm and Super 8 film reels.
Take, for instance, their MovieMaker-PRO…
This device is fully automated and turns those film reels into 1080p MP4 videos. The digitizing process is done frame-by-frame so you get the highest-quality digital conversion possible.
This machine is a stand-alone device, so you don’t need a computer, software, or drivers to make it work. The machine is compatible with all Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems.
It scans and directly saves the digitized movies to an SD card for easy sharing as well.
Those old movie reels are so incredibly fragile, and they contain memories that you surely don't want to lose. There’s no better time to save those movies - and do so quickly and efficiently with the MovieMaker-Pro! Alternatively, if you want a less expensive, yet still a great option, you can opt for the Wolverine Data 8mm and Super 8 Digitizer.
This rig is $100 less than the MovieMaker-Pro, yet still gives you the ability to convert your 8mm and Super 8 videos quickly and efficiently.
This rig converts your films to 720p digital files. It can accommodate 5-inch reels whereas the MovieMaker-PRO can handle reels up to 9-inches.
Other than that, this device works just like its bigger brother - it’s a stand-alone device that’s compatible with various operating systems and has the ability to save the files to an SD card.
Start a 365-Day Project
photo by nimis69 via iStock
f you want a long-term photography project that will help you sustain your creativity throughout the year, you might try a 365-day photography project.
These projects can be found all over the internet. Essentially, you get a daily photography assignment like “photograph something blue” or “recreate a favorite photo” for each day of the year.
What’s great about this kind of photography project is that it challenges you to use many different kinds of photography skills while also keeping you engaged in photography.
photo by martin-dm via iStock
While it’s obviously important to develop new photography skills, it’s equally as important to simply stay engaged with photography on a daily basis.
Some 365-day projects might have assignments that aren’t quarantine friendly, so you might need to make some adjustments. However, that’s just one more way that you can challenge your creativity - to devise ways to make each daily challenge workable for staying at home.
Work on Self-Portraits
photo by Igor Alecsander via iStock
As photographers we obviously spend far more time behind the lens than in front of it. But I think the pandemic offers us a good opportunity to get in front of the lens more often.
Not only will an exercise in taking self-portraits help you keep your portraiture skills sharp, but it can also help you develop a better understanding of what the models you work with feel like as you take their photo.
There’s a self-love aspect to this as well - I know plenty of photographers that hate being photographed, which is a shame because we’re all worthy of being the subject of a beautiful portrait.
So, set your personal feelings about self-portraits aside, hop in front of your camera, and see what kind of gorgeous portraits you can create!
Organize Your Image Files
photo by evgenyatamanenko via iStock
Hey, organizing anything is never much fun, at least in my opinion. But it’s hard to argue against organizing your image files as being a great use of your time while you’re at home.
I’m terrible about naming my files and keeping them in much of an organized fashion, so I’ve been diligently working through the many different folders and subfolders on my computer to get things cleaned up.
In addition to making it much easier to find images I want, it’s also an opportunity to ensure I have proper backups of my images as well.
photo by Anchiy via iStock
Additionally, why not take an afternoon to get your home office spruced up? A cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind, right? So take some of your quarantine time to get your workspace neat and tidy.
I find that when I come into my office and everything is in its place that I have a much easier time getting my day started. It’s like a clean slate - instead of wringing my hands over the chaos on my desk, I can sit down, get to work, and be much more productive.
Of course, there are many other things you can do while you’re staying at home, but this list will get you going in the right direction. A little productivity never hurt anyone, right?!