Winter Is Coming- How to Keep Busy During the Slow Season
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
– Andy Warhol
If you’ve been in the photography business for more than a year you know that “winter is coming”. Winter is the time of the year that bears go into hibernation, birds fly south, and snow birds resort to warmer climates. January-March is also known to many portrait photographers, as the slow season when it’s just too cold to go out to photograph clients. Many people love warmer temperatures and beautiful bright sunlight, therefore will wait until spring for weddings, senior pictures, and to update family portraits if they’ve missed fall sessions.
The winter for me is a perfect time to kick the new year into full gear and hash out my marketing and goal calendar for the year. In case you’re wondering what you can do to keep busy here are a few ideas:
- Coordinate a Styled Shoot: The winter is the perfect time to network with new vendors and build relationships by hosting a styled shoot. What better way to get your business in front of other friendors than by working together to plan some fabulousness. Contact local planners, make-up artist, gown designers, and florist in your area to get the ball rolling today! Shameless plug. I have a course on planning styled shoots available for purchase if you need a little bit more guidance.
- Get Your Learn On: Two of the photography industry’s largest educational conferences and tradeshows are held in January-Imaging USA and February-WPPI and are awesome chances to learn so much from industry leaders in person. Check out my list of photography workshops and conferences for educational courses and workshops near you. Low on cash? No problem. Here’s a FREE Off Camera Flash Online Workshop from SLR Lounge and my friends at Magmod, FREE Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Tutorials from Adobe Guru Terry White on You Tube, be sure to also check out your local photography guild or community college for a list of upcoming courses, Creative Live is always an invaluable resource, Jenna Kutcher has a new free Goal Digger Podcast, and Feuza .
- Create an amazing Workflow or System to wow your clients! Now is the time to fine tune your workflow and systems. Last year, I honestly sat down and wrote an email for nearly every situation and created templates and workflows in 17Hats making my response time to clients quick and easy. I have them available for purchase if you want to just download them and customize them to meet your needs. There’s no need to draft a new email for every inquiry. Simply create systems to make your life easier.
- Blog. I know, I said the ugly four letter word. But it’s time to put your SEO juice in the blender and get to work. What are you waiting for? The time is now to wow potential clients with your beautiful work. Start with two to three sentences about the session and a few images and start where you are. If you need to watermark your images quickly, Fundy has their Image Stomper free for a few more days. Also, my friend friend Fueza has a great 2017 editorial blogging plan course that she’ll be teaching for FREE next week! Register for her course here.
- Plan your marketing calendar for the year or at least start with the first quarter: I felt like I was just speaking Spanish. What’s a marketing calendar? It’s how you plan your entire year with a Playbook. If you know Valentine’s Day is coming, why are you not prepared in advance with marketing materials, ads, blog posts, and images to post to promote your business? Boudoir, Anniversary Sessions, Valentine’s Day Minis, Women’s Glamour, the list could go on. Be prepared and not play catch up.
- Prepare Your Taxes. Uncle Sam- Yes, I said another ugly word. If you’re snowed in and watching Netflix, why not spend that time taking a look at your expenses and help your accountant out by having your taxes in order. The shoe box method is so 1995. Be better and join us over in the land Quickbooks and sleeping easy at night.
- Update and review your prices and collections: I won’t continue to beat a dead horse but you already know where I’m going with this. Take a moment to review your prices and collections to double check if they are indeed helping you stay in the black. If not, schedule a time with me to chat about Pricing Your Products and Services for Profit.
- Get a part-time job– I personally like the lights on at my house and heat. I really love eating too. If the income if not there for a few months, there is no shame in getting a part time gig to fill in the gap. I heard Starbucks and Apple now offers part-time employees benefits.
- Start a Personal Project-Sometimes we get so busy with clients, editing, and business side of our businesses that we forget to actually enjoy photography. For me, giving back and starting projects like The Unboxed Project and writing books helps me see and enjoy life again. Surely you don’t have to write a book or have a photography exhibition but you certainly could. Remember when you took photos just for fun? The slow season is to rekindle your love for photography.
- REST. Take time to rest. Your family and loved ones would love to have you back in their lives!
Tomayia Colvin is an award-winning and nationally published high school senior and wedding and engagement photographer and industry leader that resides in Humble, Texas. She’s speaking at Imaging USA and WPPI in 2017 on high school senior portraits! She’s also available for one on one mentorships and small group workshops to help you reach your business goals!
She can be reached here or at firstname.lastname@example.org and 832-429-5190.