In this post, I will share ten photography ideas for at home. Some of these ideas will involve picking up your camera. Others might involve just your computer. You know, the other obligation in photography. If you’re stuck at home during COVID than this post is perfect for you!
“Featured Photo by Tausha Dickinson – More details on her at the end of this post.“
Self-Isolation and Photography, when I first started my journey into photography the two seemed to go hand in hand. I would grab my camera, hit the street, trail, park or woods and just explore. Always alone, no rush, do distraction, and nobody waiting on me. I preferred it this way.
I don’t know what your exact situation looks like. For me, In Michigan, we are on a stay at home order until April 13th and this will likely be extended. We can go out and buy groceries, take a walk, visit parks (not playgrounds), go hiking, etc, but must remain to ourselves, no gathering.
This is a mandatory order and for some, it can feel stifling. Maybe you are not that photographer. Maybe you are a portrait photographer and thrive on interaction with your clients. Maybe you shoot weddings, events and other gatherings of people. Well not today my friend, today we have to look elsewhere.
In this post, I am going to explore ten things you can do as a photographer while at home. After that, I’m going to look at some of the unique ways other photographers are making the best out of a bad situation.
Bored at home Photography Ideas
1.) COVID-19 Self-Isolation Photo Challenge
Photography is supposed to tell a story right. Maybe you’re stuck inside but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your photography skills to use. Take out that camera and start documenting this time in self-isolation in a way that tells a story.
Take at least one photo a day that captures the spirit of that day. Maybe on Monday the family came together and had game night. Tuesday your son spent the entire day playing Xbox. Wednesday you and your daughter made a cake. Thursday, well you stared out the window more than normal. Friday, you indulged in an activity or craft you had long forsaken.
Document these moments; document the little things that tell the story of the time we had to shut down the world and collectively come together by staying apart. Hopefully, we can all look back on it and just shake our heads.
2.) Learn and Learn more Photography
You might already be the master of photography but you can’t possibly know everything. I’ve said it before, photography is one of those subjects that is evergreen when it comes to learning. There’s just so much to learn. Find the space in this field where you’re going to struggle and allow yourself to grow as a photographer.
I wrote a post “What is the Best way to Learn Photography as a Beginner” that covered a vast array of learning methods. I talked about photography blogs, books, classes, meetups, podcasts, videos, and more. These methods of learning are always applicable regardless of your experience level.
Best Books for Photography
3.) Try a Different Genre of Photography
Sometimes we find ourselves doing the same thing repeatedly. We don’t step outside the box. We just do what’s been working, play it safe, don’t experiment and repeat the same process over and over again.
Maybe you mix it up. If you are a portrait photographer, you could try landscape photography. You could probably use the fresh air. Being stuck in the house is exhausting, a nice photo walk is invigorating. It’s engaging yet calming, peaceful, like medicine for your soul.
Of course, this suggests you’re allowed and want to go outside. If that’s not the case or you just don’t want to then why not try product photography. What photographer doesn’t like a challenge?
Grab one item around the house. This is the product you’re trying to promote. You can add additional elements to the scene as well. Whatever you add should support the main product, not detract from it. Let us know about it in the comments.
4.) Edit or Re-Edit Old Photos
When dreaming up photography ideas for at home, you should also consider the photos you’ve already taken. One thing I love to do is re-edit old photos.
Remember those photos you took when you first started your journey into photography. Yeah, those photos you thought were awesome. Grab those and re-edit them in a style you would use today. See how far you’ve come as a photographer! Use #seeimagery on Instagram and post both versions of the photo.
5.) Photograph your Family Members
I’m specifically talking about the family members that live under the same roof as you. Of course, they’ve probably been down this road before. After a while, they see you coming with the camera and run as if you have the plague.
This time, however, they have nowhere to go. Maybe they are so bored they agree to your photography shenanigans. Use this time to experiment, try something unique and don’t be afraid to fail.
So many times, I start with a vision of what I want but it doesn’t work so I keep tweaking things. Then suddenly I find myself at a place I like. It’s usually not the place I envisioned but it’s a new place and it’s one I’m happy with.
6.) Create a Photography Website
Maybe you’re already posting your images on Instagram, Facebook and other corners of the web but don’t have your own branded web presence. Now is the perfect time to fix that. It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a hobbyist or professional. It’s never too soon to start documenting your journey into photography.
A hobbyist might use her or her website to post the journey. Maybe on Instagram, you’re posting the single best photo from the day. On your website, however, you’re sharing the journey. What got you there? How did you fail? How did you grow? Give us a story!
If you’re a professional, well, you probably have a website and know the importance of that when conveying your brand’s identity. If not then I definitely encourage you to create a website to serve as a center of operation for all your other online activity.
If you’re ready to build a website but don’t know how, check out my post series, “How to Create a Photography Website with WordPress“. This tutorial is relevant to anyone wanting to create a website utilizing WordPress but there is extra stuff in there for photographers.
7.) Clean your Lightroom Library
I don’t know about you but my Lightroom Catalog was a mess and I’m only now starting to get it under control. The most important thing I can tell you is to develop a system early and stick to it. This will likely be different for everyone. You have to find what works for you.
My current system is to organize my folders by year, month and topic. For example, 2012>October>Gregory Bald Hike.
I then flag all the photos I like from a photo session/topic. This is very quick, do I like it or not. I also delete any that are out of focus or just plain bad.
Then I go through them again, this time only looking at the ones I flagged. I’m only looking for photos that really stand out. I give them a 5 star, these are the ones I will edit. I don’t bother using the other star ratings but maybe you do.
Once I finish editing a photo, I give it a green label. Sometimes the green label is going on a RAW file. Sometimes it’s going on a PSD file if I did any work in Photoshop. Green means this photo is finished and ready for export.
I suggest building several Lightroom export presets to help speed up the workflow. For example, I have presets created for different applications around the web as well as physical prints. Your export settings are going to be different depending on your intentions.
Now, this is just my system and I’m sure there is a ton of other great systems that are probably better than mine. Do what works for you!
Share your best tips on organizing a Lightroom Catalog in the comments below.
8.) Revamp your Social Media Strategy
Oh hell, it’s about to get real. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I’m a social media expert because the struggle is real. I don’t like social media to be honest and my execution is seriously lacking.
Still, that’s beside the point. I still know that you can’t compete in the canoe race if you’re not going to put your canoe in the water.
Currently, I’ve decided to funnel my social media efforts into 4 channels, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Maybe that’s too many, maybe I should just pick one and really try to master it. I’ve heard this before but I’m stubborn.
What I do know is that you need a strategy. You cannot just post occasionally and without a strategy and expect results. Here are the three things you need to consider when developing your strategy.
Post Frequency – How often you will post. This needs to be consistent and you might even check out some auto-scheduling platforms like Buffer, Later, or Tailwind. These platforms will help you schedule your content to publish automatically at a time when your community is most active.
Strategy – You will also need a different strategy for each platform. It’s not recommended to simply regurgitate everything across all your social media channels. Look at the strengths of each platform and decide how you can utilize them in different ways to interact with your audience.
For example, maybe you use Facebook to connect and correspond with your customers, run contests and sales, etc.
Then you use Instagram to display results of your photo sessions and Instagram Stories for behind the scenes fun.
Your Pinterest profile should have boards about what to wear to a photoshoot, amazing wedding venues in your area, etc. You want your customers to find you when doing research.
Goals – Social Media is a lot of work. Why are we here? What is the goal? What measurable stat are you trying to obtain? Maybe your goal is to obtain 200 more followers this month. You should have some way to gauge what posts are actually moving you toward your goal. What posts are receiving the most interaction? Focus on that, make it better, and make new similar content.
Share your tips for creating an awesome social media strategy in the comments below.
9.) Write a Guest Post at See Imagery
I talked about creating a website earlier but maybe you want to get your feet wet first. Go ahead and write a blog post relevant to photography and if it meets our guidelines I will publish it here at See Imagery. Please refer to this post, “Submit a Guest Post” for more information.
10.) Do Something completely different!
If you’ve been doing a lot of photography and photography has consumed much of your life then maybe it’s time for a break. Take this time to walk away knowing you will be back. Go read some books, pick up a musical instrument, or even a paintbrush. Explore old passions you let die or revisit those you never gave an earnest try.
Photography will always be there and when you come back you will be refreshed, eager, and ready to create. Who knows, you may find yourself in the midst of new ideas. Ideas that you never would have conceived if you hadn’t been for the time you paused and redirected your attention.
Photographers stepping up their game in the face of Coronavirus and Self-Isolation
Tausha Dickinson is a Photographer in Franklin Tennessee that specializing in headshots, fashion and commercial work.
In a recent post titled Weird Times – Bright Spirits, Tausha explains how she informed her neighborhood that she would be walking around and doing portraits from the street. She gave her neighbors a 5-hour notice and just let her neighbors do their own thing, from a distance of course.
Most of the photos take place on her neighbor’s porch and some of them are darn right hysterical. This is what community looks like, people coming together in the face of crisis and making the best it. Tausha looks like she has some fun neighbors.
There is one thing I wanted to STRESS and Tausha wanted me to stress. This should only be done if people live in an area where they are allowed to be outside and you can do it from EXTREMELY far away. If you don’t have an adequate zoom lens and cannot maintain a safe distance then this is not for you.
You – Tausha is just one photographer out there doing something a little different. I know others are doing similar things where they live. I want to know about you though. What are you doing to keep photography alive in your life during these crazy times?
Share some photography ideas for at home in the comments!
What are you doing while bored at home? Do you have some great photography ideas for at home? Please tell us what you are doing during this time to feed your passion for photography.
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