BLOG MAINTENANCE: ok this one falls into the not so fabulous but it needs to be done tasks!!! You need to work on your website/blog. You need to ensure that your links are still working and the site is up to date. Update images answer comments and clean up the sidebar of any widgets/plugin that no longer are being used or that are out of date
Yes! People love to watch live stream videos. it gives them an inside view of your world and for those times when business is slow you can hit the airwaves and connect with your brands, clients, and others to provide valuable content like tutorials, tips on what to wear, posing, a behind the scenes on a food shoot or your day in the life. Here is a link to ensure you are saving your Instagram/Facebook lives as well to use later on.I have
It is important to maintain interest and stay in front of your audience all year round. No content to blog? Here are a few ideas, recycle your most popular content from the past year. Or you can create some new content. Review a favorite product, or – team up with the vendor who makes/sells a product you use and LOVE, review it, and ask the vendor if you can include a discount code or giveaway! Blog personal images, start or join a 365 photo challenge (you’ll have more time to photograph your own kids) or take the time to do a photo-heavy post of all your favorite images from the past year or even better, a photo slideshow-Animoto is great for this. Instagram is great for finding themed challenges where you are given daily/weekly prompts to write about. Be sure to make your posts as dynamic as possible by including photos, videos, and links. Can’t find a blog challenge to join? Start your own and invite others to join you!
I have been shooting a ton of events over the last few years and I must say there are lots of ways to “plant seeds” for future business. Ask the hostess if you can also have a table. Make sure to have good marketing material! This is a great time to do some valuable networking. Holiday parties, Valentine’s parties, school auctions, etc. are great places to connect with people. I will remind you are working so you won’t have a lot of time to chat so make sure you are asking for their cards offer to send them a low res copy of the image you took of them that night, this is a great way to follow-up ( just remember to jot down a reminder of what the person was wearing on the card or create a private gallery that you share just with those people whose cards you collected) I spend a few minutes in my car at the end of the night and write the name of the event on the card. This is when you’ll develop your skills of remembering people really well. I’m at a point now that I can look at a business card from 3 years ago and still remember the person who gave it to me.
BOUDOIR/ New Niche
Boudoir Sessions can be a great way to bring in extra money during the off-season, and since the off-season starts around Christmas and end near Valentines Day I don’t think is a coincidence. So here’s what you do: Book a gorgeous hotel room, grab a pretty friend! Then use those photos to put together some gorgeous boudie marketing materials. If you need some help in this area check out Christa Meola’s site. (she’s who I followed when I started my boudoir journey) She also has a great book on boudoir posing that helped me in my earlier days of Boudie Calls.
Know a realtor who specializes in high-end homes? Grab your wide-angle and photograph them for their website! Realtors typically pay between $125 and $400 per house for this, which isn’t a lot, but you can knock out several in a day and the images require no editing. And best of all (the REAL benefit): all the people buying those gorgeous houses will receive a glowing recommendation from Ms. Realtor! You may even choose to offer up gift certificates for them as housewarming gifts. The best lenses for photographing homes are 24-70mm f/2.8 or a 28mm prime.
Lifestyle sessions are my favorite. I am not a big fan of clinical studio settings, so when I shoot in my studio I try very hard to add an element the client into the session. The only time it is clean and white is for headshots and that serves as a marketing and web purpose. But with lifestyle sessions, you get to spend time in your client’s space their homes. The places that speak of who they are and what they value most. You get to capture their day-to-day lives, doing whatever it is they do and loving on each other. A mom baking cookies with her daughter, a father and son wrestling in the living room, a teddy bear tea party, jumping and snuggling on the bed… capturing real life stuff is what photography is all about.
REMEMBER TO STAY FLUID.
The worst thing you can do is set your camera down and not pick it up again until the busy season. You will find that you are completely rusty and have absolutely no inspiration at the time of your session. Keep your camera in your kitchen or somewhere within reach as you go about your day-to-day, and grab it often. In fact, don’t just maintain your skills – strive to improve them! Doing this helped me realize that I love food photography.
I would love to hear any ideas you have for staying busy during the offseason so feel free to share them in the comments below.