How To Deal With Slow Weeks As A Photographer
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How To Deal With Slow Weeks As A Photographer

Photography slow season is upon us, or, as a photographer, you anticipate the slow season looming close. Photographers usually work for themselves or freelance, so the dreaded slow season is something they do not look forward to. It means they must be smarter about their expenditure and understand that income will be scarce for a few months.

The question can turn from how to survive the slow months to how to survive, period. As creative persons, photographers can commute their self-identity and their art. When the phone is not ringing, creatives often get into a place of low self-esteem. It’s easy to get lazy, but now is the time to hunker down and plan for the year ahead. The busy season will return before you know it and, if you use the time well, you will be grateful for the downtime. Once you learn to anticipate the slow season, you’ll know how to make the most of it.

Here are some ideas for how to make the most of the slow weeks as a photographer:

Plan for the year

Spend a day planning the year that's ahead and set goals for every quarter. Make a SWOT analysis of your business. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This forces you to lay out the good, bad, and the ugly. If you have a long list of weaknesses and few strengths, now’s the time to start figuring out which ones you’ll address, when, and how.

If you have a long list of strengths and very few weaknesses, you’re doing something wrong. Challenge everything you are currently doing. Rope in your team and get feedback from clients. Find what you’re doing wrong or what could be better and plan to better your business in the next year. No one likes to hear criticism, but you need to commit to growth, and you must stay open-minded.

Look at the costs and budgeting of your business, can you reduce any of the variable or fixed costs? These are costs that fixed no matter how much business you do or variable with the amount of gigs you have. Spending time comparing prices online to get a better deal is a good habit to get into each year. Compare insurance prices for your photography business online by clicking here.

Ideate and innovate

Now that you’ve got a plan, you can look at what sets you apart from the other professionals in your field. This is where it gets fun because it’s time to innovate. Can you do better with your client experience? What kind of other products can you monetize? Can you revamp your website for that novel project you last did and expand your portfolio?

Research what other photographers are doing and see if you can offer those services too. If you want to learn a new style or skill, hunt down a class or workshop that will set you up for the year.

Get inspired

This season, you’re not going to get sucked into burnout at the end of the busy season. Instead, you can use the time to make sure your creative spark continues to burn. Spend the time learning new lighting, compositional tricks, posing for models, and refining your craft. You do not need to spend money on these projects, but it is a great time to study what works and what does not.

It’s also a good idea to sign yourself up for a conference or workshop to bide your time during the slow season. You’ll be learning new skills and ideas, as well as surrounding yourself with like-minded people. Being around people who understand you can open avenues for collaboration and new soundboards for your ideas.

Teach photography workshops

Got some new gear for Christmas? So did many other people, some of them newbie photographers who have no idea where to start. Make some money in your off-time teaching people how to use their new cameras.

“Get Online College Degrees during COVID-19”

You can host the workshop at your studio, virtually, or reach out to a local center to rent out their space. If you are consistent and the class does well, you may find yourself with a new income stream in the new year. Photography is a coveted skill, but expensive equipment can make entry barriers high. Sometimes that can be a good thing because it means that the people who come to your class will only be the people serious about learning. If the idea of a large group sounds off-putting to you, you can even create a limited offer for one-on-one classes.

Run promotional offerings

Photographers can get so busy during the season that they barely have time to think of business development. You can attract business by running promotional offers. Try offering a discount to clients who book now for shooting at a later date. Offer something of value for them to book now, such as a photo album, canvas, photo blanket, or free mini session for now.

Mini sessions are great ways to make a little money. Valentine's Day is an obvious chance but look at what is happening during this time of year and in your area to identify other opportunities. Micro-mini sessions are not a popular term but hear us out. Examples of this are taking photographs with Santa, photograph booths at community events, and prom photos. You supply a great backdrop and provide quick but professional photographs for a small fee. Micro-mini sessions can be a great opportunity for people to get to know you and new clients to find you.


Boudoir photographers do not just offer at-home boudoir photography sessions. They offer a whole experience complete with makeup, hair, and dressing. Photographers do not do the hair and makeup themselves, of course; they collaborate with someone else. Brainstorm how your skills can creatively collaborate with another boudoir photography business in the area.

Partner with a restaurant or a movie theater on a Valentine's Day package offering. Each of you may offer slight discounts on each of your services so that the client gets a more valuable experience. All the while, you are attracting clients to both businesses.

Take a breath

Lastly, remember that it is okay to take a break. We are not meant to run on adrenaline for so long and eventually need a break. Use the time to take a holiday if you need to or spend time with family. Respect your down-time as much as your busy time. Also read, Is Kissanime Illegal?

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