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  • Jürgen Niit

Improve Adapt Overcome

What I'm gonna do with my free time I have now? Probably gonna binge-watch some movies and TV-series, maybe get back in gaming...I'm a pretty introverted person and I really enjoy my personal space and time. I'm happy with myself with certain reservations. I know that after the most stressful periods in my life I like to take a week or two off from the outside world and be gone - think things through, chill, layback, develop better mind-sets.

I still have to finish some photo editing. And after that, there is plenty to do with my time.


ONLINE COURSES

There are so many valuable online courses available and right now most of them are on sale. My favorite one is PRO-EDU (they are on sale right now). F-Stoppers are another great place to buy tutorials (also on sale now). They have nice all-in-one tutorials compared to PRO-EDU ones. When you want to really up to your photo game on storytelling I highly recommend Masterclass courses. Annie Leibovitz's course is in-depth and on point. There are plenty of good sites where you can buy or subscribe to get good quality content - Udemy and Skillshare. Many sites offer free courses or introductory courses. Like Hurlbut Academy offers a free course on Illumination Cinematography Even some of the world's top universities offer FREE online courses on this topic as well - Harvard, Stanford, and Cambridge.

If you don't feel to buy courses and wanna save some money, well there is always Youtube. There are many great creatives who share free information.

It seems to be a perfect time to devote me to self-development. I bought heaps of courses about photography and editing back on Black Friday. About 35+ hours - doing them all along and making notes gonna double this time. Only the Automotive photography course by itself is 19 hours.

UPDATE PORTFOLIO & WEBPAGE

The world is on pause. It is the best time to go through new images, replace old ones and give a new look to a portfolio and to a webpage. It is really important to present myself in the best way and the webpage is one of the first things that clients would like to look at. I mean clients with real business.

On the webpage I check through spelling (Grammarly helps me), color solutions, photos, how easy it is orienting around over-all, update About page, maybe a new profile photo, is blog page necessary or how often I should write blog posts. Also SEO settings - how fast website loads, how well google finds it, mark words, related links, bounce rate.

RE-EDIT PHOTOS

One thing I like to do is re-edit my photos. Some of the good shots I have taken a while ago or even recently. Back then I didn't have skillset what I have now and workflow also has gone more consistent and precise. As I'm fascinated by the wonderful world of photo editing and manipulations I constantly develop my skills.

I like to take an old good photo from ages ago and re-edit them. Compare them with my old edits. It shows how much I have developed my skills and at the same time, I get better photo updates to my portfolio.

STOCK IMAGES

Get your images out there. It's pretty hard to earn decent money solely on stock photos but some money is better than no money. Probably the best places to start selling your photos are Stock.Adobe.com and ShutterStock.com.

BUYERS MARKET

When the economy is going down, people start selling stuff. Usually, photo/video hobbyist first sale is camera gear. And when the is more offers than demand, prices go down - hence the term buyers market. For professionals, it is a good time to buy some photography gear. Of course, I gotta be mindful of my own savings. Also, professionals buy photography gear to extend their business, so it is an investment. Keep your eyes open on Facebook Marketplace or some other online platforms. Usually, big businesses making price reductions to get some sales, so be smart and subscribe to mailing lists.

CONTRACTS

Best time to go over or create contracts - contracts for clients and/or model release forms. There are two points I would encourage to look over specifically. Where and how you can use photos you have shot for a client. For example, you can sell real estate shots later in stock photo sites. For that, first, you gotta have a contract and second, you gotta have a clause about that in the contract. If the client doesn't want to see those photos anywhere, even on my own webpage means that the client just have to pay more to get full rights of photos. One mindset I have is I don't take photos to archive them on backup disks. I take them to share them, share the experience, share the story, share the beauty or the tragedy.

CONCLUSION

Life may be difficult from time to time, but what do you do with that time counts. It is a known fact that if the economy hits a recession first thing loses income is entertainment and art business. They are not essential in complicated times. Luckily we are living on online age and e-commerce is booming. For product photographers it is a golden age, a client who has the best photos online of their products sells more - from food to perfume.

Thank you for your time and stay safe!


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