Response to the coronavirus COVID-19 has effectively shut down whole industries around the world. From my point of view, the event and wedding industry is at a complete standstill. Every booking I had throughout March, April and most of May has cancelled or postponed, and I’d expect every booking through to August will cancel at some point too. And it’s the same for other photographers, covering sports, concerts, and anything else that requires more than a few people getting together.

If you’re able to pivot to another line of work, great! Perhaps now’s a good time to pitch new ’empty venue’ photography to event venues. Perhaps other very small businesses can be convinced to invest in some new personal branding images.

But for most of us, this is going to be a near or total stop in our business. And for some of us (including me) who struggle with mental health to some degree, it could be very easy to slip into a sense of despair or loneliness.

So, I’ve been googling around for resources for photographers and I’ll list them here as I find more. In no particular order, here’s a list of communities, advice, and deals that you could take advantage of to lessen the blow, or just lift your spirits.

And if you’re wondering what I’m doing to get through it, right now: it’s pretty simple: stop refreshing the news, get off Twitter, use my WaterRower daily, go for a walk in the fresh air every morning and evening, and play more videogames… ;)

Two free months of Adobe Creative Cloud

My good friend, videographer Charlie Johnston of Media Hog Productions, emailed a few colleagues yesterday with this tip he got from another friend of his.

I’m on the Photography plan so I saved about £20, but if you’re on a higher priced plan you could save even more. It seems like not everyone gets offered it, but there’s no harm trying.

How to get 60 free days of Adobe Creative Cloud

You simply sign in, go to Manage my Account, and go to cancel your account. Don’t worry, it’s almost impossible to cancel without meaning to do so. Adobe doesn’t want you to go so they walk you through several steps first, and we’ll be accepting an offer to stay before we get to the ‘confirmation’ page.

• First they’ll ask why you’re cancelling, I selected ‘Other’.

• Then before confirming anything there will be an offers page.

• One of the offers is for 60 days free. Click it and you’re done.

Nine Dots, a wedding photographer community

Nine Dots is a wonderful community of wedding photographers, mostly based in the UK but they’re not picky, and they’re incredibly friendly and supportive. There aren’t many photographer communities that aren’t full of sniping, backbiting and oneupmanship, but Nine Dots don’t tolerate any of that crap, it’s great. And it’s for everyone, from new wedding photographers that just set up this month, to seasoned pros who’ve got the next two years booked up already. All are welcome!

It costs about £150 a year to join, which gets you access to their main Facebook group, full of helpful business tips and off-topic chat, as well as their referrals group, where you can pitch to pick up someone else’s referral. Their website is also packed with helpful tutorials on everything from your communication workflow, to faster editing, and selling more prints. You’ll also get discounted pricing for their annual Gathering, a three day conference focussed on wedding photography workshops and seminars. Mention me (Owen Billcliffe) when you join up and I’ll get a free month – thank you so much!

Nine Dots Coronavirus Survival Guide

A brilliant, unapologetically British ebook to help you get through this, full of practical and moral support. And it’s FREE TO ALL – you don’t need to be a member. What do I mean by “unapologetically British”? Let’s just say they tell it like it is :)

Nine Dots Coronavirus Email Templates

More fantastic free resources from the Nine Dots gang – even if you’re not a member – these are easily-downloaded templates for all the key emails you’re likely having to send right now. Everything from responding to clients that want to cancel or postpone, through to what you can say to new clients who want to book but are nervous about paying their deposit.

UK COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources List

A great list of UK-focussed resources for freelancers in the artistic fields, covering everything from the official advice, support groups, crowdfunders, petitions, and other fundraising links. A bunch of really useful stuff here, and there’s a US-focussed version available here.

Bensoc’s small grants for photographers in hardship

Bensoc is the benevolent arm of the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photographers) and they got in touch with me directly after I was interviewed by Victoria Derbyshire on BBC News (April 21st 2020) to let me know about the small grants they’re offering to photographers in serious hardship. You can find out more on their website.

The Photographer Academy live events

The Photographer Academy is launching a new webinar series dedicated not just to surviving this crisis, but the industry in general. They’ve got a lot of other videos and webinars to browse through, check them out over here.

Fundy’s tutorial and support webinars

Fundy make one of the leading album design apps, and their founder, Andrew Funderberg, has been hosting loads of webinars on their Facebook page to help photographers shore up their business, make a bit more money selling albums, and generally keep the head above water right now.

Pixellu’s ‘COVID-19 Photographer Community Conversation

Pixellu make some great tools for photographers including SmartSlides and SmartAlbums. They did a webinar this week to bring photographers together and talk about how the virus is affecting us and how we can help ourselves and each other. You can watch it here.

Photoshelter’s list of coronavirus resources for photographers

Allen Murabayashi of Photoshelter has been super helpful and active. Photoshelter has a ton of useful links discussing the impact as it relates to all kinds of photographers. It’s mostly concerned with the USA in terms of legal and financial advice and assistance, a little annoying to anyone that doesn’t think the USA is the centre of the universe, but there’s still lots to pick up and digest.

Neon Raven – Freelancing in the Age of Coronavirus: A Survival Guide

An insightful essay covering a variety of photographers and videographers and how they’re being impacted and picking up the pieces. It takes in experiences from plenty of disciplines, going around the world, and there’s a letter template you can send to your politician of choice to advocate for help for freelancers. And as always it can be reassuring to see just how many people are in the same boat.

British Journal of Photography – Coronavirus: How You Can Help The Photography Community And Beyond

A great list of UK-focussed resources and support for photographers and freelancers in general, including some suggestions for how you can keep busy using your skills for good causes.

Popular Photography – Tips for Freelance Photographers Affected by Coronavirus

A list of suggestions to keep busy, everything from fixing up your website to sorting out entries for competitions in advance (if that’s your sort of thing! I actively avoid photography competitions for my own sanity, but that’s a story for another day…).