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. Later one of those colleagues got the ‘hat tip’ for sending it into Petapixel but you can thank Charlie, and his mate, for getting the tip out there to begin with!

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 are not many photographer communities that aren’t full of snide sniping and backbiting and oneupmanship, but Nine Dots don’t tolerate any of that shit. I love them.

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!

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.

UK Covid-19 Freelance Artist Resources List

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…).