Last Updated on 10/20/2011 by Travis Lawton
So you’re sick. You’ve cancelled your meetings and appointments. You’ve stayed home from the office to rest and watch The Price Is Right. You feel terrible and knowing that you’re wasting the day away by just lying in bed isn’t helping. There are some things that photographers can do while feeling under the weather.
Let me reiterate that the absolute best thing for you is to follow your doctor’s orders. If they tell you to stay in bed and rest, then stay in bed and rest. If you feel well enough to turn on your brain a little, here are some suggestions you can easily accomplish. Oh and just so you know, I came up with this post idea and am currently writing it while sick.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog posting by Travis Lawton, the Lawtographer
The easiest activities you can accomplish while sick are things on the computer as they don’t require you to put out much physical effort. It’s not too hard to sit in front of a computer screen while chugging water and Dayquil. Even better, if you own an iPad-like device, netbook, or even just a laptop, you can do many of these things right from the comfort of your own bed. These are generally mundane things that just aren’t fun to do when your healthy. Being stuck at home gives you a perfect opportunity to complete these tasks.
On The Computer and Marketing
Something that I am currently doing, blogging. Blogging is one of the first things that goes by the wayside when you get busy.
Marketing and Blogging
It’s the easiest to forget about but can be one of the most important ways to keep connected with your clients and customers. Blog about the last couple shoots you’ve done, or come up with a specific topic of photography that you think you might be able to impart some wisdom on. Perhaps write a post along with images from that recent trip you took or just write-up some good ol’ fashioned personal blog piece saying whatever is one your mind. The nice thing about writing when you’re sick is it does quite a good job of giving you a break from dwelling on your sickness as you fall into your own words. The important thing to keep in mind is that all blog posts should once again be carefully crafted pieces that will appeal to your audience and potential clients.
On that same note, you can spend some time catching up on your social media and marketing. As we all know, social media is starting to dominate this genre as a way to reach out to more people than ever before. If you haven’t jumped on the social media ship yet, now would be a perfect time to.
If you’re like me where I seem to get into bursts of social interaction for awhile and then go awol for a week or two, this again is a perfect time to right the tracks of your social media path. Check in on your Twitter followers, do something to gain more (see above paragraph for an idea), share some new info on your Facebook page, create a welcome page for your Facebook Page, create a new banner for your profile pic, ask yourself if you’re marketing yourself the best way possible using social media. Make a goal to attain X more Likes and followers while you’re sick.
For those of you out there with websites, how much time have you spent on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If you’re like me in the past, not much. SEO is what drives organic traffic to your site. These are the people that reached your site from pages like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. SEO may seem like a mundane task but if you conquer it, your site’s traffic can explode, which hopefully will result in more bookings and ultimately more money in your pocket.
Question: if you searched for “portrait photographer in Seattle”, do you think the sites that show on the 10th page receive as much clicks as the sites that show on page 1? Of course not. I read somewhere recently that the percentage of people that actually click over to page 2 during a search is very low. Okay, so how do you get your site to show up on page 1. That is where SEO comes in.
Now this article isn’t specifically about SEO so we won’t go into the details here. This is more of tip to start doing some searches on SEO tips for your website and you’ll probably learn a ton of stuff that you’re doing wrong right now and how to fix them. Working on this while having some downtime is perfect because it can be time consuming.
If you’re feeling a little better and feel like actually getting your face back behind a camera, there are several in-house projects that you can work on.
Water drop images can be a fun and challenging subject to capture. You will need some essential tools: a camera (duh), macro lens, flash, a way to trigger the flash off-camera, and (not an absolute must) a tripod. Personally I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens, Canon Speedlite 580EX II Flash, Canon OC-E3 synchro cable, and Manfrotto tripod and ballhead. DIY photography has a great guide on specifically how to capture this stunning photographs here.
Another great home photo project is smoke photography. For these images you’ll need many of the things mentioned above (a macro lens isn’t necessary) plus an incense stick. These are very fun images to make, and if you like the smell of the incense, your house will smell awesome for a couple hours. The bonus to these images is that you can spend just a couple of minutes editing them or you can get really creative and spent some quality time in Photoshop. The folks over at Digital Photography School have some creative ideas for these photographs as well as a great post about how to make them on there site. You can check it out here.
If you don’t have the above equipment, you can do something that I like even when not sick. Take some pretty flower pictures. Everyone loves flower pictures right? What I do is get some crazy looking flowers from the store (or have someone else bring them home if you don’t feel up to leaving) and pop on the macro lens. You can create some pretty interesting looking images from flowers and plants using a macro lens. You get to see things that the human eye can’t see or just passes over without triggering your “Hey, that’s interesting” button.
I hope this post has given you some ideas you can tackle the next time you’re feeling a little ill. If you’re able to accomplish some or even one of the listed ideas here, then you can confidently tell yourself that the time spent while sick wasn’t a complete waste.
What can you think of doing when you’re sick? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.