As a corporate event photographer, January and February is undoubtedly one of the slower parts of my year. During this time I do a lot of reflection and preparation for my business, so I’m ready to go once spring hits.
But let’s be honest, we all need some income. The bills don’t stop.
This year, I was asked by an ongoing client to create some graphics for the headshots I had just taken. The client wanted me to come up with social media and web graphics that they could use for their promotions.
So I got down to work. Relying on my experience as a graphic and website designer for seven years, I was able to come up with some templates that I could easily plug in the headshots and adjust text as necessary. From there I designed a conference advertisement for them in the same style.
This got me thinking. What other supplementary services could photographers offer, to take the financial burden off during the slow season?
As photographers, we ultimately pay attention to the creative details. And for some of us, we might have a skill of writing as well. Being able to take our creative half of our brains and put that down on paper is a skill that many companies might desire. You might be a great ad writer, or be able to whip out a blog in less than a half-hour. If so, doing some on-the-side copywriting might be a great idea.
This is especially for all the corporate photographers out there. Take a look at your clients, and ask yourselves if they could benefit from an enhanced brand identity. I’m not saying to go out there and design a new logo for them — instead, offer your creative opinion. If something doesn’t fit, tell the client that. If something looks out of style, say that too.
Fellow Photofocus author Lauri Novak has recently started mentoring other photographers. The slow season is a perfect time to do this, as you aren’t stressed with your client workload. Go to a camera club meetup and offer your services, or put it out there on the groups you follow online. Even if you don’t make a ton of money out of it, it’s a great way to get out of the house and socialize.
While stock isn’t my favorite thing to shoot, it is an easy way to get a little bit of cash. You might already have some photos that you could upload to a site like Adobe Stock, or you might have some ideas in mind of things that would be cool to photograph. This lets you further enhance your trade, without just sticking the photographs in your Lightroom catalog, never to be found again.
What about you?
By offering additional services, you’ll be first to mind when clients start looking for photographers in the spring. What services do you offer to bring in some income during the slow season? Let me know in the comments below.
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