To all the photographers who are just starting out or to any creative who is dreaming of more: I know that it's easy to feel like the world is on hold right now – in so many ways, it is. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has hit, I feel like all my plans were frozen beyond a sheet of ice. In my world, it's hard to know when we'll get back to live music and the events that music photographers love.
If you're a photographer who is yearning to build themselves and their career, here's my advice for you. Take this time as a blessing and use it to the fullest.
Every challenge is an opportunity
In a world of self isolation and social distancing, where it's suddenly impossible to engage in so many types of photography, look at this challenge as an opportunity. Now is a time when we're all, for once, in practically the same situation around the world. Take this time now to learn, to network, to grow your skills.
Start a YouTube channel.
Start streaming on Twitch.
Start the music blog you've always wanted.
Learn video editing.
Start reviewing gear.
Develop your processing style.
Re-edit your old photos.
Rebuild your portfolio or create your first one.
Reach out to photographers you admire for advice.
The world is on pause, your ability to grow is not
Most people are going to be coming out of this situation the same way they came into it. Same skills, just having their lives on pause for the duration. That's just human nature, and not good nor bad. But if you apply yourself now, I genuinely feel like you can come out of this strange time even stronger than you came in — better equipped, more skilled and full of knowledge.
Think of it this way. Now is a time when no one is expecting anything from you. The bar is not just low, for most people the bar has completely disappeared. Now is a time to show yourself and everyone else what you can do.
Surprise all the naysayers. Surprise all the people telling you what you can't do. Surprise yourself.
The best time to start mastering a skill was a decade ago. The next best time is right now.
To all the creatives who were going to make 2020 their year: I hope you'll be patient. You'll get your time. We’ll be here rooting for you when you do.
Until then, now is the best time you have. Make the most of it.