An Off-Season To-Do List for Photographers

Oh hello there.

There are still mountains of snow outside my window, and this has been one of the quietest winter seasons in recent memory, as our nasty stormy weather has crushed the spirit of myself and nearly everyone else. That said, I’m the master of “make work” projects and I can’t say that I’ve been bored! I’ve enjoyed having the occasion to really sit down and look at things from the inside and have the time to do those tasks that seem impossible in August.

Summer is coming, my friends, I promise! But maybe not for another 2-3 months, so here are some projects to keep a photographer busy:

  • albums: design and order new sample albums, photograph them, update album info guide for clients
  • client communications: review and create/update canned emails, contracts, session information guides, timeline worksheets & questionnaires, etc; re-evaluate your workflow to make sure it’s consistent with how you actually work/connect with clients; achieve inbox zero and keep it that way
  • computer: clean up your system, update software and applications, backup presets and scripts
  • gear: clean or send away for maintenance, record your serial numbers somewhere safe (I use Lenstag), update firmware, consider selling things you’re not using
  • office/studio: clean! it! out!: read and discard your hoarded industry magazines, shred unneeded documents, organize your receipts and bookkeeping, etc.; it’s tax season so make sure you’re on the ball with that, too!
  • photography: is there something you’ve been dying to shoot? try to make it happen! submit work for publication consideration, share your work on social media, book things like massages and biz travel in advance
  • product packaging/stationery: re-evaluate it, order inventory, prepare/assemble anything you can do in advance
  • website/portfolio: update, maybe re-edit images if necessary if your style has changed, check links (especially for press features), catch up on blogging sessions
  • workshops: watch/do them!
  • and finally… personal: Enjoy it! Read books, do fitness, unfuck your habitat, print your images… try to form good habits to take through the busy season, so that you can return to work with fresh eyes and a renewed enthusiasm!

I’ve completed pretty much everything on this list over the past two months (still to do: finish cleaning out my office, make prints, and watch tons of workshops!), so if there’s anything I’ve overlooked, let me know!