#1 Get Your Gear in Shape

This is a great time to get your sensor cleaned and check out all of your gear to make sure everything is clean and working. This is also a great chance to get rid of broken gear and gear you no longer need

#2 Plan Some Projects

I always recommend people do side projects to improve their skill and keep their creative juices flowing. This can be something you have been wanting to do to expand your business or just a personal pet project. Sit down with a pad of paper and start planning shoots and then start shooting a new portfolio.

#3 Sharpen Your Skills

As much as I would like you to come join us for a class on Lightroom or our Wedding Photography class, right now that is not going to happen. We have canceled all classes at least until April 11 so we have no large groups. You can always come in and buy a tutorial book and even talk to us about what you are trying to learn or improve. And there is always YouTube (though some info is better than others on YouTube) and they offer hours upon hours of videos. So take some time and read a tutorial book or watch a few videos and try something new. This is a great chance to sharpen your retouching skills or do some macro photography.

#4 Check Out Others Works

When I’m teaching “Art of Photography” I always recommend going to St. Louis Art Museum and other galleries and check out other’s work. Look at their use of light, the composition principals they are using so you can incorporate these elements into your own work. Well get on line and do the same thing. You should be following other photographers and artists anyway, so check out their new work and try to find some more people to follow.

#5 Archive Maintenance

It is finally a time to address that monster known as your hard drive. We all probably have thousands of RAW images wasting space on our drives and our file structure could always use a good look over so when we need to find a file we can. Lightroom makes finding a file easy with key words, but have we always employed the best key word practices? I know I get into a rush and skip it. So I’m going though and making sure all of my work has updated keys words and old RAW’s are cleaned off my hard drives to save space and money that I would of spent on yet again, a larger hard drive.

#6 Reprocess Old Images

I’m constantly learning new tricks on Photoshop. Now would be a great time to go back to old favorites and other images I had not gotten around to working on and working on them. If you are working on #3, this is a great way to be productive and increase or learn new skills.

#7 Update Your Website

We are always so busy we never get a chance to work on our website but this is often where we present our work while looking for new clients. When ever I send out promotional materials and emails I send a link to my website. Well I guess now would be a great time to make sure it is up to date. I really want to focus on commoditization of my site for a passive cash flow. Also make sure best SEO practices are being followed.

#8 Get Your Work Printed

If you have a printer at home or you use a lab this is a great chance to get some work printed. At my studio I always have my newest work printed and on display. This works as a great marketing ploy. Who wants to buy work from someone who is not proudly displaying their newest and best. If you are new, this is also a great time to learn about color theory and ICC profiles. Each camera, printer, ink, and medium has their own look and you need to master this so the work you deliver is just as you planned it to look.

#9 Start a Blog

I’m not saying this to get you to be out there trying to compete in the world of blogs, but as a way to journal your thoughts and work. You don’t even need to publish it, but journaling will help you focus on your work.

#10 Do Some Shooting at Home

Now if you are a landscape photographer or people photographer this may not be as easy to do (unless you have kids home from school you can force to be your models). This is a great time to try table top or food photography. Wedding photographers can use this time to practice shooting close-ups of food and flowers.

Most important. Keep healthy and spend some quality time with your love ones.