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Coronavirus and photography – see the opportunity

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We are living in scary times. The entire world is dealing with the coronavirus, which is an enemy that we cannot see, and no one is immune. I have not seen this level of worldwide fear since the 9/11 attacks and since the start of the gulf war. The financial markets are gripped in fear, the public is gripped in fear, and we can all feel that fear in a very real way because it feels like this pandemic is out of our personal control.

You can allow the fear to wash over you and control you, or you can choose how you are going to react. Your reaction is something you can control.

We are not like everybody else because we are photographers, and as photographers, we look at the world through a different lens than everyone else. Here is what I mean by that.

When we are out on a photoshoot and we walk up to a new location, or a viewpoint, we step back and take it all in. We absorb the entire scene before us and we analyze it with a critical eye. And when we incorporate storytelling into our photos, we start looking for the hero of the story, which is that one thing we are going to focus on. Then we look for the villains of the story. Those are the elements we are going to crop out of our photo because they are distractions. And finally, we look for friends of the hero. These are the elements we will include, such as a foreground, or leading lines. Once we have identified these three main elements, we will start framing up the scene through the viewfinder, and we will create a new photo.

So here is how you might apply this principle to your life, right now, during these difficult times.

First, let’s talk about cropping out the villains. If you are checking the news headlines 20 times per day to see what is new, then this is going to have a very negative effect on your outlook. The headlines are the villains. I am not suggesting you should not stay informed, but I am suggesting that the headlines are like poison to your soul. Avoid them as much as possible.

Now let’s talk about identifying the hero of the story.

As a photographer, you may have hundreds or thousands of photos sitting on your computer’s hard drive. This is the best time to start going through them to edit the winners so you can create some new beautiful images to add to your portfolio.

Or, this might be the best time for you to start some online learning so you can dramatically improve your photography.

Or, and this one will take some forward thinking…you can start planning a trip for the fall. Airline prices are at record lows right now and they have relaxed their cancellation policies. I am looking at a trip to New York City in November to photograph the fall colors in Central Park, and the price of a return flight from Seattle to New York City is just $255. Or $212 from LA to New York City return. And it is not just airlines, hotel bookings in the distant future are also on sale. What an opportunity!

Here is what is cool about this. When you start planning and discussing a trip for the fall, it gives you hope for the future. Personally, I thrive and come alive when I have hope for the future, and now is the time we can all use some of that medicine.

One other opportunity you have by spending more time at home is that you can use this as a time to learn and grow in your photography. You, of course, have the option of burning your time by watching TV and movies, or you can use your time to advance and level up your skills and creativity.

Just yesterday I uploaded a brand-new free photography webclass. It is one hour of free inspirational photography training you can watch right now. There will be a link to it on this page. And if you choose to enroll in the full Photography Transformation Masterclass, there are over 20 hours of training that come with that course bundle and it will change your photography forever.

You can choose your reaction to this pandemic. You can see this as an opportunity to advance, to grow, to learn and to start planning for the future.

In every crisis, there is an opportunity. Use this opportunity wisely.

Happy shooting.

Click here to watch the completely new free webclass: