When The Going Gets Tough…

Featured photographer for the month of October, Donna Lewis, gives advice to photographers on ways to stay productive when the phone is dormant and the inbox is underweight.

Donna Lewis. Photo: Willem Lourens

As photographers we all have our gloriously busy months but what about those quiet ones in between? Those times when you set (and break) highest scores on all the games on your cellphone rather than answer phone calls, fight the temptation to reach out and swig the wine you are photographing and avoid movies with mocking titles like “You’ve Got Mail”. Some of us get down and out, others know that it will soon pass, and it will. How we deal with it makes the difference. So here are a few techniques to help you get through the slow/rough patches.

When the phone is not ringing and you are not making money. This is the time that gives all of us sleepless nights. Three years as a freelance photographer and I still obsess about getting enough work.

This is the time to find new clients and say hi to the old ones. Cold calling, yes you heard right. Believe me I hate it just as much as the next person, the mere mention of the word can send those familiar shivers down your spine – they weren’t fooling around when they named it cold calling. Give it a go, you have nothing to lose. Find clients that do the work that you would like to do and set up a meeting. Do your research on them, find out who you need to speak to. A simple call to reception would put you right on track.

This is probably one of the hardest things to do but as the boss (Dawie Verwey) says “keep knocking, a door will open”. Knock until your knuckles turn blue, you will only hurt yourself more if you stop.

So now you have all this time, update you portfolio, website and send the clients you already do have an update on your work. People need to know that you are still around and have full artistic use of your camera no matter how much dust the two of you may have collected.

There is nothing like being in a situation which you think you have no control over. Empower yourself and learn something new. This is a great time to brush up on your skills. Besides, learning something new is a great confidence booster.

And finally there is probably someone worse off than you. Help someone out, share your knowledge. You might not be making money, but you could be contributing to the greater good.

If you’re still not convinced, pause your game, put down your phone and click here.


About Flat Art Studios

We are a tight-knit group of photographers specializing in food photography in the Cape Town area.
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