Productive Activities While Sheltering In Place

Posted on 4/3/2020 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Most of the country, and the world, is now “sheltering in place” and doing everything possible to minimize contact with others. Under these conditions freelance photographers will find it very difficult to produce new, marketable images. The following are some ideas for ways to t productively occupy your time and better prepare to generate revenue when life gets back to normal.

Alamy Photo Needs

Alamy has compiled a list of photo needs (See this link). Click on the button that says, “Show me the list of picture need,” under “Stuck Indoors.”

Several of the shots on the list may be very difficult to produce if you don’t already have the right home environment, but maybe some of the requested subjects are of things you’ve taken before the shutdown and it is just a matter getting them where customers can find them.

Getty's Keyword Vocabulary

Based on requests they have been receiving, Getty has added some new words to its keyword vocabulary. This list should give all photographers (regardless of the agency that represents their work) ideas for shoots they might do in the next few weeks. Pictures of most of these subjects should be in demand for some time.

State of Emergency Travel Ban Antiviral Drug Flatten the Curve
Pandemic Homeschooling Lockdown N95 Face Mask
Social Distancing Illness Prevention Audience-free event  
Hand Sanitizer Wet Wipe Infrared Thermometer  
Hoarding Panic Buying Avoidance  


AdWeek says video production has stalled and more agencies are turning to stock footage, animation and archives for the content they need.

AdWeek point out that many brands still have projects they are working on and production need to adjust. Thus, when art directors can’t find someone who can shoot the still images or videos they need, stock images may be a good option.

Potentially, this may be good news for creators who have already placed their stock images or footage collections with stock agencies. An increasing percentage of art directors still working on new projects may turn to stock imagery.

The big question is whether there will be enough of these new users and uses to offset the loss of sales to those who have shut down and are waiting to see a revival of consumer demand before they start spending on new ad campaigns.

Media Post reports that from an ad spend basis March Was Bad and April Will Be A “Car Crash”. May and June are not likely to be much better.

Time will tell. We’ll be watching closely for any indication that stock sales are holding firm

Blend Photographers

As I was cleaning my desk I came across a list of Blend Images photographers and was surprised by the number who didn’t seem to have a personal website. Blend Images was absorbed by Tetra in August 2018, but when they were a functioning agency they had a top quality collection of images from many of the world’s leading stock photographers. While about 100 of these photographers do have personal web websites, it was surprising to me how many didn’t seem to offer any way for customers to search their work.

For all photographers, if you don’t already have a good website, It may be time to make sure that you have an updated, preferably keyword searchable, collection of your images on the web.

Other Ideas

Browse through your collection of old photos — there are likely a few gems that you missed originally. Edit some never-before-edited photos, re-edit a photo with a new perspective, or try some advanced editing techniques (you’ve got plenty of time to learn them).


PhotoShelter have offered advice on handling contract cancelations.

PPA Photos Classes

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has made  ALL of its 1,100+ online education programs available to ALL photographers and small business owners worldwide for the next two weeks.

Copyright © 2020 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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