The Coronavirus has emerged as a predicament that is here to stay. In the initial phase, a lot of expectation was directed towards inventing an effective vaccine, that would sweep away the monstrosity that has engulfed the world. But with the passage of time, no viable solution has appeared that could tackle the problem. The coronavirus has affected the privatized employment sector the most, which covers the photography industry too. It has postponed and canceled high-profile gigs that could have been a spending income source for many budding photographers.
It is important to note that photography is a pay per gig profession. You don’t just stumble upon to the next opportunity that easily. There is no consortium for photographers that guarantees regular work to the eager professionals. The coronavirus has canceled major sports, science, art, cultural, and movie events, that would have generated employment for numerous artists and photographers around the globe. The news channels and media agencies have laid off a major chunk of the photographers and reduced their payout schemes.
We’ve analyzed a few areas that will face the wrath in the case of photographers and have listed them below.
Reduced Gig Prospects
It has been established that the coronavirus is here to stay and has ceased operations of every industry. The future gig prospects, especially that require remote travel, are nowhere in sight. This will force the photographers to be confined to a single location and seek work there only. Photographers will receive private gigs, that too on a minuscule level. This can only be grabbed by artists with avant-garde portfolio and work to vouch for their credibility.
The budding artists that are newer to the profession, will be able to grab very few opportunities when seeking work. The exasperation that emanates from rejection will compel many novice photographers to migrate to different, low-level professions. This is a travesty, and waste of what could have been an exceptional talent with proper nurturing.
Exorbitant Camera Gear
The Coronavirus has clogged the shipments all over the world and resulted in delayed deliveries. The slower pathways and stringent handling procedures mind the pandemic will increase the retail price of the camera gear. Newer photographers lack that kind of budget required to purchase a competent camera. The black-marketing has also increased by the retailers, that are charging high-rates due to the reduced availability of camera products.
Replacements and repairs charges have surged and become greater than what it used to be in the pre-COVID era. The nature of this increase may be momentary but the damage to the pocket is done.
The post-COVID era will see a massive drop in the revenue generated from paying gigs. With the financial crunch that the world is facing now, premium rates charged by the photographers will decline sharply. As difficult as it is to grasp, the decline will not be gradual. There is absolutely nothing that can be done to avoid it. Even if the revenue increases, the profit margin will be very low due to a major section of it being spent on safety mechanisms.
High-end Studios will shut shops
It is devastating news for the high-budget studios that have rented huge property to construct personalized studios for models and shoots. Most of this is on a long-term loan scheme and with ceased payouts, many of the conglomerates will shut shop. The liquidation of assets will also occur due to the huge investments that the studio has done to outshine each other in the past. Freelancing photographers are somewhat immune to this, as most of them use a small space or use their loft as their office.
The photographers working in registered business ventures such as newspapers, magazines, and television will experience massive layoffs during the COVID outbreak. It will shatter the hopes and dreams of many young ones who could have reached stellar heights in their profession. The move will be aggressive and render many regularly employed photographers jobless for a longer period.
Social distancing is the new normal
Photographers will encounter a lot of hurdles in resuming their normal mode of operations. With stringent guidelines for maintaining social distance, the shooting methods will change for good. The photographers will have to reach out to their clientele and inform about the change in safety practices before conducting a photoshoot. They will also have to establish a set of non-deviating, effective rules to organize photoshoots with maximum precaution.
Increased setup costs
All the reinforced safety practices will come at an added cost that will be initially borne by the photographers. This includes safety gear such as sanitization liquid, hand sanitizers, temperature checking equipment, etc. The client will have to be thoroughly checked and sanitized before allowing them to enter the premises. The photographers will have to periodically clean their gear and the studio after conducting each shoot session.
This will increase the operational cost by a significant margin and add to the burden of the photographers. Money is hard to come by in the COVID scenario, and this added burden might deter some professionals to leave the industry altogether.
Aggressive work demand
With shrinking opportunities and increasing unemployment, even the daintiest openings will encounter a plethora of applicants eager to join. The competition will increase and the photographers will have to up and improve to their portfolio to bolster their prospects of landing a permanent and paying job designation. The skill level will increase due to the stringent sieving methods that will filter out incompetent professionals.
The photography industry, like every other profession, is not immune to the effects of the coronavirus on the business. The mental strain that it has put on the mind of the unemployed professionals in increasing over time. The industry will recover slowly, but the patience required to withstand it is immense, and not easily found in many individuals. It is a humble request for all the photographers to hold their ground until the tragedy passes over.