Event Photography: Now What?

Event Photography: Now What?

What crazy times.

While we all have our own take on things, I’m fairly certain that as an event photographer the impacts of COVID-19 and the resulting “stay at home” orders and restrictions on gatherings have had about as severe of an impact on that particular line of business as any.

In early March I photographed a conference at the Hilton in Downtown Portland with about 500 attendees from around the country. At that point, folks were doing elbow bumps instead of handshakes, but there was no notion of social distancing and while making photos of the conference I came into contact with a ton of people. Thankfully, I’m healthy, and hopefully everyone else that was there is in the same situation.

Danni Washington addressing an audience at the Portland Downtown Hilton

Later that same week, I got my first cancellation for an upcoming event. Then another event decided they were going to do an audience-less livestream but they still wanted me to photography it. Then, a few days later, that event moved entirely online.

Beyond event cancellations, I’m not really out doing any photography work for my small business clients either. I’d been chatting with a legal firm about refreshing their organization’s headshots for around fifty individuals, but as you can imagine, that deal has been shelved indefinitely as well. As has a few other pending opportunities.

So… now what?

Honestly? I don’t know.

I don’t know what this means for my photography business. As someone whose two main lines of professional photography were special events and small business commercial work, everything is all upside down right now.

If we look at realistic projections for a world where we don’t have reliable testing or a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, I don’t foresee large events such as conferences, trade shows, or launch gatherings happening for months, if not well into 2021.

When can I safely work with my business clients again?

When will I be able to walk into a law firm and safely have an all-day headshot session for dozens of folks?

The most important thing is that we stay safe.

But my photography ventures? Who knows what this means. I don’t know any more than you do at this point.

Know that I’m still here, and I still want to make pictures. When it’s safe to make pictures, I’m going to appreciate that more than I ever have. Let’s make some photographic goodness together. Drop me an email and let’s make plans.

Stay safe, everyone. We’re all in this together. Apart.

Attendees in a crowd in a trade show at the Hilton Portland Downtown

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