Im Elena

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The year of showing up. How to market yourself compassionately as a photographer.

2020 could easily have been the year we gave up, hid out, and hunkered down. 

And no matter how you got through this year, my friend, you deserve a medal. 

Do you remember where you were the moment you realized the pandemic was about to change our lives in a big way? The first time it made you worry for your family? I was at a retreat for a business mastermind I was participating in, and when I got word lockdown restrictions were coming to Seattle, I arranged to fly home early to be with my kids and get us all situated.

Our retreat was abuzz with people wondering, what does this mean for my business? What is the right way for me to show up right now? And as the pandemic took hold across the country, many wondered — is it okay to market myself at all at a time when so many people are experiencing tremendous loss?

If you were asking yourself these questions, too – you were already on the right track. And despite so much uncertainty, a lot of photographers I know, myself included, had their busiest seasons yet.

The thing that allowed a lot of photography businesses to grow during these strange, stressful times wasn’t a genius client acquisition strategy or new pricing structure. It wasn’t about numbers at all. 

It was that photographers like you went out of your way to figure out how you could show up compassionately.

We’ve all been affected in some way. Life changed. Caring for your family changed. Running a business changed. And there was — still is! — a desire from your community to hear how you were navigating it all. If anything, the importance of family, of treasuring all of our precious moments together, was brought into sharper focus. 

So we adjusted. We socially distanced. We introduced new safety protocols.

Most importantly, we approached everything through the lens of “how can I best serve my clients and my community right now? What do they need from me?”

If the beautiful, evocative images you’ve been sharing in the Facebook groups and on Instagram are any indication, you showed up exactly the way they needed you to.

2020 is almost in the rearview mirror. The pandemic, unfortunately, is not. So here’s to a New Year where we keep looking out for each other, and we keep showing up. 

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