COVID-19 is a new strain of novel coronavirus that has been reported to affect a large range of countries and cities worldwide. Freelance photographers fear that they may catch the Coronavirus and may have a strong impact on the business. They even fear they won’t get paid if the coronavirus forces them to stay at home.
A growing number of companies are asking employers to work from home as a precaution to protect freelancers including photographers in the face of coronavirus, though this pressures them to do more. COVID 19 has been declared a pandemic disease that continues to spread in many countries globally at the same time. Declaring lockdowns and community quarantine in some countries, urgent and aggressive action was directed to protect the health of everyone.
As fears of pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) emerge in the Philippines, many freelance photographers have begun to worry about the economic effect on event cancellations, social distancing policy, and community quarantine as announced by President Rodrigo Duterte last March 12, 2020.
Why Don’t Freelance Photographers Get Sick?
“I need to work, what am I going to do, this is my bread and butter.” If I get sick my family will starve. Anyone who is in freelancing is worried about what is going to happen next.”
“I am not entitled to sick pay or leaves so I don’t know how to stay healthy and survive.”
“We are not covered insurance to pay for my medical bills. Or even if I have one, If I self-quarantine, I don’t know if the insurance covers it.”
As major events are postponed and canceled around the country – from seminars to graduation rites – freelance photographers are already feeling the impact of the Coronavirus in their economy. Some freelancers derive a huge part of their income through travel and events photography. Three out of five assignments ended up canceled that shaken their business as this announcement of community quarantine was enforced.
As sudden cancellations bring a cloud of unpredictability into the freelancing world, public health implications should be given utmost priority. This may seem frustrating but we cannot blame the current situation. We would rather be cautious even if it hurts the business.
Whether gigs will be redeployed at a later date or canceled altogether remains to be uncertain. Travel photographers including corporate and hospitality are particularly at risk of being contaminated with the disease. However, the same with regular employees, there are piling bills to be paid, mortgages, loans, even freelance photographers with savings will have to start considering the impact on the unpredictable fluctuates of finance.
Health and Work Balance of a Modern Freelance Photographer
There is always an element of pride and an imprint of the legacy of working for yourself. A freelance photographer does everything from being the spokesperson to being your empire. You boost your entrepreneurial hype.
Whenever I bring a camera, there are a few things I would rather do that sometimes work and pleasure seems vague. It’s not that you should work all the time to keep up with your business, try not to get too stretched on yourself. It is best to remember to always look after yourself with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
In other words, as a freelance photographer, I embrace the fact that I love my life. I make sure that I always soak myself into my surroundings. Make time to introduce myself to new people and keep loved ones always in the loop.