Photographers Find a New Angle for Business

There’s no curb side pickup or take out options for photographers. If the wedding has been postponed, the annual gala and graduation canceled and no celebrations planned, then there are no images to make and keep. What is often the busiest season for professional photographers is suddenly gone from sight. But for some Arlington photographers, filling the restless void has become a welcome challenge and an opportunity to show some business savvy.

Arlington's Matt Mendelsohn went about capturing the moment that wasn’t. During one sleepless pandemic night, Matt thought about the local high school graduation and decided that no event didn’t have to mean no photos. With a storied background photographing famous faces, Matt was perfectly suited to capturing every senior at his daughter’s Yorktown High School. Even with a daunting goal to photograph all 500 graduating students, pro-bono, Matt knew he was doing something more than making beautiful portraits. He was telling a story about Arlington and making himself memorable.

For Jake McGuire, photographing area landmarks that inspire people to travel are the backbone of his business. He’s been publishing photo books, selling prints of iconic monuments and places in and around Arlington and making postcards that really do make people wish they were here. But no one is traveling right now or planning tours or buying travel books. Considering himself a ‘resourceful character’ Jake penned a book dedicated to his artist mother and is selling a downloadable or paperback version on Amazon. No photos included, but his mother is said to make a ghostly appearance.

Julian Ortiz, a new Arlington photographer, is using every aspect of his background to stay productive while preparing for the future. Born in Argentina, he began learning photography in 2006 and became the staff photographer at the Embassy of Argentina. Without typical embassy events, Julian now also supports embassy accounting and budget management, a skill he is banking on for future photography work. Without missing an opportunity, Julian is learning new technology and taking full advantage of online business and photography courses courtesy of and his Arlington Public Library card.

Whatever the post pandemic life looks like, Arlington has resources and creatives who are demonstrating a path forward.

How is your business responding and changing? Let us know.

Photo credit: Jake McGuire

Topic: Creative Economy
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