Online Photo, Media, and Tech Resources for Working from Home

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A strange new acronym is suddenly everywhere: WFH, otherwise known as Work from Home. Not to be confused with WTF, Work from Home is a concept that seemed so very distant to most people saddled with the daily commute to an office job until so very recently.

The sudden pressure to migrate to a 100% remote work culture while facing our current global pandemic has most of us scrambling to adapt just about everything—our homes and work spaces, our communication systems and other forms of technology, our informational and financial resources, and above all else, our general well being and sense of self.

To offer some guidance and help you through these uncertain times, we’ve searched high and low to assemble this online Work from Home Guide.

In addition to these varied links and resources, the Explora blog contains many other helpful articles related to this subject, and we will be publishing new content on this theme going forward. To that end, we have created this special link to lead you to additional stories published on Explora, yet not included here, to make sure that we keep you fully up to date.

Work from Home Productivity and Ergonomics

The prospect of working from home often evokes visions of living the good life—until you get there and need to produce. To come to your aid in establishing a sound workspace, we put together this B&H guide to The Tech Essentials You Need to Jump-Start a Home Office. Whatever your occupation, you’ll find guidance on selecting a solid workstation, a good monitor, reliable storage, printers, scanners, routers, smart accessories, and more.

To spare yourself unwelcome backache, eye strain, and other ailments, consider the YouTube video below, Ergonomics Expert Explains How to Set Up Your Desk, from the Wall Street Journal for sound advice on transforming a home environment into a comfortable workspace,

The LumeCube blog sheds fresh light on your remote workspace with the article 10 Ways to Stay Productive While WFH, featuring five important lifestyle tips and five essential logistical recommendations to ensure a successful video conference.

When faced with the realities of sheltering in place, being an independent creative can be a daunting task. To help you stay productive, remain inspired, and make the most of these tough times, the Deposit Photos blog came up with 10 helpful tips in the post, How to Boost Your Photography Business (and Lift Your Spirits) During Quarantine.

Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or an occasional telecommuter, working outside a traditional office can be a challenge. The video below How to Actually Work...When You’re Working from Home, from the Harvard Business Review, will help you stay focused, set yourself up for success, and, most important, keep your work life separate from your life at home.

For advice from a veteran telecommuter on what he refers to as achieving “a kind of work-from-home nirvana,” read The Tech Headaches of Working From Home and How to Remedy Them, in the New York Times Personal Tech column.

Leaving the secure network and firewalls of a corporate environment to set up shop in your personal space is not without risk. To guide you through this uncharted territory, data security and risk management company CSO published this list of free security resources for work-from-home employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

And for tips on how to encourage, support, and motivate a remote team, watch communications leader Vanessa Van Edwards and her team at Science of People discuss Seven Strategies for Virtual Teams and Remote Workers, in the following YouTube video.

Business and Logistical Resources

To help photographers navigate the growing financial hardship associated with the coronavirus pandemic, Sony has published The PRO-Files: Resources to Help Photographers Weather the Coronavirus Economic Storm, on its Alpha Universe website. This information-rich page provides resource links related to topics such as congressional aid, unemployment benefits, credit cards and banking, mortgage and rent, utilities, income tax, financial advice, Social Security, student loans, Presidential guidelines, information from photographer associations NPPA and ASMP, and tips from the CDC website.

The visual asset management service Photoshelter offers another detailed and regularly updated list of Coronavirus Resources for Photographers, with categories that include articles on COVID-19 and Photographers, Photo Trade Organization Information, Technology and Distance Learning, Artist Assistant Lists, Economic Assistance, Grants and Crowdfunding Initiatives, Health and Wellness, and Inspiration and Distraction.

Google has a hefty resource page dedicated to COVID-19 with safety and prevention tips from the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and instructive content such as the following YouTube video from Vox, Social Distancing During Coronavirus, Explained by an Expert.

For tips and tricks on effective remote work, check out Google’s training resources for remote teaching and learning to delve into how to create, share, and co-edit presentations on Google drive; how to schedule, prepare for, and run a successful meeting; and how to hold a meeting via video conference.

Finally, to help you make sense of the breadth of equipment options and streaming platforms available for creating quality video, we’ve prepared the following Basic Introduction for Livestreaming Video, to walk you through what you need to know.

Sanitizing Equipment and Spaces

In an effort to safeguard working members of photo and media teams against hazards related to COVID-19 and the spread of germs, Canon provides a step-by-step instruction page and related video on how to sanitize Canon camera, lens, and video products, printers and scanners, as well as broadcast and cinema lenses. You can also read the following companion story How to Clean Canon Cameras, Lenses, and Printers, on the Explora blog.

At a time when almost all camera repair services are shuttered, those seeking a DIY resource for cleaning camera sensors need look no further than John Harris’s step-by-step guide Clean Your Camera Sensor or Send it to a Pro?

For a detailed guide to cleaning camera gear and office spaces, the Lensrentals blog offers the resource How to Disinfect Camera Equipment and Spaces.

When it comes to sanitizing the one object we love and use most, jump to Michael Smith’s Guide to Cleaning Your Smartphone, below.

Finally, to create a solid game plan for keeping your home environment safe, follow the CNN Health tip sheet How to Coronavirus-proof Your Home, and make sure you don’t bring germs back with you from a trip to the grocery store.

Free Workshops and Educational Resources

To inspire and engage the creative community during these uncertain and isolating times, Nikon is offering its Nikon School online classes to the general public for free throughout the month of April. From beginner topics such as Getting Started with your Nikon DSLR or the Fundamentals of Photography, to specialized subjects like Hands-on with the SB5000 Speedlight, The Art of Making Music Videos, or Photographing Children, and Pets, the available content covers a wide range of skill levels and themes. Make the most of your time at home by learning from Nikon Ambassadors Joe McNally, Chris Hershman, Tamara Lackey, and Joey Terrill, as well as other top instructors without leaving your desk.

The esteemed photo association Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has a healthy roster of more than 1,100 online education courses, which are generally only available to members. For a limited time, they are unlocking these videos for all to learn from, simply by creating a free account on the PPA website. You can hear more about PPA and its online education courses in the following short video.

To encourage learning and inspiration as you work from home or self-quarantine for safety, Scott Kelby’s, Kelby One program is offering free access to its live weekly webcast, The Grid, and Insider blog, as well as 14 full-length classes, plus membership discounts, during the month of April.

Photo educators are particularly hard hit by the sudden shift to online teaching. The Society for Photographic Education (SPE) is a leading professional association of photo educators serving high school, university, and graduate school levels. SPE has teamed up with a group of photo educators to host FotoFika, a regular series of online conversations / workshops to stimulate ideas and solutions in transitioning to online teaching platforms. Additionally, the FotoFika resources page serves as a repository for an extensive list of best practices, tutorials, resources and ideas for photo assignments.

Finally—heads-up, filmmakers—cinematographer and educator Shane Hurlbut has made his cinematography and directing workshop, Illumination Experience, free for the next three months. Regularly valued at $500, this is a rare opportunity to learn lighting fundamentals from a working director of photography. Including more than 8.5 hours of instructional video spread over six lessons, the workshop features detailed written breakdowns, director’s treatments, shot lists, storyboards, top-down lighting and blocking schematics, side-by-side comparisons, and more. For a content sample from the Hurlbut Academy team, check out the following YouTube video for a breakdown of Bong Joon-Ho's multi Academy Award winning masterpiece, Parasite.

Technology powerhouse Microsoft has assembled a variety of tips and resources to insure that everyone excels in a work from home environment. Scroll through the general resource page for sections on community support, remote working, education and family, technical support, and more. Engage with others and share your experiences and ideas about remote work in Microsoft’s Enabling Remote Work Community discussion group.

And, to take advantage of the power of gaming to bring people together, entertain, inspire, and forge connections, head over to Microsoft’s Minecraft Marketplace, where you’ll find the Mindcraft: Education Collection. This brand-new category features free downloadable content players, available through June 30, 2020, which can be played on your own, with your kids, your parents or friends. Go from sheltering in place to a tour of the International Space Station, an exploration inside the human eye and beyond.

Digital leader Adobe has created a special COVID-19 response page, along with a robust arsenal of Distance Learning Resources for the Education Community to engage teachers and learners from kindergarten to higher ed. Due to widespread school closures and the resulting move to online learning, Adobe has also made temporary at-home access to Adobe Creative Cloud available to students from schools that currently provide lab access until May 31, 2020.

Affinity is offering a free 90-day trial of both Mac and Windows versions of its desktop publishing, photo editing, and graphic design software, as well as a 50% discount for users who decide to buy and keep the apps. For some basic tips in working with Affinity Photo, watch designer Jesse Showalter’s YouTube video below.

Apple has rolled out a free 90-day subscription to Final Cut Pro X video editing and Logic Pro X audio editing software.

Although not related to current conditions, Blackmagic Design offers a free download of its DaVinci Resolve 16 video editor. Let YouTube video maven Sara Dietschy walk you through the basics a quick tutorial in the following video.

Lastly, to ensure every creative and small business owner can protect his or her data in these unprecedented times, data protection supplier Retrospect, a sister company of Drobo storage devices, is offering a free 90-day subscription license with the purchase of every Retrospect Backup product. For complete data protection, Retrospect seamlessly integrates with every Drobo, more than twenty cloud storage providers, and popular email services.

As a final reminder in the weeks ahead: Stay Home to Save Lives! Yet, to combat the feeling of isolation that often accompanies social distancing, please share this resource with others via social networks.

Do you know of any new offers or valuable resources that are not mentioned here? Add them to our list by leaving a comment below.

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