Quarantining a photographer

So you’re a photographer and pretty much everything around you is under quarantine – what do you do?


Well, lets first back track. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now you have heard about the Covid-19 outbreak, commonly referred to as coronavirus. This fatal disease has caused many countries around the world to go into a quarantine or complete lockdown. What this means is businesses are forced to close and the gathering of people in large groups is prohibited. You’re also supposed to keep your distance from others, known as social distancing.

What you can’t do

Well, some states have shut down all businesses except those who qualify under the “essential” category, like grocery stores and gas stations, etc.. You being a photographer, while no matter how amazing of images you produce, are not considered essential. Yes, this hurts our feelings as well! So, if you have a studio you most likely will have to shut it down. If you’re just freelancing and doing portraits here and there, well, technically you shouldn’t be doing that either. We’ve been seeing stories on photographers using long lenses (zoom lenses) to “distance” themselves from the models – that is not how it works folks! No photo session is worth your or your client’s health so please keep that in mind. Also, you could even get fined or arrested in some states with stricter quarantine rules.

What you can do

Being a photographer that usually means a person is creative, right? We tend to see things from a different perspective and make a boring snapshot look like an amazing photograph. Now, this all depends on where you live and what’s around you but the general idea still applies. If allowed, you can go for a walk and bring your camera with you. Not only will you be getting exercise and fresh air, but you’ll also be able to play with your camera. Take images of things you’ve never photographed before. If you’ve never done landscape, here’s your chance. You can try architecture, nature, animals, birds specifically, patterns – the list goes on and on. Use this time to practice and try new things.

Total lockdown

If you live in an area that’s on total lockdown, meaning you can’t even go out side for a walk, then you might be a bit limited but definitely not defeated. Believe it or not, there are still things you can do to keep your mind busy and even be productive. One activity you could do is finally go through your folders and clean out and delete unnecessary images taking up space on your computer. After you make some room on your computer then you can do task number two: transferring newer images off your memory cards to your computer. Another task you could do is organize and properly name all your files and folders. If that’s something that’s already taken care of then you can start processing your images, getting them ready to share on your website and/or social media. If all of those have been checked off by now, then you can work on your website and write blogs – it’s exactly what we’re doing right now!


  • Know your local rules and laws
  • Explore away from others
  • Try new photography methods
  • Delete old images
  • Transfer new images
  • Organize files and folders
  • Process images for social media
  • Write blogs

We hope you found this article helpful and informational. Share it with your photographer friends and keep them out of trouble. Stay healthy and safe everyone!

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Groundhog by KB Digital

Groundhog Day with a photographer

Groundhog by KB Digital

How to shoot groundhogs

Okay, before everyone starts panicking, we do not mean shoot as in kill but instead shoot it with a camera. You know, take a picture. Sorry for the confusion, but that’s just photography slang. Alright, now let’s get into it. First thing you’re going to need is a long lens, preferably a zoom lens so it gives you a little flexibility as the groundhog could move closer to you at any given point in time. Another reason is, well, you kind of might want to keep your distance from them. Now, we’re no animal experts but it’s safe to say that wild animals can be… wild.

Groundhog by KB Digital

What you’ll need

Well, obviously a camera! Also, depending on the distance your shooting and your lens length as well as your stability, you might want to bring a monopod. If you’re thinking “I don’t have one, I’ll just bring my tripod”, don’t! Groundhogs are very active and you’ll need to be mobile if you want to get some good photographs. In that case, just increase your shutter speed to cancel out as much motion blur as possible. Another important thing you’ll need is patience. Lots of it! As mentioned, they are very active creatures but they also like to hide, especially when they sense people. So be kind and just keep you finger on the shutter button at all times. One thing we suggest, and this all depends where you live and what time of the year you go, is to bring something long sleeve to wear. This is just personal preference but usually there’s bugs out and you don’t want them annoying you and it could also serve as an added protective layer if somehow the groundhog gets close enough to you or even worse, attacks you.

Groundhog by KB Digital

Did you get it?

We’re not just talking about the instructions here either. Did you really shoot a groundhog? What do we mean by that? Well, groundhogs are often confused with beavers and vice-versa. They both look very similar to each other and act the same as well but there’s one sure way to tell what it is. The tail! Groundhogs have short, fluffy tails while beavers on the other hand have wide, flat tails. Also, if it’s in the water it’s most likely a beaver since they love to build dams. This is another reason why groundhogs are sometimes refereed to as “land beavers”.

Groundhog by KB Digital

What you won’t see

This is really simple. You most likely won’t see Bill Murray or Punxsutawney Phil. If you’ve never seen Groundhog Day the movie… this would be the time. Also, Punxsutawney is a little town in the state of Pennsylvania but the movie itself was filmed in another tiny town, just a few hundred miles west called Woodstock, Illinois.

Holiday lights in Rockford, Illinois by KB Digital

Winter wonderland in Rockford

Rockford, Illinois sure knows how to go all out for the holidays. While Chicago may get a lot of the national publicity being that it is a world-class city, Rockford puts on its own impressive showcase during the winter months. While Stroll on State is usually hailed as the major event, the light displays throughout the town last much longer and are a sight to see – oh and did we mentioned that they are completely FREE.

Holiday lights in Rockford, Illinois by KB Digital
Holiday lights in Rockford, Illinois by KB Digital

For this article, we’re concentrating solely on the light displays at the Nicholas Conservatory Gardens which sits on the Rock River just a couple miles north from the downtown area. Pulling into the parking lot you will see lots of lights and beautifully decorated trees but the real magic is behind the big glass building. On your way to the back is a path with lights arching above (pictured above) it and it sort of reminds us of those cartoon sketches where they go to a different universe through a portal covered by neon lights.

Holiday lights in Rockford, Illinois by KB Digital
Holiday lights in Rockford, Illinois by KB Digital

Once you make it through the portal path you will see the lagoon and the rest of the light displays. At this moment you are at a split and have to go either to the left or the right of the lagoon. Unfortunately, the path does not make a full circle (yet) around the lagoon but we hope this happens soon. We made our way to the right and captured the beautiful blue and violet colors, as seen in the picture above, reflecting on the frozen water. One section turned red right as we took the shot but we don’t mind it at all.

Holiday lights in Rockford, Illinois by KB Digital
Holiday lights in Rockford, Illinois by KB Digital

If you are to go to the left side (technically it’s more of a straight shot) the path leads you up the longer path alongside the lagoon. Again, beautiful colors follow the path as you make your way to the north side of the park. The picture above was taken at about a half way point and we did have to wait at least 10 minutes for the area to clear as hundreds of people were visiting that night.

So the only thing missing in this winter wonderland is the snow. Did you even notice that? However, we are definitely not complaining because being able to enjoy the beautiful displays without freezing temperatures definitely felt good. Also, we wouldn’t have gotten the amazing reflections off the frozen lagoon if it was covered with snow.

We’d love to hear from you! Have you ever been here or have we inspired you to visit it next year? Let us know in the comments below.

The Bean (Cloud Gate) in Chicago by KB Digital

Chicago during the holidays

It’s always a fun trip to Chicago when everything is nice and decorated. The trees are lit up, the ice rink is full of skaters and The Bean (aka Cloud Gate) looks more shiny than ever. We’ve been to Chicago several times this past 2019 holiday season and our only complaint was the frigid breeze from the lake, however, that didn’t stop us from taking a few pictures while there.

Willis Tower overlooks the Christmas tree in Chicago.

One of the busiest attractions is definitely the huge Christmas tree that’s set up in Millennium Park. For the picture above, it was a very frigid night but that didn’t seem to slow down the crowd as we had a hard time even getting a shot because of so many people being there. Nonetheless, the tree looked amazing and the red and green antennas on top of Willis Tower (still Sears Tower to us) looked picture-perfect. Now this is for all the photographers out there, imagine trying to capture a 1-second long exposure shot with shivering hands and no tripod. It was a challenge!

Cloud Gate (the bean) in Chicago during a frigid winter night.

Next stop on our list was just a couple hundred feet from the Christmas tree and it was the ever so famous bean, or as the official name state, Cloud Gate. Again, with no tripod and very low light, we had to try to capture a hand-held long exposure shot. What made this shot even harder is that there was no barrier between us and other bystanders. So sometimes we would have a rush of people walk within a couple feet in front of our camera and then get very dark pictures. Out of the several that we took, we managed to get one that we decided was good enough. To our surprise, we even captured the American flag in there and the red and white stripes show up just perfect as the people walked by. Talk about perfect timing.

Ice rink at Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Adjacent to The Bean is the ice rink right there on Michigan Avenue. We captured this shot more for fun than anything else. You have some people skating and doing double and triple spins while others are barely standing on their feet. Now if you’re not familiar with Chicago, all three of our pictures were taken within a couple hundred feet of each other. It is one of the many reason we love visiting the Windy City, besides the wind of course. Even though it’s only January, we’re already looking forward to beautiful, and much warmer, Spring weather!

Snow on Halloween in Rockford, IL

White Halloween in the Stateline

When’s the last time you went trick-or-treating through snow? For the Rockford region and the northern Illinois/southern Wisconsin state line, that was just last week. While the snow might have spooked some trick-or-treat goers away (see what we did there) the majority of the crowd seemed to embrace this rare occasion.

Snow on Halloween in Rockford, IL
Snow covers Sinnissippi Park on Halloween in Rockford, IL.

Obviously, we wouldn’t have missed the chance to capture a few images of this amazing day. The scariest thing for us would have been not to go out and shoot some pictures. We grabbed our camera gear and headed out to a few local spots. Sinnissippi Park and its lagoon are always fun to shoot and we just loved the dark blue desaturated water with the white snow all around it. Even though the shot wasn’t a long exposure, the water still looks pretty still and a bit icy.

Snow on Halloween in Rockford, IL
Snow covers the trees at Rock Cut State Park on Halloween 2019.

Another favorite stop of ours is Rock Cut State Park. While we enjoyed the views of the lake and the different picnic areas, we really liked how the road swiveled through the snow-covered trees. The green pines stood out in the white snow and created such a relaxing atmosphere. It just reminded us of a commercial or movie scene. (Elsa wouldn’t have been able to ‘let it go’)

Snow on Halloween in Rockford, Illinois.
Snow on Halloween at the river dam in Belvidere, Illinois.

We also made our way out to Belvidere, Illinois and stopped at the park right by the Belvidere Dam on the Kishwaukee River. It was beautiful to see how the snow just glazed the ground while the trees remained in color. The white water coming off the dam complemented the snow surrounding the river and just created a postcard look. Once again, we didn’t have our tripod with us to do a long exposure here but we were pretty happy with the hand-held shot that we were able to get that day.

None-the-less, we’re quite excited to see what kind of beauty this winter gives us. Now, we’re definitely not looking forward to the frigid cold temperatures…. but that’s a whole other topic. Depending on road conditions, we would love to get some pretty pictures of a snowy Chicago and maybe even head up north to Lake Geneva and Milwaukee. Though, we just might have to escape somewhere warm if it get’s too cold for us and our gear. 🙂