How to strike a balance? - feat. Diana & Andrei
When I first started my photography business, I thought I had hit the jackpot. "I can charge how much for only an hour shoot?!". Truth is, I had no idea how much work goes into the business and the marketing and the self-education and the communication and, well, everything Trust me, I absolutely love what I do, but sometimes it's hard to turn work off.
Striking a balance can be hard for anyone. Whether you work a full-time job, run your own business, go to school, take care of a family, or whatever. It seems that there is always too much to do and not enough time. Today, I am going to talk a little bit about what I have found helpful in striking a balance especially in terms of creative professions. And since I haven't shared the beautiful photos I got with Diana & Andrei, I'll mix those in here & there for your viewing pleasure :)
One of the first lessons I learned was the importance of separating work hours from personal hours. This means that after a certain time each night, I try to put my phone away. Emails, texts, instagram DMs can all wait til the morning. I try to spend genuine time with my loved ones (and my dogs) uninterrupted by my phone or computer. While everyone does this differently, setting specific times that you can log on and answer emails and post to social media and any of that can help you from constantly being online and working.
Something I'm very guilty of is overbooking myself. I get so excited about every inquiry that I always want to try to find a way to fit someone in. Even if this means I'm shooting 7+ times a week. Setting limits is very important and prioritizing other things - school, household chores, social time with friends and family, exercise, mind-numbing TV watching - all can be super helpful in avoiding burn-out.
3. Stay Passionate
A third thing that I find to be really important is to limit yourself to work you find inspiring. I know that it can be hard to turn down clients in an artistic profession, but, in my experience, the types of photography I don't enjoy can be very draining. I always say that I am working way too hard to not be doing work I love. If I don't love it, then it's not worth all the hours. Even if you have to take on work that you don't like, take time to do work that you are super, crazy passionate about. Otherwise you will quickly get burnt out on any creative profession. (The plus side is, the more you show work you love, the more you book work you love. It's an awesome cycle!)
And finally... Don't Overdo It. Work hard, but not to the point that you lose track of the other important things in your life.
I started my business in April of last year while I was going to school full-time. Not only was I a full-time student, but I was trying to graduate early, so I took winter classes, spring classes, summer classes, fall classes. It was non-stop and I was commuting to the city and having these horribly long days. I was also trying to shoot 2-5 times a week. While I met some awesome people and did some really fun work, I realized that this was simply too much. Mental health is super important, so don't push yourself beyond your limits. Give yourself breaks, set limits, and do creative work you are passionate about and you will be able to go a lot farther.
What tips do you guys have to avoid burnout and lead a balanced life?
(Think about it while you finish looking at this gorgeous couple...)
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you do to strike a balance in your own life :)