Are you a full-time photographer, or maybe a part-time professional photographer? Have you been sucked down the rabbit hole of marketing, tax returns, editing, and feel like you and photography are headed for a nasty break up? I have been down that rabbit hole, and honestly it sucked! It was three months of forgetting why I picked up a camera in the first place. I was so caught up in the business side of photography, and trying to figure out how to book more clients that I wasn’t even shooting.
So how did I fall back in love with photography? Here are four things I did that helped me rekindle my love affair with photography.
Start a Personal Photography Project
I wrote a article about how important personal projects are for photographers earlier this year. Your personal project can be anything, from making portraits of your children to photographing birds, just make sure it’s something you enjoy doing and schedule time to do it.
Go to Your Local Photography Shop and Talk to Fellow Photographers
One of the biggest things I found when I fell down the rabbit hole was that I was no longer talking photography with anyone who was an actual photographer. How did I overcome this? Well there was social media, and the plethora of photography groups and forums to chat about photography, but honestly I was still at my desk or face down in my smartphone.
Instead, I started visiting different photography shops in my area. I didn’t go to buy anything; I just went to talk with fellow photographers. What I found was myself laughing, and having a good time chatting with photographers about our love of photography and not worrying about someone I have never meet critiquing my work in some Facebook group.
Leave At Least One Area of Photography For Yourself.
I’m a big believer in having one area of photography that you do just for yourself and never try to sell or book clients for. Personally for me, it’s seascapes that I leave just for me.
I love the ocean; I grew up near the Connecticut coastline and still live there. When I was a little kid, my Dad would take me surf fishing up and down the near by Rhode Island coastline on the weekends. It was during this time, I found that I loved the ocean and all its beauty and mystery. It was that love of the ocean that inspired me to start creating seascapes for myself, and no one else.
When the business side of photography bogs me down, I still retreat to the coastline to make a seascape or two, clear my mind and rekindle my love for photography and adventure.
You should do the same; it can be food photography, landscapes, images of abandoned places, etc. Find an area of photography you love and shoot it for yourself and no one else.
Don’t Do Anything Photography Related for a Day or More
I know that being a photographer, you need to embrace the hustle. Clients and relationships are key to paying the bills, and you have to do what you have to do to book those clients and keep professional relationships alive.
Don’t forget though, this is still a job. Did you work 24/7 at your last job? I doubt it. You need to take time off. You have loved ones and friends that love what you do, but want (need) to spend time with you and you need to spend time with them as well. I find that actually taking a weekend off or just the night off, is one of the best ways to find your love for photography again. Sometimes, when you disconnect from anything photography related for a little while, you can find the inspiration or energy to charge forward.
Take at least one day off a week and don’t even think about photography or business. Sit on the couch and watch a flick with your significant other, go have dinner with your parents, spend time with your children, or go out with your friends. Time off is just as important to success as marketing to clients is.
Photography at its core is a simple thing; it’s capturing your view of the world on a single frame. You picked up a camera because it was fun and you loved to create, don’t forget that. If you do, you may never rekindle that love for photography again.