Many people underestimate just how difficult it can be to capture a stunning photograph. So much thought and effort goes into planning and executing the perfect shot. Throw in the effort that goes into all that post-production as well; it’s easy to see why some people start to feel the strain and suffer from photographer burnout.
This happens to the very best photographers. Don’t be disheartened if you find yourself placing your camera in a dark cupboard and avoiding it altogether. Creativity does not happen by magic. The schedule is demanding, and inspiration is often hard to come by, but there are things you can do to reignite your fire.
If you are giving your career second thoughts, take some time to read our article on the things you can do to combat photographer burnout and get back to taking stellar shots.
Plan your workload accordingly
One of the most important ways to keep photographer burnout at bay is to make sure you plan your work accordingly. The best to do this? Know how much work you can handle without sacrificing your time off. Invest in a weekly planner and schedule your work week down to the hour. You may have to improve your efficiency during those work hours to make sure you stay on target, but if you know the workday stops at a certain point, you are less likely to feel frustrated at fatigue while trying to accomplish your tasks.
Not only will this step help you structure your workweek, but you’ll also learn more about how you handle situations and workloads.
Remember to take time for yourself
No matter who you are, you need time away from work to not think about the job. This is easier said than done, especially if you work in a creative field like photography. However, if you are suffering from photographer burnout, you should figure out a way to leave your work at the office (figuratively speaking) and enjoy your “me time” without stressing about the amount of editing or color correction you have waiting for you when you get back to work.
This is a difficult concept to grasp. How you switch off may be entirely different from another photographer. Why not practice mindfulness techniques and meditation? These are a great way to center yourself in the present and take your mind away from work.
Find somebody who shares your passion
For the most part, photography is a solitary exercise. Only one person can operate the camera – it’s not like we live in the 19th century anymore! Whether you are a casual photographer or a seasoned professional, it pays to have a trusted photography buddy who understands our vision. These sorts of contacts are crucial for giving you a fresh perspective. They are also somebody who can bring their own expertise to the table and help you with any frustrating images. Of course, you’ll have to repay the favor. But isn’t that what friendship is all about? Sharing passions and helping each other through tricky patches?
It is also very nice to have somebody alongside you who can share your excitement when you capture a lovely shot. ‘
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Photography should be fun – so make it fun!
If you are earning money as a photographer, you have a better job than so many other people in your life. For many people, photography is a passion. As such, they have a lot of fun taking shots and making them into a work of art during post-production.
Unfortunately, being a paid photographer sometimes means you have to take jobs that are not as exciting as you would have hoped. For example, I once took on a client who needed me to take bespoke photographs of his padlock collection. Believe me; there are only so many ways you can make a padlock look appealing!
Do your best to spice up your workday in whatever way works for you. Play music in your office or take yourself on a walk for a change of scenery. You could even watch some photography-related content and learn some new tips and tricks. There are lots of ways to make boring work more enjoyable. As the adage says, “if you love your work, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Start making attainable goals
One of the best ways to make your job seem more fulfilling is by creating small goals for you to achieve throughout the week. If you complete a job and tick it off your to-do list, you’ll find it easier to tackle the next task. These goals can be as little as changing the batteries in your camera or purchasing a new lens you need for a particular shoot. Give yourself a small reward for a job well done, no matter how small the job.
I hope I have given you some food for thought with these suggestions. Photographer burnout is never fun, but there are plenty of solutions if you take the time to evaluate your situation.
Best of luck! xo