Do you ever get bored with photography? Uninspired? Feeling like the last thing you ever want to do is pick up your camera again?
I have a confession.
I do. A lot.
Before I started a photography business, I LOVED photography. I was obsessed with learning everything I could, reading photography books, scouring Flickr for inspiration, trying out every new technique, experimenting with Photoshop for hours! Then things got serious. All of a sudden I was shooting 10 sessions a week and worrying more about how my bills were going to get paid then my own artistic fulfillment and creative vision. I lost the love.
Of course, I managed to get it back over time through the art of balance. While I still leave my camera at the studio on the weekends, I have found a way to balance running a business with that creative passion that got me into photography in the first place. I thought I would share one way that I do that today, because lets face it, we’re headed into busy season and burnout central! No matter how tired you feel this busy season, promise yourself you will make the time to do this at least once.
Here it is:
I shoot for me.
A few times a year, no matter how tired and burnt out I am, I shoot for myself. I have fun. I break the rules. I experiment. I try new lenses, new angles, new editing. I live in the moment. I let go of the outcomes.
I meant to do this with my daughters in a sunrise beach session in Maine a few weeks ago, but we got half way there and realized I left my camera bag home. Ugh! So I took lots of cell phone pics and enjoyed a work-free long weekend instead. I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’m learning to forgive when things don’t go my way and count it as an unexpected blessing. What is meant for us never really passes us by.
This past Saturday we had no plans (for once!), so Shaun and I stopped by the beach near our studio for a few minutes to “play”. I just bought a new 105mm Nikkor Macro so I decided to shoot the whole time with it. Back at the studio I downloaded some of the new My Four Hens Photography Actions and Presets (Sarah is kindof a Photoshop genius!) and got busy.
It wasn’t the beach I wanted. It wasn’t the time of day I planned. Grace didn’t co-operate. She hated the “hard” sand on her feet.
But, life passes us by. Whether my head is buried in work or not, life passes us by. No matter how tired I feel, life passes us by. When the last thing I want to do is pick up my camera, life is still passing us by. Grace is getting tall and thin. Looking less like a toddler. Her wild baby hair will lose the curl and grow in long and thick soon. Giuliana is 6. Starting first grade. About to lose her first tooth and her baby smile.
All the things that didn’t go as planned, I let them go. I skipped the sibling photo. I let Giuliana shine. I captured Grace in between. And 10 minutes later we packed it up and left.
I shot for me. And for them. And they turned out, well… perfect.
And I’m re-inspired. And I love photography.
Shoot for you. I highly recommend it.