What kills creativity?

I feel like every year I suffer from loss of creativity. It comes when I least expect it, and oftentimes during different seasons.  After a lot of thought, and a whole lot of trying new things I’ve come to the conclusion that for me… It is over-extension.  Since starting my journey in photography I have always tried to be different from others by NOT over-extending myself.  I’ve done pretty well, often turning down sessions to keep my existing clients from suffering. I take on new clients when able, and want to give each and every person I see through my lens totally and completely 110% of me. Every single person and family deserve a session that is completely unique to them.

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This industry seems to have a lot of burnout.

I believe it’s from taking on more than 2-3 sessions a week.  I personally think more than two is pushing it. Especially if you have a wedding thrown in there one week.  I may just do a horrible job at balancing it all, though I’d like to think that I don’t. I have a very strict schedule, and very strict working days and hours in place.  I started that this year as one of my 2013 goals.  It’s been working quite nicely. My turnaround time is often less than 6-7 days, and I try to do my sessions somewhere different and in a different style than I’ve ever done before.  This is something I still have to work at, but can tell instantly has improved since implementing strict goals. I know a ton of us in the industry probably suffer from this from time to time.  I’ve been doing a great job balancing it this year by doing these kinds of things. I am still working on being able to say “no” when I need to.  That’s a real struggle let me tell you.

 

Taking time for yourself.

This is something that is a constant struggle for me. I work at three different Indianapolis hospitals still because that is a real passion I have. I want to help co-workers desperately, and more importantly I want to help strangers.  Health Care really touches me in a way that I can’t describe, and probably most of my co-workers don’t even get.  I know a lot of people say those kinds of things, but  I think the amount of hours I work (often getting a pay check for $0 because I take so much out for taxes, and a retirement — hahahaha), and I feel the way I treat my patients is living proof. I work my hardest at everything I do every day as many days as I can. I really try to take my few & precious days off and do things that are fulfilling (also cleaning my house – which to be honest it could always use a little more of). This past weekend I had a wedding, I prep numerous hours for these even before the wedding day. So, I knew the weekend before this wedding  I wanted to take some time, relax, and do something outside.  I really, really, really think those kind of things help my brain reset and recharge.  So, I spent my Sunday on a 12 mile bike ride with my husband, drinking wine, feeling the sun on my skin, and eating Mexican food. I can’t think of a better day can you?  I’ve been trying to deepen my yoga practice by trying to master a handful of inversions, as well as attending Yoga Monkey and Dailey Method 4-5 days a week. I feel much better than I did last year. I think a ton of that is finding fulfillment in all aspects of life.  Or at least actively seeking it in some way. I went into this week feeling like a new woman, and ready to take on any creative challenge that came my way.  I’d love to hear from other photographers on this.  I think it is something we are all not doing enough.  If I suffer from guilt doing these types of things I know a lot of you also are.  I hope all my photographer friends are taking care of themselves, and making time for them and their family.

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Do it because you love it.

And this is really what it all boils down to for me folks. I do it because I love it, and love to meet new people.   I’ll keep doing what I’m doing because it works for me.  Not because it works for everyone else. No way is the wrong way. There are only different ways, and these are mine. Do things because you love it.  Are you doing something that is fulfilling to you now? Find it.  Figure out a way to make it work, because it will be worth it.

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Choose. Joy. Daily.

This is my mantra for 2013.  Some days are much, much harder than others. I’m not perfect. I’m far away from it.  Like, eons and eons from it. But, this little mantra helps me get to a happier place every time I think about it. The important part of living life is that we try. We try each day to be a little better than the day before.  That’s what I want to be like. I want to enjoy each day even if it’s for the smallest reasons. I want to be able to look back during Fall Family Photo Season Sessions and know I gave that family my all. It’s an honor to be on all of these family’s walls, and I’m not going to take it lightly.

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So, that’s my photography related post for the week. I hope some of you enjoyed it, and take something away from it if you’ve been struggling with balance lately.  No one is perfect, and there is no reason to beat yourself up over minor insufficiencies.  We are all creatives.

 

Choose joy daily, friends.

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