Photography business is tough. I heard it described perfectly by photographer Mike Hollman who said,
“When you become a full time photographer, you’re still a part time shooter because your business takes the majority of your time.”
It’s beautifully said. Photographers spend an uncanny amount of time trying to sell prints, marketing themselves, answering emails, working with clients, editing photos, creating video content, writing, and everything else that goes into running a successful business that they rarely have time to shoot!
Sadly, one of the things that happens when you keep the focus on your business so much is that you start to dislike photography. I’ve heard it from people before and it’s a really sad turn of events to hear them talk about how much they dislike an art form they used to love so much.
A photography business can turn into a silent killer if you allow it to.
Photographers, take a break to shoot again. Revisit the reason of why you started shooting in the first place.
Was it the adventure that drew you in?
The search for great light?
Whatever it was, take a break to remember why you love photography.
If you don’t your business will suffer, and you photos will suffer.
Because you aren’t shooting for yourself anymore, you’re shooting for the attention from other people.
Chris Burkard says it best in this video:
I remember when I was doing my first homework assignment with a 35mm film camera. I got to a creek that was near my home and I took a photograph at eye level. Next, I crouched down and looked through the viewfinder to see that the landscape in front of me looked completely different and way better.
That was my moment.
While I didn’t act on it right away, I think that moment really propelled me towards a career in photography.
I wanted to know everything about my camera, why different compositions worked better than others, and how I could make my photographs better.
It’s easy to get burnt out because you’re running your business. Business can take and take, but you need to slow down and give back to yourself and your passion. It’s a necessity to stay fresh and try out new techniques.
So photographers, always take time and take a break to shoot again.