Whether you’re a wedding shooter or a family photographer, everyone faces the same struggle during the busy season at least once in their careers – when the very idea of picking up a camera AGAIN this weekend drains all the energy out of your body. You find yourself on autopilot, pure muscle memory moving you through the motions of posing, shooting, backing up files. You spend more time watching Game of Thrones than actually editing, just because you can hide in your office while you do it.
This sense of overwhelm is the classic double-edged sword. A busy, busy season means you’re doing something right, but it can also make you want to weep with exhaustion part way through. If you read our blog about balancing life and work during the busy season, you already had some ideas for keeping the home fires burning when you’re stuck busting 12 hour days while your family enjoys their summer. But what about your love for the job?
It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to stop hating your camera is to pick it up again and shoot something you aren’t getting paid for. Take a walk in your neighbourhood and take some photos of the gardens, or your favourite local coffee shop. Set up some still life objects in your living room and play with light. The key is to explore and experiment the way you did when you were still learning.
Head to your local library (remember that place?) and spend a few hours in their art and photography sections. Most libraries will have a good collection of coffee table sized books that you can sink right into, full of beautiful work that would ignite even the most lifeless creative spark.
Have a technique you’ve been excited to try, but haven’t had the chance? If your shooting day schedule allows for it, give yourself a window of time to try it out. Let your couple know you’ll be trying something new, only once you’re sure you’ve gotten all the shots they’ll need. If you’re excited about it, they will be too.
Put your camera down and pick up a sketch pad. Or revisit that long forgotten crochet project you started last December. Your creativity is a muscle that can be worked in many ways, and sometimes the key to reviving it is to stretch it in a new way. Even a dance party in your living room can be enough to get the love for your work flowing again.