I’m willing to bet 99% of us got into photography because we love it. How great is it to have a job you love and can’t wait for each new day? But the reality is, no matter how much we love any job, there will be days when we are exhausted and burnt out. Through the years I’ve found three ways to deal with burnout.
First, go to your appointment book and find the first three days in a row that you have nothing scheduled and mark big X’s through them. Then go somewhere away from home and work. Doesn’t matter if it’s several months in the future. Just looking forward to that time off will help immensely. You know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s important that you take at least three days. Studies have shown that it takes three days to really relax. I know myself when we took one of these mini-vacations, the afternoon of the third day is when I really felt the weight lifting from my shoulders.
Second, do a deep cleaning of your camera room. I use this same strategy in my art studio. Sorting organizing and culling your props and backgrounds ( or art supplies) helps you see them in new ways. I don’t know about you, but having a great idea of how to combine things I already have, in a new and different way, always gets me fired up again.
Third, invite someone in for a creative session. We all have those ideas that we want to try “someday” Stop thinking about it and make it happen. It will remind you of why you fell in love with photography in the first place. We may all be great business people but I doubt anyone got into photography because they wanted to run a business. Doing a creative session will make you feel like an artist again. Plus that sense of creativity will spill over into your regular day-to-day work. We have done this many times throughout our careers and it’s always a great success. In particular, I always wanted to do a mermaid session. So I made the costume, asked the girl, and made it happen. Another creative session resulted in a merit image and an Imaging Excellence image. We give the client an 8×10 print as a thank-you for their time. They never fail to end up purchasing more prints, so that makes it even better
Extra ideas—These don’t work as well as the suggestions above, but can really help if you are just having a bad day.
Go outside. Even just a few minutes will help, especially if it’s a nice day.
Do something physical. Take a walk around the block which also gets you outside.
Treat yourself. For me it’s chocolate but maybe you order in pizza for lunch. Or take a walk to the donut store, which accomplishes all three of these suggestions!