Why stopping making photos can make you a better photographer!
This is not a new subject, it is just delivered differently. A few weeks back I talked about how taking some time to reflect would benefit your work (video further down below). I am taking this another step further, just stop taking photos and do something else for a few days. Social media pushes us to create more and more constantly, and for those of you who make a living out of content creation, we can quickly be overwhelmed and buried under work. This isn't good for your health physically and mentally and will, of course, harm your work, your art in the long run.
Yes, this will happen sooner or later, you will have a lot of work coming in, and this is a good thing for your business. But working too much, always being out there taking pictures and this for a long period of time can potentially harm your photography. Yes, sometimes putting your camera away can be good a good thing!
Think about it, working too much prevents you from seeing the whole picture, having your nose to the grindstone is an obstacle for change and evolution. Working too much, shooting, too much will result in accumulating stress and fatigue... Working when you are tired is never a good thing, you won't be able to think straight, and with time you will make mistakes, maybe make bad decisions, make crappy images, that can potentially harm your business. Usually, the inspiration for me comes when I have some time off. When I am away from photography. While watching movies, live performances, concerts, going to museums, or just walking in the forest...to be inspired, you got to take some time for it. It will also boost your creativity and I believe it is vital for your work. Whenever you can, take some vacation, go abroad, meet new people, new cultures, see how people think differently and have a different perspective on things. This will also help you recharge your batteries to come back stronger, fresher, with a different perspective on life and new motivations. Photography is a solitary activity, you spend most of your time alone, looking for new clients, scouting for new places, sketching ideas, and all of these long hours of retouching and editing. Interacting with the world is important as a human being... interacting with real people and not just online. Why? To have a social life, to make new friends, to have a laugh... one of the main ingredients for Happiness! Live a balanced life, and spend some time with your loved ones, they need you, you need them... You will see things differently, you will manage your difficulties, and stress better. Trust me, you will feel better and it will also show and have an impact on your work in the long run. Taking some time away from your camera will make you love coming back to it and boost your passion for photography, plus it will give you some time to step back and reflect on your own work.
If you really can't somehow... start by Slowing down
When you do too many things at once, if you work too much you will allow yourself less time for preparation, scouting, developing ideas, and you will inevitably rush things, and this will lead to sloppy work.
When you are out of time, you rely on reflexes, which might lead you on doing the same things over and over. I've been there recently. At the end of last year, I had a lot of work, unfortunately, I had to rush things. I decided to stay in my comfort zone, recycled the same ideas, and used the same compositions and approach on a lot of images I created. They are not bad, but they add nothing new to my work.
Time... time is valuable, time is necessary, for example, when editing pictures, when you're retouching. I sometimes need a night of sleep to look at the work I've done the next day with a fresh eye. And often I realize a few minor mistakes, forgot a few details, or went a bit too far on contrast and colors. Maybe because my eyes were tired, or I edited too many images at once.
So if you kind of feel lost, if you are looking at your camera and don't have a clue about what you can do next or feel a bit depressed because of your lack of creativity recently. Take some time off... or slow it down. I took some time off during Christmas, I am taking some time for myself right now and will only take new projects at the end of this month. I should even take some time away from YouTube! I really wonder how all these YouTubers make 3/4/5 videos a week... Do they have a family? Friends? Do you sometimes go out without your camera? Can you spend a week without taking pictures? How was it? Tell us in the comments below! Enjoy your deserved break, see you in the next post.