This week has been a little bit crazy for me (as is every week) but I have very much been trying to catch up with myself and although I have kept up to date with my blog schedule I have found it tricky. I will tell you more about my week tomorrow on Monday Monday (including a few sneak peeks for you!) but yesterday was my first wedding of 2011. It marks the beginning of a very busy year for me which I am really excited about and thrilled to have got started with the wedding season as early as March.
As the wedding and Lifestyle season begins in earnest at around Easter I don’t really then have another break until Christmas which has got me thinking a lot lately about giving myself any time off. As many of you will know I work from home and although I have a dedicated office it can be hard. When I attended a really intense photography and business course a few years ago one of the large things they touched on was ‘work life balence’. I thought they were all a little bit potty talking about fitting in time for the children, making tea, doing the laundry in a working day and the overall advice seemed to be that you must completely separate the two. I was young, had a good job (this is before I started the business) single and had all the time in the world. I was left thinking ‘what does it matter if you do the laundry in the middle of the working day’ and ‘I am happy to work evenings and weekends, photography will be my life, these guys are all crazy!’ In a lot of ways my dedication to starting up the business stood me in very good stead as I pretty much forgot about a social life and worked 3 jobs to get it off the ground! I am no saint, I complained, I had sleepless nights (my poor Rob actually deserves the sainthood!) but I have to admit all the ‘work life balence’ discussions are coming back to haunt me!
Perhaps it is because I love what I do so much that I struggle separate the business in to work. I think nothing of working most evenings till at least 7pm but often till late in to the night. I never give myself a day off unless something is planned ie; I can’t just have a duvet day and watch TV! Even when and if I do have a day off I find myself thinking photography, looking out for new locations, checking my emails (damn iPhone’s!) and boring poor Rob senseless with my most recent shoot, idea, client!
More than that though I am not sure how separate I want the business to be from my life. What I do is an incredibly personal experience and I so often find that my couples and families feel more like friends than clients. If I looked at people as just a ‘client’ would I still get the excitement from my couples when doing an engagement shoot, the emotional response whilst doing couple shots on a wedding day, or the fun I have with the children during a lifestyle shoot? The best way to get great photos is to have feeling, emotion, a look, a moment; can that be brought out within my clients when I see the shoot as a job?
So more than any other business I feel that to earn a living from photography has to have a different ‘work life boundry’ than any other job I can think of. I am writing this post really because as we go in to the new season I would like to try this year to have a little more ‘me’ time (what a cliche!) a little more time with Rob and my family and friends.
It is a topic that I may touch on throughout the year and I think simply with writing these personal posts at the weekend this may help (or hinder!) separate ‘me’ from the photography a little more. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the world that I have been able to turn my passion in to my livelihood but how to separate my livelihood from my life whilst keeping the passion is a question at the moment without an answer…
…rest assured though I will continue to do what I love as long as people love what I do.