I know what you might be thinking, “dead as in, ‘lifeless photographer?'” Not literally, but close enough. I’ll explain. There are many times were as upcoming photographers, we get tired and we run out of battery. It’s okay, we are humans and we are not invincible. Personally, I have found myself in this self motivated drought were I can’t find the strength to manage work, school, wife, gym, errands and I don’t even have kids! I can’t really complain too much, but the reality is that we all have different struggles and challenges upon us. My wife and I were in this long spell of lacking motivation to get up and do things. So we decided it was enough and made changes in our lives.
As a photographer, it can be challenging balancing things from price lists, marketing, editing, photographing etc. especially if you are just starting out it can be overwhelming. I decided that I didn’t want to be a dead photographer running no longer. You see, in the sport of running, you have to train, stretch, get rest, hydrate, eat healthy, run the race and warm up. It’s almost the same as being a photographer. We practice shooting, we warm up by shooting on off time to better our skills, we study workshops, we try to make the right editing adjustments and we have our photo shoots, which in this case it will be our race.
Everybody else is doing the same thing, but we have to find a way to stay running this race as long as we can without hurting ourselves. This is where the solution comes around.
1. Make a list of the things that you need to do and you would like to do. (in my case I also do one with my wife)
2. Print out the whole calendar year. Yes the whole 11 months plus the other month.
3. Start writing out dates that you would like to workout at, take vacations, mini breaks, appointments, dates, dinners, days off, take walks, go for a swim, etc.
4. Write down important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries just dates that are special to you and you celebrate.
5. Once you have all the dates, and the list of things you would like to do and need to do, then write it down in the whole calendar year.
6. After having your whole calendar year planned, then you can have the time where you will be running the race!
7. The rest of the empty slots you have left will be dedicated to your editing, photo shoots it is all about your clients at this point.
Now, the trick to all of this is that you have to stay committed to the calendar unless of course there’s an emergency and you cannot follow it. Another thing I forgot to add, was sleep! Did you know that you’re deepest and important sleep cycle or REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep) is stage 3 and 4? I always asked myself why older people wake up so early? They go to sleep at a good time as well usually 8 or 9pm. Now, I am not a specialist or anything of that sort, but when you go to sleep, usually after 3-5 hours, you are in your deepest sleep. That’s why some people think that going to sleep at midnight and waking up at 9am is good sleep? I don’t think so. That’s why you feel so tired, because we are meant to be sleeping at a certain time and waking up early in the morning.
Anyways, I don’t want to get too much into the sleep, but my wife and I have been doing this for almost half a year, and we feel like champions. We are allotting the time that we need to get stuff done and go to sleep in a decent hour. We get our rest and we feel productive and full of energy the next day. This will keep you running the race and no longer be a dead photographer running!