“Photography for me is a passion, a mixture of science and art that creates magic. If a day goes by without photography, it’s incomplete.” – Scott MacQuarrie
Remember when you dreamt of taking pictures for a living?
It was your creative outlet, your passion and how you spent the majority of your free time. After making it your career, something – your work/life balance – shifted and now you just feel burnt out.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Return to the daydreams of living your life as a photographer. Take a moment and grab a pen and paper and jot down the answers to the following questions.
• What was it about photography that drew you in and inspired you to capture life through a lens?
• What circumstances brought you to this visual art?
• What is the mission you took on when you started taking photos?
• What did you first really appreciate about the craft and art of photography?
• What were some of the very early experiences you remember when you first started taking pictures?
• What role or function does photography play in your life now?
• What do you admire/appreciate about photography now?
• What metaphor, name or iconic figure would best characterize the very best expression of you as a photographer?
Now that you have reconnected to the whys of your motivation that sparked your journey as a photographer, list the specific conditions that are in place when everything in your life feels good – behind the camera and beyond.
Take a moment and check that list against your to-do list and your to-accomplish list. The results may surprise you.
When you compare your “in the flow/balance” list to your dream list, notice how you may already be living your dream instead of attempting to make it happen in the future. The things you are working to accomplish and acquire right now may be getting in the way of appreciating where you already are.
Now take a minute and notice how you may be comparing yourself to other photographers: do you feel like you are missing out because you aren’t as busy or exhausted as other photographers?
Does it count if you are happy with the business you currently have?
If it matters to you, that’s what counts. If what really matters is what everyone else thinks, says or does, then it’s back to the vicious cycle of producing self-worth and depleting energy and focus. Everyone’s sense of balance and flow looks different; and like life, that balance continues to fluctuate based on your priorities in that moment.
What does balance look like to you?
Courtney runs Inspired By Movement, a business she founded that focuses on getting people to move their bodies in order to move their minds through life coaching and yoga. She is a Certified Professional Coactive Coach and an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coaches Federation. Additionally, Courtney is a certified yoga instructor in vinyasa, yin yoga and sculpt yoga. If you need support in finding balance, she offers sample life coaching sessions at www.inspiredbymovement.com.