Five Ways To Avoid Burnout As a Photographer

Hello, again! Something I struggle with in busy season is avoiding burn out in my business. As a photographer and a private photo editor, time management for work and life can be crazy! You know what I mean, right? Sometimes it’s hard to just turn off the computer and get back to your family and other commitments. Time to unwind for the day and love on your loved ones. You would think that would be easy, right? Well, I know how hard it is to try to fit your life into your work. Why? Because that’s the opposite of what we should be trying to do and I’ll explain why with five ways to avoid burnout. This past week, I watched a webinar on balancing work and personal life by Marirosa Anderson. She is one of the creators of ¬†Work the Workflow.

First: I think it is important to realize that you should not be making the same goals as everyone else. You get to define your success. No one’s version of their success is right for you and if that means shooting 5 weddings or 30 weddings a year, or editing for 2 clients or 10 clients a year, be proud of that. If it means only getting laundry done today, be proud of that.

Second: Fit your business into your life, not your life into your business. I struggled with this last fall and I think I am finally to the point of where I am balancing everything! It is refreshing to be able to know that I’m getting it right this year. Like I mentioned before, I am a big list maker. By knowing when I have a goal I want to accomplish and putting it on my calendar, it helps me to see if it is realistic or not and helps keep me on task to accomplish the goals without feeling super stressed or burned out trying to get everything done. *Do this for every goal! Personal goals can be time for yourself, time for your family, etc.Make your priorities for your family, business, and also time for yourself. Marirosa said in the webinar that her life coach makes her purposely spend 1-2 hours by herself at least once a week.

Third: Set small goals and keep going. I’m a huge list maker for my everyday life and work. If I’m having a rough day, I choose my top five important things to do and the rest gets pushed to the next day. At the beginning of this year, I sat down and wrote out all of my personal, business, health, and financial goals and what I needed to do to accomplish those goals. The key is to dig deep and get very specific. For instance, if I wanted to be proactive in my health, I need to write down what I need to change in my eating habits, what I specifically need to do to lose weight or gain muscle. Sounds complicated? Yes, no? I promise once you start writing it all down, you will be able to organize it.
So if my goal were to lose 10 lbs, I would write down:
Lose 10 lbs/tone
To be more healthy and active
To be there for my family
Eat more fruits, veggies, and proteins
Eat less carbs and sugar or a specific amount for each
Workout for 30 minutes a day
21 Day Fix workout- 30 min a day (It rotates between cardio, plyo, yoga, etc)
21 Day Fix nutrition containers (Check this out! It has really transformed my way of thinking about eating and takes the guess work out of what to eat).
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out my coach, Courtney on Facebook at Triceps and Tutus.

Business Goal- maybe you need a course on seo and marketing, or organizing your time and scheduling everything in advance, so you can be ahead of the game. Write down those goals and put it on your calendar!
Financial- this is my budget, this is where I want to be. How can you do that? How many sessions or weddings will you need to book in a year? Think outside of the box and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Fourth: Give yourself grace. No one is perfect and not one day goes by that something is not going to get done. Everything is not going to get done in a day. Something will always happen and that is okay. It is a part of life. You can be flexible just like your work can be too. In Japan, broken objects are often repaired with gold. The flaw is seen as a unique piece of the object’s history, which adds to it’s beauty. Consider this when you feel broken. The webinar I watched, featuring Marirosa Anderson, a wedding photographer and teacher/mentor, in Virginia, mentions that the world isn’t going to come to an end because you took 20 minutes to walk your dog. Think about that. Will your business fail because you are going to took the afternoon off and spent it with your husband and kids because your husband got off of work earlier than expected? Or catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile? Yes, there will be times when you need to work “after hours” I like to call it, but this should not become a habit of everyday, after hours to let your business take over your life. The life you wanted by owning and running your own business.

Fifth: You don’t need to be liked by everyone to succeed. I tend to be a person who wants everyone to like me. And that has backfired on me many times because I focus on myself and not others. If I focused on serving and helping others, most people will like me anyway. But it’s not necessary to be successful.Most of the people I have tried to prove myself to, or to want them to like me, I had to step back and ask myself why do I need their approval? Why is their approval needed to be successful? What have they done to earn my respect? Confidence is not “They will like me.” Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.” First impressions can be great, and you should strive to go above and beyond for your clients, because they bring more business to you and you get to be a part of people’s lives! You get to meet and influence people that most do not ever get that opportunity to do for others. Be proud of that, but don’t be discouraged if not everyone is rooting for you. Have confidence in your skill, service, and be yourself. You are valuable!

All this to say, pray about it. Write it all down. Make a plan. And give yourself grace. Don’t be afraid to say no. We may be moms/dads with many different hats, but we are still just one person, with needs too.

Could you outsource something in your life that you don’t enjoy or have time to do, so it will stop interrupting your personal life? A lot of photographers do everything themselves, and there’s no problem with that. Except for when it starts to make them burned out. It probably sounds silly to some, but I outsource my vacuuming and trash to my cute 8 year old son weekly, and he gets to make money doing it! What do you need help with? Do you have trouble blogging on time? I know a few photographers who outsource their blogging. I know plenty of photographers who outsource their editing ( I’m a private photo editor, I should know quite a few, ha!). What about emails and calls? Need a personal assistant? These small jobs can become tedious and can take up so much time! Sometimes in order to grow our business, avoid burn out, and keep on track balancing work and life, we need to outsource those $10-14/hr jobs. I like to call it growing pains. They hurt, but they are good for you to grow both personally and professionally. What’s the worst thing that could happen? It doesn’t work for you, and you move on. Don’t be afraid to make changes in your business!
If you are still looking for a private photo editor, I hope you will consider me as an option! I have two full time spots left to fill.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.