For this post, I’ll focus on we amateur photographers. If you’re a professional, you’ve likely got the work/life balance thing figured out. Most likely, there’s very little life and lots and lots of work. Whatever the case, you’ve been in the photography scene long enough to know how to get by. Who I’d like to focus on today are all the folks out there who love to take tons of photos and then go home and edit them and blog about them. Perhaps even share them on social media. Whether those who don’t take photos know this or not, the entire process takes a a huge amount of time and can truly interfere with other aspects of life. The question is, how can we balance the two?
Okay, here’s my advice. What I’d like to do is separate out the various activities that make up the world of photography. First is the actual taking of the photos. Since we’re amateurs, we’re probably engaging in street photography, some close-ups, landscape and other types that don’t require us to carve out specific times of the day to capture those images. Most of us usually have our cameras on us and to be honest, it’s not the taking of the photos that stresses us out. It’s everything else. I mean, how many times have you found hundreds of photos that haven’t been processed on your camera? My memory card is usually full of stuff I haven’t yet gotten around to editing, so really, it’s not the “photography” itself that’s getting in the way of the rest of my life.
When it comes to post-processing, printing, marketing, posting, blogging about, and everything else that’s slightly more mundane than being outside enjoying time with our cameras, we’ll need to schedule some time every day or a few days a week to sit down and work our images. It’s really all about diligence and making the process a part of every day. It doesn’t need to be a large part of the day, but it does need to be part of it. Even 15 minutes per day is good. Make that a goal. Or perhaps a number of photos processed, posted, or blogged about.
Working on editing and posting photos is just like anything else in life. It’s like practicing guitar or learning Algebra. You simply need to dedicate some time to it and do it regularly. It ain’t going to do itself, so let’s make it work.
Response: Great advice. Since I am a beginner I can relate everything that you have said. You were talking about photo taking timing and stuff. Can you please explain how do professional photographers choose time and wait for the perfect moment. What time is it actually?
Response: I think what I was trying to get to in this post was that consistency is more important than the amount of time spent on something sometimes. For example, instead of going out and taking photos for eight hours straight, once per week, try to get out there and take photos for only 15 minutes or a half our every single day. The same is true for post-processing, marketing, and everything else that you have to do. From my experience, when I try to cram everything into just one day every so often, I burn out and lose interests in the hobby. I find that if I spread the tasks out over smaller periods of time, I stick with it and enjoy myself a lot more. But really, the difference between professional photographers and hobbyists is that the pro had all day and all night to photograph and edit their images. The hobbyist only had a few hours per day, so the hobbyist should spend those hours wisely.