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Staying Motivated When You’re Stuck in the Doldrums

Author: Libby - Printique by Adorama

by Jessie Parker
November can be a tough for month for photographers in the northeast. If you do a lot of weddings, October is the tail end of a long, hot season that started 6 months before and hasn’t really given you a break since. You’re mentally and physically exhausted and you aren’t done yet, because in the last few years October has become just as busy as July. And somehow you have to muster the strength to bring as much energy and creativity to your work as you did in July even though there have been two scorching months since then.
Then there’s the editing. If you do your own images, you probably have a pretty unsettling backlog of digital work to do. It’s tough, but you have to find a way to keep going for your own sake, as much as your clients’.
So how do you do that? How do you keep pushing forward when you’ve hit the proverbial wall? That’s a question I find myself struggling with every year. I don’t think there’s one easy answer, but here are some things that have worked for me.
Try out a new way to market yourself. It may seem counterproductive to add work when you’re already feeling overwhelmed, but I find that when I take a little break from my regular work and dedicate a little time and mental energy to brainstorming a new idea, it can be really rejuvenating. Practically every wedding has a hashtag these days. Are you posting and hashtagging one of your images on your social media from every wedding you do? That’s an easy project you can tackle in an afternoon and it’d be a nice break from the monotony of shooting and editing. Or if you’re in the mood to do a little design work, you could make up some new business cards. Just find a way to take a creative break. Do something productive, but different from what you’ve been doing.
Get yourself a little treat. You’ve worked hard all year. When was the last time you got some fun, new equipment? I’m not saying you should impulse buy something you don’t need, but don’t feel bad about investing in something that might be good for your business or at least a boost to your creativity! How about finally trying out that GoPro you’ve been eying forever? What about that lens you’ve been curious about? Maybe you’re not ready to commit to buying it, but you could try it out by renting it for a day or two. How about experimenting with a ring light at a bargain price? There are tons of fun and interesting products out there that could help break you out of a funk and maybe even take you on a new and profitable creative journey. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to make that happen.
Finally, if all else fails, just keep going. There’s nowhere to go but forward. It may seem like it’ll last forever, but eventually even wedding season draws to a close and soon those winter weddings will seem like a rare treat. You’re almost there. Just keep going.
Now I have to get back to editing.
For more photography tips, click HERE.