In this series of blog posts we are introducing people who are speaking at and attending Inspire 2014. We are delighted to introduce Ashley and Graham Scobey of Scobey Photography. They have been named one of Rangefinder's 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography and specializes in wedding and family photography. Ashley and Graham will be will be teaching Getting There: A Field Guide to Biggering Your Dreams and The All Important Follow Through
If you've been a part of a creative industry for long enough, chances are you've felt it: that itch, that question in the back of your mind - "is this really what I am supposed to be doing with my life?” Burnout. When you put so much of yourself into your work - when the product you're selling is literally an extension of your heart and soul - burnout sometimes comes on like a mac truck down a one-lane back-road. And here is the really dangerous thing: even when you ignore it, burnout is murder on your ability to be creative. It causes our artistic voice to become so quiet that it's barely audible, and our work suffers. Here are some of the strategies that we use to prevent burnout and help us out of the busy funk.
Take time for personal projects
We choose not to take our DSLR’s anywhere during personal time. They are big and heavy and they just feel like work to us. Our personal photography project as of the past 2 years has been using film to document our family life. It’s such an intentional process, and we have a lot of fun with it.
Choose your work wisely
Make it a point to take on clients who help you to love your job. Spend some time pinpointing who those pepole are (be specific) and book them. Only them.
Enjoy the busy
When things get crazy, simply doing your best to stay grateful for the busyness can do amazing things for your perspective.
Schedule the un-busy (recharge)
Your beautiful little artist heart is a lot like a battery. It can keep you going - it's an amazing source of power and energy - but it has to be recharged every now and then. Plan vacation time and off-days (like: no email, no facebook, no internet off days. unplug – I promise you’ll remember just how great it feels).
Continue to challenge yourself creatively
Monotony is a huge source of burnout. We get tired of doing the same thing over and over, so it's really important (especially in those rip-your-hair-out busy times... or the 27th time shooting at that venue this season) to be intentional in how you challenge yourself creatively. I give myself Wedding-day challenges this time of year (I'm a little bit competitive, so this works really well for me). About half way through the season, when I start noticing signs of burn out, I start making a list of challenges and I take on one of those challenges each Wedding Day for the rest of the season. Here are some from this year: - Every detail shot I take must have a human component in it – Turn auto focus off and dial it in alllll day long - Shoot an entire Wedding without a single silhouette – Shoot a wedding with a lens that I’m not so buddy buddy with – Shoot all portraits at F.8 or higher (a good one for those of you who are addicted to 1.4, like me).
Boundaries (just imagine me yelling this one from the rooftops. it’s that important.)
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that taking time to live your life will only inspire your work – and it’s absolutely true. You cannot draw water from an empty well.
Nurture your passion for photography and, more importantly, protect your passion for life. Nothing could have a more profound effect on your work.