Since I started to do photography on a full time basis, I have been working my ass off. Literally I do not stop. I”m still working 3 days a week at my part time job, but other than those 20 or so hours a week, I’m heavily concentrated on my photography work. I usually roll into the studio between 9:00 & 10:00 and leave somewhere between 8:00 & 12:00, depending on my level of exhaustion that day. I’ve tried to leave my computer at the studio when I come home but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it yet. So, with that said, I usually work when I get home until 1:00 or so. My wife has been incredibly supportive of me, and has accepted my work schedule. I have made a promise that I will not work Saturday night. Unless of course I have something that HAS to be done that night. Part of me is worried that if I slow down I won’t be able to speed back up, but a bigger part of me knows that if I don’t work my ass off, there is no one that will do it for me.
Many people I talk to say they don’t have enough time to do all the things they want, and I guess you have to prioritize. Hell I even feel, working 15hrs or more a day, I don’t have enough time to do everything I want, so I can understand that. For me, I realize that to be able to do the photography work I want to do I need to hustle at all times. I need to be a step ahead of everyone else who is out there hustling and working the way I am. I need to be shooting, editing, educating myself, and always be learning, while constantly promoting myself. There are 2.678 million other photographers out there (rough estimate) and I have to find a way to separate myself from them. I need to work harder than they do, to constantly be improving. To do that I’ve had to make some sacrifices in my life. I very rarely watch TV anymore, my xBox gets absolutely no use, and really I have virtually no social life. I’m prepared to work as much as I can, and as hard as I can, until I can get my photography business to where I want it to be. By no means do I plan to slow down after that either.
I see the big photographers, the extremely successful ones, and I see how they work. I study people, I always have. Whether it’s people sitting in coffee shop reading, or photographers, models, musicians. I’m a student of the human race. I always want to know what people are doing, how they’re doing it, and why they’re doing it. When studying photographers I’m careful to study those who I respect and I guess somewhat envy. I always wondered how they have the time to be doing all the things they do to be successful. What I’ve come to realize is that they simply work harder and smarter than everyone else. When other people are sleeping, going to the movies, going to bars, etc, these photographers are honing their craft & building their name.
The only problem with this type of work routine is that I have had trouble figuring out how to relax. I recently spent 8 days on vacation in Florida and it took me the first 2-3 days to really settle in and relax. I realize that at times I need to relax and take a break from my work, I’m just finding it harder and harder to do so. I love what I do and that plays a big part in being able to work the way I do. Being aware of when it’s time to relax is an important skill I’m still working on developing. I’ve seen people work themselves crazy to the point of mental & physical exhaustion & it is not a pleasant sight. I’m being careful not to get to that point as not only does it take a great toll on you, it puts you even further behind in your work.
What I found, as the more relaxed I got, was that my mind cleared. I was feeling more and more inspired by various things around me. I’m the type of person whose mind never stops, which is probably part of the reason I have such a hard time sleeping. The more my mind cleared the more I was seeing things differently and the more I felt inspired. So as it turns out relaxing has its benefits, who knew, so I’ll work on relaxing when I can to explore this further. But with the short time we are here I am trying to make the most of every minute I have, doing the things that I love to do.