Photo + Design


Mindset to Break Photographer Burnout

How to stop photographer burnout and reignite your passion

Photographer Burnout is something every industry professional will eventually face. It can be so hard to continue doing what you used to love when you feel like this. Firstly, I want to give you a warm hug and tell you this is normal. This is totally ok and we are going to find the mindset to break the burnout.

Is this how it feels?

Your eyes are tired from staring at your screen after a gruelingly long day full of editing. Your neck cricks and your back clicks, but the promise of “just one more photo, then we can go to sleep” keeps you at that desk.

That dedication and commitment have helped you create this business, but now it’s taking more than it’s giving. It is the cycle of bad habits that fuel this endless burnout. And it’s impossible for me to give advice without first sharing I struggled with this, too. There’s the obvious stress and general busyness that could come with being overworked. But I find when I struggle the most with burnout is when I have an empty calendar. Because the first thing that crosses my mind when I have an open calendar is: “shit. one more thing I have to do.” “How could I possibly work harder, just to get more work…? Which is truly insane to working your ass off in order to get to work.”

Let’s explore how we can combat burnout and create a sustainable photography business for ourselves.

Combating Burnout

  1. Routine
  2. Fuel your creativity
  3. Preparation is Key

Routines to Establish Sustainability

Morning always comes too soon, and you might be hitting that snooze until you can’t afford to anymore. This is your first mistake. As hard as it is, the best thing you can do is get up with your alarm. Research suggests that waking up early can contribute to increased productivity. A study from the University of Illinois found that participants performed better on cognitive tasks in the morning.

Wake up with that first Alarm. Open the curtains to let natural light in, which helps regulate your circadian rhythm and boosts energy. Drink a glass of water before any coffee and grab a bite to eat.

Over your morning coffee, this is when I like to practice that moment of mindfulness. Focus on your breath. Think of 3 things that you are grateful for. At first, they don’t have to be about your business. But as time goes on, think about what opportunities your business gives you.

Consider a stretch, yoga video, or some physical therapy to help you get the blood flowing. It will also help with any pain.

Having a designated workspace in your home, ideally near a window or in a well-lit area. This helps to create a clear divide between work and personal life.

Begin your workday by creating a prioritized to-do list with a max of 6 items. Having clear goals and a structured plan can help improve focus and productivity.

Start work only after you’ve had your morning routine. Remember to take short breaks every few hours to stretch, rest your eyes, or simply reflect. This helps to sustain focus and energy levels throughout the day. If you would like to chat at all about this on a more personal level, DM me!!

Mill City Museum Couple cuddling near their head table

Fuel your Creativity in a New way

We have a few ways to do this, but my favorite is actually not photography related. Find a new medium to get creative. My favorites are Painting and Cooking. Some ways I tie it back into being productive is each client gets a painted wine bottle as a wedding gift. But if this becomes too much like work, reset by painting something just for fun. Other ideas:

  • Something Classically Artistic – painting, drawing
  • Something with your hands – ceramics, woodworking, sewing, stained glass, soap or candle making
  • Something yummy – cooking, baking, or decorating desserts
  • Somewhere new – nature hike, travel
  • Something physical – meditation, yoga, the gym

The more obvious way to combat Photographer Burnout is to attend a workshop. These are great experiences to connect with other photographers who might be feeling the same way as you. But also, an amazing way to revamp your portfolio and renew that sense of inspiration when it comes to photography.

Bespoke Wisdoms Education Workshops

The Bespoke Wisdoms Education Workshop is something new I’m trying to help other photographers like yourself. I will absolutely keep you all posted, but my aim was to reignite photographers’ passion for their artform again. We’re teaching Flat Lay Designs and advanced couple posing with a stunning Wedding Editorial to enhance your photography portfolio, for every level of expertise. I promise to share the details soon, but the planning for this next workshop are truly stunning.

Get on the Waitlist by Contacting Allie!

lake como italy wedding

Preparation is Key

We prep in order to help with Photography burnout by providing structure, focus, and a sense of purpose. This really can be particularly beneficial when we feel overwhelmed or disengaged. For a wedding day, get there early and plan out what areas you’d like to photograph in. But then take it a step further. Visualize the poses you want to go through. Where could you stand to get a bit more depth of field, use foreground objects to create more visual interest, or how could you frame your couple?

Come with a Pinterest board of what you want to accomplish at your family session or each phase of the wedding. Paradoxically, preparation can foster creativity by providing a solid foundation to experiment and take risks. It’s part of the reason we are focusing so heavily on creating a morning routine!

Mindfully combating Photographer Burnout

Addressing burnout with a mindful approach begins by incorporating mindfulness practices into daily routines. Help ground yourself in the present moment and foster a sense of calm by a deep breath. When feeling overwhelmed, pausing to reflect will help break that anxious weight. I am no stranger to feeling that invisible weight, making even the smallest tasks seem insurmountable.

Reflecting on the gratitude for opportunities and the joy brought to others through photography can help reframe perspectives. Wheras establishing boundaries between work and personal life will help future-proof your mental state. It’s essential to maintaining balance, ensuring there is time for self-care, leisure activities, and nurturing relationships. Finally, approaching each photo session with prepared intention and focusing on the creative process rather than the outcome allows for finding joy and fulfillment in the art of capturing moments and telling stories through the lens.

Adjusting to Real Life

Transforming your photography practice into a source of joy and fulfillment is something we can work towards with these strategies. Our shared photography education goal here is overcoming burnout and rediscovering that passion for photography. What it comes down to is establishing a morning that rejuvenates you and exploring diverse creative outlets, while fostering productivity. This balanced approach will help you rediscover your passion and capture the world’s beauty with renewed inspiration.

Remember, the key to success lies in embracing new experiences, prioritizing preparation, and cultivating balance in your work and personal life. With dedication and an open mind, you can reignite your creative spark and continue to capture the beauty of the world around you.

To join us for our next Workshop, or learn more about Alexandra Robyn and her photography education services, click here.

Loved this Photography Education Tips post? Follow on Insta and here are other Photo Blog posts you might like:

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