What You’ve Probably Overlooked Now That Your Hobby is Your Career
For many professional photographers the path to this life started off as a creative outlet. It was birthed out of a need to escape the day to day grind that came from an unsatisfying career, stress, or creative boredom and experimentation . You started slow and with every hundredth of a second the passion grew. Eventually you scoured the internet to try to understand how to make that ominous jump from safe, secure life into pro photographer. Now you’re where you dreamed of being but I’m willing to bet you’ve forgotten something crucial.
Your hobby is now your day to day career which means it’s no longer a hobby. What did you replace it with? If you’re like most people it’s possible that you didn’t replace it with anything, and that’s a mistake. Hobbies are beyond important for us all. They can enhance our well-being and bring even more meaning into our lives. Studies have shown that people who further themselves through activities that interest them are less likely to suffer from anxieties, rage, depression and other negative feelings. What often happens when we turn our usual creative outlet into our primary source of income is that we begin to create to pay the bills rather than to express ourselves.
I think any creative that…well, creates for a living would agree: consistent, fresh creativity under fire can be very difficult and very draining.
This is why it’s imperative that you give yourself another outlet now that your life has changed. You will make the same excuses as we’ve all made about how there’s no time and maybe you’ll get to it later. Make the time people. The same benefits and joy that you felt when you picked up photography will hit you again in a new way. Not only will you learn something new and grow more as a person, but your photography will grow as well. If we can agree that art is the expression of how you interpret the world around you, then we can agree that photography is the purest form of that expression. As you change and grow so does your perspective on the world around you. Your work can’t help but evolve as you do.
Maybe this is all a bit rant-y but I keep seeing the same story with colleagues all over the world. If you’re still with me there’s one last, most important, benefit from finding another hobby to fall in love with. You will be far less likely to burn out on this career that you used to long to be able to do. Photography is a tough road and depending on your genre of it it may get far tougher in the future.
In other words, hobbies can help diminish the effects of a stressful job, and alleviate factors that contribute most to burnout.