top of page

Treating the weekends as weekends.

It is common to be always "on" as a freelancer, specially if what you do is closely related to your personal drive. In the first 7 years of my career I was very proud of putting all my time into it and it was probably necessary by then. At some point I noticed that my personal relationships were wearing off, I was missing birthdays for always being traveling or having deadlines or applying an idea I had just had. I was having a great time by myself but I was also taking people I cared for for granted. Also, most people around me had Monday to Friday 9 to 5 and when I chose to photograph in the evenings or the weekends I was not able to spend time with them. At some point I made the choice of treating weekends as weekends, reserving them for personal projects or personal connections, or even having the option to work from the computer or the studio but not having to. I noticed that by reserving specific work vs free time slots helped me to let go of the stress in the evenings and the weekends and always feeling I had to be working. By working hours, I mean client work, admin, marketing, client management, etc; not personal photographic work.

Also, I became much more focused during the self-chosen working hours. (Having those self-chosen working hours is a great reason for which I stay a freelancer). By staying focused on the work hours, I was also feeling good for the motivation to get my tasks done good and quick because after that go do whatever in the middle of the week, like have extended lunch with a friend and a self-date museum afterwards but with a peaceful mind since I had already done what I had to deliver/arrange. Visiting museums is part of the visual work too! We live from inspiration and the drive to continue has to come within us. Also, to get to know the industry. So, the museum costs are declarable by the way ;).

By making this choice of the evenings are not for client work I was much more relaxed to have extensive dinner, or to read without feeling I should be doing else, or to do a photography or creative project but without it being client work. This personal projects have massive positive impact in the career though, it is during those personal projects that one gets to experiment and discover authentic ways to express, discover techniques, fearless of mistakes and all the discoveries are later applied to what one has to offer to the client too. But when you are only doing client work all day, at the end you'll be burnt out, with money but no energy and start loosing the drive for the job. At some point, at what others would call "Peak" of my career, I was traveling internationally to photograph for amazing projects, and would go to bed at 2 am and wake up at 5 to continue working. I was selling my whole life to clients. Again, beautiful and meaningful projects but I was forgetting that I also had a life of my own that had nothing to do with creating visuals to communicate other's message. It is an amazing super power and I am immensely grateful for it. But I was getting burnt out. I could not see a camera anymore. It was only when I started blocking the working times that I recovered my peace of mind and slowly started taking the camera out for personal projects too. So, I think the peak of my career is a platform up there on the peak, that continuous because now I have more stable clients, more time to myself and the people I care for maintaining and building relationships with and I feel much more balanced.

Again, don't get me wrong, sometimes I still have the drive to work for extensive hours but what I want to say is what makes the difference is making a conscious choice on the work habits and not always feeling anxiety that you should be working instead. I have also seen it go the other way with some people, where they thing as freelancer it is OK to take a bit too much time off and neglecting clients, which is neither healthy, professional or respectful. Also, not doing the client work might not have an impact today but it will have in the future. So, you need to keep it going but I would recommend to keep a balance with the personal projects and relationships.

I just share my experiences because tips and struggles of other professional photographers aren't always easy to find. I understand that it all depends on the phase of your life you are, because those years I had all the freedom and zero responsibility, not even from a plant at home. And it was very important to have gone everywhere and to have tried it all, that way my career is much more defined now and now that I have slightly more responsibilities (like kitties at home) I am able to take it easier and more local as a choice. I still take international projects but not only.

I wish you a lot of good luck in your professional development as photographer and reach out to me if you'd like to have a conversation about it.



1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

A recommendation: Jay Shetty

I just listened to a podcast by Jay Shetty. He lived as a monk for a couple of years and wrote the book "Live like a monk" with an approach of living in the city but applying certain mindset. I absolu

Podcast is online!

Listen here or in the spotify app. In the coming weeks many topics will be adressed to help you out in your photography career!

Some goals for 2024

Healthy finances Mindful investments Balance between commercial and art/personal projects Time for business and separate time for myself Invest extra attention in long term clients Acquire new clients

bottom of page