Do you remember when you first picked up a camera and began learning about photography? I remember those early days very clearly. It was like love at first sight. Ahh, new love, the greatest feeling in the world! I was thrilled with my newfound hobby and found such joy in learning about it. My photography hobby got me outside of my own head, into the real world, and finding beauty in the most unexpected places. It helped me to relieve the stress of my 8-to-5 job and gave me an outlet for my creative soul.
And, then one day, my hobby became my profession. What an amazing feat! Most people never see the day where they can actually profit from a hobby, nonetheless leave behind their day job and pursue their side love full time. We are so fortunate as photographers that we have the opportunity to do this.
But, with a new career comes with it the responsibilities and stress of being a business owner. Almost every photographer I know loses a bit of themselves in their new job, in an effort to be successful with their blossoming business, which also means they have no life outside of it. Relationships grow stale and suffer from the long hours away from your loved ones. Even when you’re with them, your mind is on the work awaiting you, which makes it hard to be present in the moment … which only adds to your already heavy stress load. And, for many, their new escape quickly becomes a bottle of wine while editing photos late into the night. Hey, I’m guilty of this too!
So, what’s the solution? Find a new hobby!
(A real hobby that doesn’t involve drinking away your sorrows.)
When I realized I needed a new way of relieving stress, something new to fall in love with, and something to get me outside of my comfort zone, I decided to take a painting class. I had never painted before so I went into it really unsure of myself. I found doing something new actually ended up boosting my confidence even though I was terrified of it at first. It engaged a different part of my brain, giving me something new to immerse myself in.
I also found that it sparked more creativity for me in my business. New ideas flowed more freely and the impossible began to seem possible. I was excited about life again because my life didn’t solely revolve around my work anymore. I was a woman with varied interests who was out there going after what I desired most, and it felt good … really good.
And then, I got on my bike
Painting didn’t stick for too long though. My classes ended and I didn’t sign up for the next ones. But, that’s perfectly all right because it opened the door for me to explore more and to get acquainted with what my spirit needed the most. It taught me that my own happiness is more important than my job, and that I need to take the time to care for my own spirit.
It’s really ok to step away from your business to fill up your creativity tank. In fact, I think it’s a necessity!
My hobby now is pushing my boundaries each week on a bicycle. I’m heading out into nature. I’m learning just what this body of mine is capable of in terms of carrying me further and further into the middle of nowhere. I’m entering a place of absolute glee and pure muscle exhaustion. When I am immersed in my hobby, nothing else exists. It is an amazing stress reliever that way. Yet, the act of distancing myself from my business like this actually improves my ability to see more clearly what needs to be done with my work the most. Sometimes, we’re all too immersed to see things clearly.
Benefits of having a hobby
- Stress relief
- More happiness
- Boost in confidence
- Greater creativity
- Gives you a break from the mundane
- Prevents job burn-out
- More gratitude
- A sense of meaning in life for YOU, and not just your clients
- Better relationships
- Makes you a more well-rounded and interesting person
I hope this has inspired you to find a new and health outlet to make your life more enjoyable for you and your loved ones. Get out there and find a new hobby and fall in love with your life again. You and your photography career will flourish because of it.