JOY: New Space, New Subject, New Technique

Last episode, I talked about one of the things that I love to do to combat burnout. Today, we're talking about joy again! That is, bringing joy into your business and your creative process, especially during a season where many of us are doing a lot of the same thing over and over again.

I'm going to talk about a few ways that you can infuse your business, your creative practice, your shooting with a little bit more joy, because joy is important. Joy is what keeps us from quitting.

Thinking about joy is essential to business. As a creative person, after 10 plus years doing this, I know that joy is essential in order to keep on trucking and stay in the game with fresh eyes. Finding joy can keep you from resenting your job and feeling burnt out all the time.

Every once and while, you'll still feel burnt out. But bringing a little more joy into your business is fundamental to growing and expanding and trying new things, which is what I'm going to talk about today.

I was thinking about things that make me excited about shooting, especially when it's like the same old thing. A lot of the time with mini sessions, you're seeing 5, 6, 7, 8 families over a day or a weekend, and you're doing kind of the same thing, cause they're coming to you in the same space.

JOY: New Space, New Subject, New Technique

Episode 247 of the Photo Business Help Podcast

I mean, people get beautiful photos that way. That's the whole point. But as the photographer, it can be a little like a creative void basically.

I think we get really formulaic in this industry, lifestyle photography in particular, because we know what works, we know what people want, we're advertising a similar style of stuff. It's not too often, at least for me, that I've really pushed myself to try new stuff.

Try a new technique

One of the things that I pushed myself to do years ago that has popped back into my life, actually really recently, is double exposure portraits. This would happen sort of at the end of a headshot and branding sessions with my clients.

And it was, it was partially because I just was curious about how I could push that particular technique, how I could figure out how to do new things with it. So I typically like to expose over trees, but in one case, I was like, maybe I'm going to use the skyline instead and, you know, mess around with buildings and trees and different shapes to create some double exposures. That was just one thing that I did over a pretty busy stretch of doing a lot of headshots that made me excited. It made me excited to come home and look at the image, play around with it in Photoshop. So that worked for me that brought a little bit more joy and excitement.

Change your subject

Another thing that I've found that brings joy for me is just a new subject. Maybe it's not people or maybe it's a different kind of person. So if you're just shooting newborns all the time, maybe do a portrait of someone who's elderly.

I found a new animal subject. I stumbled upon the most hilarious situation in my garden. Right before we moved, I had this little garden outside of the window at my house. I looked outside and there were two baby garden mice. You know how much I love animals if you've listened to the show at all.

They happened to both be snuggled up next to each other, leaning over the bird water dish, taking a little drink of water on a hot summer day next to each other. And there's like little blades of grass around them that even dwarf them even more. It's sort of like, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” when you realize how tiny they are, it's pretty hilarious.

two mice drinking from water bowl in garden

But I had my camera, I started nearby and I was like, they're going to move before I get back. But they didn't. And I snapped this photo of these two little baby mice, drinking water on a hot day in the grass, in my garden. And it's like one of my favorite photos I've taken in a long time.

It brought me so much excitement. Like I really loved editing that particular photo. I really loved everything about it.

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Try a new space

My final suggestion for bringing some joy into your photography is just a new space. Very basic again. It seems quite obvious, but I'm guessing if you are a seasoned photographer feeling burnt out that you are likely going to the same places, same park, same corner of your neighborhood.

And that's cool. Again, none of this stuff is bad. It's just, if you're feeling burnt out, that's just something to look out for.

Bringing joy back into your work is just going to make your life better. It's going to make your work better. It's going to help you grow your business.

So, try going to a part of town you never shoot in. Scope it out first if you're really not sure what the vibe is going to be. But I recently did this with my latest round of mini-sessions. I went somewhere I had never, ever shot before. And it was awesome. I lucked out and it, it turned out exactly how I wanted it to. And even if it had been an art fair, it would have been cool. So trying something new is always a great way to get excited about your work.

Again, bring a little joy into your creative process, new subject, new technique, new space, all of those things. Bring a little joy, bring a little joy back into your photography. I'm not saying you have to photograph mice, but it is highly recommended if you have cute mice around.

One final thing: every Monday at 2:00PM central time I host a photo business help clubhouse chat.

It's one hour from 2-3. So we try to keep it within a timeframe. So folks can plan around it basically. Um, and we talk about all things photo business. So whether the subject is joy or self care or a new photo method or whatever, we cover it all. And you're welcome to jump in. It's such a fun way to meet people and have good conversations.

Join Clubhouse here:

Check out the Greenhouse here:



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