Too Much Photography?

"On the Desk" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO6400
“On the Desk” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Warning, this post is a bit of a rant… but here goes.

There’s a school of thought that says the surest way to lose passion in a hobby is to turn it into your job. There’s some truth to that sentiment, and I experienced it today. If you follow my blog or know me in person, you know that I love photography. However, I don’t like to take photos for my work and for a few years now, I’ve kind of handed that job off to others as much as possible. I don’t mind the occasional photoshoot when we’re in a bind, but I’d rather leave it to the professionals, or others who have interest in it.

So it was with serious reservation (and after kindly refusing once) that I agreed to do some headshots. Well, that seems to have turned into taking photos for several more small events. Ugh… Don’t get me wrong, I love taking photos, but the time spent culling and post-processing can be long, especially because I want to spend the proper amount of time to do a good job. (plus the common perception from non-photographers is that you just snap the photo and upload it)

This morning I took photos for a company event, and it was time-consuming. It was a one-hour event, and I ended up with 440 shots to go thru. After four passes of culling, I got it down to 19 images. From there, it was on to post-processing. And there goes 2+ hours of the day.

I enjoy processing photos in Lightroom, but not for work. I want to enjoy it purely for fun and relaxation at home, with photos I have interest in.

This afternoon I was supposed to take photos for another event, but after spending all that time in Lightroom, I was kind of burnt out, plus the event was outdoors and the lighting was contrasty and harsh. So I really wasn’t in the groove. I still got a few shots, but it was difficult and I deleted most of the photos because they weren’t good. 😫 Also, each click of the shutter adds a few minutes to the workday. It sucks to think that way, but that’s reality. Hey, time is money, and I’m not getting paid by the hour. 😆

Also, photography is its own totally different discipline so it’s hard to shift attention in the middle of other tasks. I don’t think people realize that. I mean, I know people realize that task-switching is inefficient, but they don’t realize that photography is a separate way of thinking from print design, ad design, etc. It’s all the same, isn’t it? (no)

Anyway, I usually carry my camera with me when I go out, but this evening, I didn’t even want to pick it up. 😓 That was kind of depressing. I like to keep my work and my home life separate, but these photo duties at work steal the enjoyment out of something I really like doing for fun on my own time.

So, today’s daily photo is just a simple still-life of some of my favorite things: watches, pens/pencils, and a coaster from a bar in Japan. Oh, and my passport since I need it for a visa application for a China trip.

I don’t know… maybe I’m just a bit burnt out because it was two photo shoots in one day? Or maybe it’s because I am kind of swamped with work and the photography is a significant time-sink? I’m hoping it’s one of those because I enjoy my work and I’d hate for photography to ruin the good thing I have going. Or maybe the solution is to not spend what I think is the proper amount of time on work-related photos, and just do a half-assed job? (I don’t know if I could do that, actually)

Sorry for today’s rant. I rarely vent, so today is an anomaly… I promise!

I’ll see you tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “Too Much Photography?

  1. It could very well be burnout. For me, it is definitely a bad thing when a passion turns into a commitment. It took a while for me to learn this; your passion does not have to be your livelihood.

    I always hated being known as “the photo guy” in groups (friends, family, school, work, etc.) because of what you describe in this post.

    1. I suppose the issue is that photography isn’t really what my job/career is all about (and I have a lot of respect for pro photographers), but it’s just something I am pretty good at. So there’s always a bit of resentment I have when I take photos for work. I think if I treat these photo tasks with a different (and less creative) frame of mind I can come to some good balance – I’ll take photos for my work, but I’ll make photos for my hobby. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, Patrick!

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