Wednesday, 5 March 2014

It's okay to take a break.

It really is. It is okay to take a break from things.

For the last few months I have been taking a backseat from photography on the whole, besides from some freelance commercial work and a few family portraits. It's been very alien for me, to rarely pick up my camera, or to have a very open diary. I've hardly opened Photoshop or Lightroom in the past few months let alone even organise anything!

So, in all honesty - It has been the best thing I have done for myself in years. I feel like an entirely new person, like I've really had time to grow as a person and more importantly - one I am happy as! 
I think my sub conscious had been telling me to really take some time for a few months. I aimed to leave my fashion work on the side for a month or so just whilst I concentrated on weddings, but in all honesty it kind of rolled into almost 5 months.

I really thought long and hard about putting this up because I think being un-inspired or taking a break is something we tend to shy away from admitting. I wanted to compile this post of reasons to why it's good to take a break, because throughout this stage I felt it was incredibly un-natural to go through a phase like this when actually, it's perfectly healthy!

1) It's okay to have a life outside of work! 

As a Photographer, a fellow creative, it's almost like you have to be on full power 24/7 because when you freelance there is no 9-5, It is your life, everything. E-mails at 11pm, call times at 6am. Sometimes you just need to be able to switch off for more than enough time to just sleep! I work a day job as-well which ranges from part time to full time so doing them both can be hard to balance.

2) It's okay to take time to grow.

That drive that had driven me since I was 18 and first started freelancing started to dwindle. In hindsight, I think I was burnt out. I needed to take some time away from the entire thing - I was pushing myself, taking on too much without even stopping, and more importantly letting myself grow. The last few years were a constant strive to be better and I think everyone must hit a wall at some point! You need to, in order to re-assess what you've achieved and what you need to achieve to get better.

3) It's okay to be un-inspired.

I am always envious of people who are constantly inspired. I go through phases of being inspired more than anything which is not the easiest way to keep ideas fresh. It's normal though - and I think the space in where you live, the job in what you work and how you live all plays a part. Since I've moved into our own flat that we own, I feel so much more inspired now I have a space I can make my own (with it's own actual office!) and I have the means to go out running which for me clears my mind and helps with my inspiration. It's all about a positive mindset too - I've found that since I've changed where I work, and how I work I feel like a better person, which takes me to my next point...

4) Make yourself happy.

The beauty of being self employed is that you are your own boss! This however, is a huge downside too. It's hard to get the work/play balance right because there is no set schedule. I think every freelancer gets into the habit of working too much which again is perfectly natural. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work doing something I love which is why it is much harder to learn to take a break.
It wasn't until we moved that I realised I wasn't really that happy deep down. It wasn't the photography that was making me unhappy but the business side with experiences of difficult clients etc.
Instead of ignoring the issues I sat down and really looked at how I could avoid those issues that made me unhappy, life is way too short to be unhappy!

It feels so good to get all of this out there! I'm excited to start getting back into Photography more now I feel ready for it and I feel a hundred times better for taking out some 'me' time. I'm also so excited to really get behind my wedding photography which has taken off brilliantly.
I apologise if it's an incredibly boring post - but I felt if I could put out my experience and it helps even just one person then it's worth it.