It’s Friday! Three day weekend! And why do I, self-employed landscape and adventure photographer, care? Because deep down, despite the fact that it’s been years since I’ve had to answer to a boss, I’m still a weekend warrior. Which begs the question, why?
1. Professional Accountability. It’s easy to think that as a self-employed artist, I can make my own schedule, wander the earth, vanish from contact for weeks on end. In reality, most of us who are finding some success in this craft are doing so by maintaining a lot of relationships and keeping many irons in the fire. This means phone calls and emails to keep projects flowing. It means being present and available when my clients and colleagues are. Yup, we’re talking about Monday-Friday 9-5ish (at very least). Burn too many of those hours on chasing powder, and you become one of the flaky ones. Slippery slope, and one that I’m not particularly interested in sliding down.
2. Work/Play Balance. While it’s important to make sure you’re doing enough ‘clocking in’ as an independent artist. It’s equally important to make sure to do enough ‘clocking out’. There’s always work to do, and a million ways I can improve my business and brand by investing a little bit more time here or there, but I’m acutely aware that time away from the desk or the camera is as important to my business as time spent working. So many business owners get overworked and burned-out by bowing to the pressures of the job and working endlessly. The mind needs to rest, the body needs to run. Five days of hard work every week is plenty, the other two are best spent finding your bliss, whether it’s atop a mountain or at home with family.
3. Friends. I’m fortunate to get to work with a lot of amazing athletes and models. We get outside, we ski, climb, ride, camp, road trip. We get the shots. It’s awesome. But as much as I value this time with these amazing people, it happens on the clock. It means there are specific objectives, deliverables, creative briefs, and shot lists. I’m telling models what I need them to do for the camera, or I’m working with athletes in order to get in position to document an amazing moment. Yes, we have fun, but yes it’s work. When the weekend comes around, I’ve got a different crew of friends that I call, friends who have also been on the clock all week and are itching to go out and play. We get outside, we ski, climb, ride, camp, road trip. We don’t get the shots. It’s awesome. Although, I’ve gotta come clean here. Even on these weekend jaunts, I can’t help but carry a camera, and I’ve created some of my favorite images while out playing on the weekend. I guess nobody’s perfect.
Now, turn off your computer and have a Happy Labor day weekend!