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Last week, I wrote about my opinion of the question: Can an Introvert be a Successful Wedding [or Portrait] Photographer?
This is the time of year that many of us photographers are feeling the crunch of the busy season winding down and the holiday season quickly approaching, regardless of whether we’re introverted or extroverted.
Our shooting season might be over up here in the midwest as winter approaches, but for many, the marathon editing sprees are just beginning.
I know that as the season wrapped up and I tried to fit in portrait sessions before Mother Nature’s deadline of the leaves falling and the snow arriving, I felt the swirls of burnout begin to catch up with me.
So I wanted to write a post about how to avoid burnout. This information is directed at photographers with a focus especially on introverts, but really, it’s transferrable across all industries and types of people.
Introverts, by definition, expend energy when they’re around other people. They recharge their energy buckets by being alone, doing solitary activities like reading and spending time in nature.
It makes sense then, that introverts run a higher risk of burnout from too much social interaction.
I know this is true for myself, as an introverted photographer.
So, in honor of the end of our shooting season, and the beginning of burnout creeping in:
Tips to avoid burnout, especially if you’re an introverted photographer:
1. Guard your schedule.
Tasks that involve interaction with people, like client meetings, shooting sessions or weddings, and marketing and networking events all empty an introvert’s energy bucket.
Yes, we might love shooting, but introverts can feel very depleted of energy at the end of these social activities.
We need to be careful that we don’t force ourselves into a schedule with too many social activities and not enough solo recharge time.
Alternate shooting or meetings with plenty of down time. Give yourself permission to rest and recharge. Schedule it so you make sure it happens.
2. Prepare – Mentally and Physically.
By preparing in advance for shoots and meetings etc, you will allow yourself time to become mentally engaged in what you’re doing. You will be ready to photograph or to talk with a prospective client, and you won’t feel put on the spot or unprepared.
It’s also helpful to prepare physically. For example, by cleaning your gear and packing your bags the day before a wedding, you keep yourself from scrambling at the last minute, worrying that you missed something.
This helps you keep calm and focus your energy on the task at hand.
3. Practice. Become an expert.
In order for you to instruct your clients confidently, whether you do this in a loud and flashy or a quiet and reserved way, you need to practice so you can lead confidently.
Your clients take their cues from you, so by practicing ahead of time and working out the kinks, you’ll be able to feel confident and secure in your directions which will allow for a smooth session or wedding.
The added benefit of practice is that you become confident because you feel like the expert. This knowledge and self assurance will help you perform to the best of your ability and help your clients thrive in the spotlight.
4. Rest and Recharge.
You’ve scheduled time for rest and relaxation in your schedule. Now, MAKE SURE YOU USE IT.
I know how hard it is to stop working when there’s a mountain more than could be done. It’s so easy to say, “I can read any time. I’ll just work for another hour so I can get XXX done.”
The truth is there will ALWAYS be something else you could do.
If you don’t take time out for yourself, you’ll burn out, hate your business, and quit. Maybe not quite as dramatically, but you won’t thrive in your business.
Make sure you give yourself permission to rest and recharge, so that you can continue to serve your clients and serve your business to the best of your ability.
**This is even more important for us, after a long, intense shooting season. While we really need to schedule time for rest during the busy season as well, make SURE you’re allowing yourself plenty of time to rest now that the shooting season is over. Especially if you’re feeling the effects of burnout creeping in.**
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If you’re an introvert, chances are you’re even more prone to burnout than others.
Especially at the end of a long, intensely busy shooting season, it’s easy to feel the strain.
Give yourself permission to rest, and in the future, help guard against burnout right from the beginning!
P.S. To all the photographers who are now emerging from our whirlwind, jam-packed shooting/editing/booking season, we made it! Now, give yourself a well deserved break and go take a nap!