Burnout… we all know the feeling. Working until dark, eating dinner past 9 o’clock, and bringing your laptop into bed – and not to watch Netflix! It’s something we all experience at one phase or another in our careers. For wedding industry professionals, it’s often cyclical, following the busy months of our peak seasons. That isn’t to say I’m not eternally grateful for this job — I think every single day how truly lucky I am to get to do something I love with my ideal clients. But even doing your dream job 24/7, weeks on end, can be exhausting.
The feeling of being burnt out will quickly lead you down a path of complete loss of creativity and passion. This isn’t fair to yourself, but it also isn’t fair to your family or your clients! Personally, whenever I start working with a new client, I want to be able to promise each and every one of them two things: a. gorgeous images and b. a fantastic experience from beginning to end. To ensure this happens seamless, I’ve made two small changes to my business.
First, I do so by limiting the number of wedding commissions I accept per year. Over the past few wedding seasons, I’ve learned my limits and now know exactly what will allow me to give my clients the attention and service they deserve. This sometimes means I have to pass up really fantastic opportunities or amazing clients, but every couple deserves a perfect experience (you only get to do this once, after all!) and it’s my responsibility to make sure that happens even if it isn’t with me!
The second is to take room to breathe. What does that mean exactly? Well, I truly think it varies from person to person. For me, it means scheduling intentional weekends off to spend time with my husband and Granger. This month, for example, I am enjoying a bit of a break after a crazy spring/early summer and before the rush of late summer/fall begins. We are travelling to New York and Denver, but also spending time at home doing nothing but relaxing! For someone else, they may have an entirely different perspective. I know my friend Abby enjoys shooting her passion project, ballerinas, during her busy season as a way to take a break from couples portraiture. Someone else may find rejuvenation in a workshop or conference. And not one of these ways is wrong or bad! It’s just a necessary fact in life that, unless you are a robot, no matter how much you love something, you always need a brief break at one point or another. So as you find yourself feeling a lack of creativity, take a step back and look at what you need to change for the betterment of your client’s experience and your own mental health!