Friends, it’s time to take a long, hard look at how you are feeling right now, at the end of busy season.
A great practice that I encourage all photographers to do, is to journal how they feel. I want you to do a brain dump of all the emotions and thoughts you have at the end of the year. Like most brain dumps, I am sure it will be all over the place, and that is OK! Just trust the process and start writing.
Maybe you are a mix of both positive and negative emotions. That is totally normal too! You can be both grateful and exhausted. Or both overjoyed and frustrated.
Another thing I want you to add to this journaling session is a list of what worked and what failed? Did you book too many mini sessions? Not charge enough for them? Maybe you need to hire an assistant to help next fall. Maybe you should consider outsourcing all the editing next year. Did you LOVE one of the locations you used? Did you get a lot of print sales and upgrades? Write it all down.
After you have alllllll the thoughts down. I want you to set it as a reminder in your phone. If you are an Iphone user then you will do this:
Open the Reminders app on your phone
Tap + “New Reminder”
Click the blue “I” and turn on “Remind me on a day”
Select a date MONTHS from now and make sure to change the year to next year. Choose a date near whenever you will be starting to think about setting up your fall calendar. For me, that would be mid-August.
Enter your journal entry information. If you used the notes app to create it then you can simply copy/paste into your reminder.
Confused on what you just did? Well, your current self is setting your future self up for success. Come next summer when you are starting to organize your fall schedule and possibly set mini session dates, you will get this, long-forgotten reminder. You will open it up and be transported back to how you are feeling right now.
If you are drowning right now, you will be reminded not to book as many sessions.
If you are feeling underpaid right now, you will be reminded to raise your rates next fall.
If you wish you would have outsourced your editing, then you can start setting that up for next year.
Many photographers struggle with burnout at the end of the fall season. We float through the holidays just completely fried and barely enjoy ourselves. But then a lot of us are bored in January and February and by the time things start to pick up in March, we are ready to roll. When the summer months roll around we are ready to make the big bucks and start planning for fall without even stopping to think about what worked or completely failed the year before.
And that is where we go wrong. That is where the biggest mistake is made.
Next fall should be better than this one. Take your experience this year and grow. Make it better next year. Newsflash, you don’t have to end the year feeling burned out! You can put things in place so that you cruise through your fall season feeling good and loving life.
I encourage you to try this. I promise, your future self will thank you!