This great info graphic by swissmiss has been making its rounds on the internet today, first on Seth’s blog, and also on Chase Jarvis’ blog, and I recommend you read both for their individual takes on this subject. When I saw it I immediately smiled because it proves that a picture is worth a thousand words! The vast majority of my time is spent away from doing what I love most, which is exploring ways to be creative and tell stories with my camera. The longer I do this, the more I have come to realize and appreciate this is exactly what it is. And it is this clarity of defining it that helps me stay focused and motivated to handle the other aspects of the business where I spend the majority of my time. Would I love to out source some if this as Seth recommends? Sure I would, and I am slowly moving in that direction. Being smart about what you should do vs what you should get someone else to do is a vital aspect of running any business where time is the most valuable resource, and I would dare anyone to find a case where that is more true than in landscape photography.
That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the other “stuff”, on the contrary I do. The realization that I am living my dream life, and that each day I have to pinch myself that it is for real makes dealing with the “stuff” a little easier. For sure there are some great benefits – the greatest for me is that I get to spend much more time with my family. I was a stay at home Dad for the first 3 years of my son’s life, and that alone is something I would not trade for anything.
What most do not see is the endless challenge of marketing and selling your work when the mortgage depends on it. The camera seems to stay in the bag for weeks at a time. Health insurance remains out of reach. But nothing in life is guaranteed, and the time we have been given can never be replaced. Spend it wisely, strive to do what you love, and take a moment to appreciate your last breath – there are many that do not have that simple but profound opportunity. It’s all in the simple details.