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Wedding Photography Burnout: Signs, Prevention, & Recovery

It’s hard to let your creativity flow when you are feeling burned out. And in a field like wedding photography, you are expected to be both creative and calm. As you move past the excited newbie phase, the hurdles can become more challenging, timelines more complex, and schedules more chaotic if you don’t find the right balance. The wedding photography industry can be equally exhausting as it is alluring. And the constant grind and hustle of running a wedding photography business can sometimes keep you at work for long hours, leading to wedding photography burnout. So if you are one of those wedding photographers struggling to find balance while trying to run a successful wedding photography business, this blog can help you create that work-life balance.

The Signs of a Burnout

Infographic stating wedding photography burnout is a real thing and can be draining

Wedding photography burnout is real and can be mentally draining. But before going ahead with learning how to avoid or deal with it, it is crucial to understand the signs of burnout.

  • Physical and Mental Exhaustion: Exhaustion is one of the most prominent signs or indicators of burnout. It isn’t feeling tired but a feeling of constant tiredness and mental and physical fatigue, resulting from work overload, lack of replenishment, stress, time pressure, etc. Exhaustion is a stage where you feel entirely used up, and any new work-related task (however minimal) can appear overcomplicated and uninteresting.
  • Cynicism: Finding yourself psychologically distancing and detaching from what once fueled your creativity and energy can result from cynicism. Whether or not you are in a creative field, it can leave you feeling bored and, in some cases, even negative towards work, colleagues, and new projects.
  • Inefficacy: Another sign of burnout is having a sense of inefficacy. It can also extend to a feeling of lack of control or productivity. For wedding photographers, it can resonate with not feeling good enough or feeling a lack of accomplishment.

5 Tips to Avoid Reaching the Burnout Stage

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way to bring awareness and focus to your breath and the present moment, distancing the response or reality from the point-of-view of reactions, judgment, and interpretation. Practicing mindfulness can help you train your brain to stay calm in difficult situations and scenarios. Thus, letting you face challenges with a better and more positive mindset.

2. Take Time Off Work

Spending nights and days at work can leave you feeling more drained than productive. Your time off work is how you recharge, reconnect with family and friends, and rest. All of these things are necessary to have a healthy professional life, making it essential to have a balance between work and personal life.

3. Practice Saying “No”

Infographic stating practice the art of saying no when you need to

For entrepreneurs, it is great to have a “yes” or “can do” mindset, but it is equally important to practice saying “no” when need be. From irrational discount requests to unattainable timelines, it is crucial to know when to draw the line. Saying no to things that don’t contribute positively to your business or your well-being will direct you towards things that do.

4. Outsource

A lot goes behind running a successful wedding photography business, and photography is just the tip of the iceberg. Editing, printing, marketing, accounting, blogging… the list goes on. And it is only wise to spend your time doing what you do best and what fuels your creativity and outsource the rest. Is the do-it-yourself (DIY) lifestyle cheaper? Mostly, yes! Will it also leave you missing family gatherings, fun outings, and new opportunities? More often than not. So, leave some aspects of your wedding photography business to experts who can dedicate all their energy to them.

Related Read: The Best Decision You Could Ever Make For Your Photography Business

5. Make Time for Your Passion Projects

Even though you are passionate about wedding photography, venturing into it, you will soon find that there are things that fuel you more than others. In the rush of booking weddings after weddings, take out some time for your passion projects – be it experimenting with a unique photography style, doing small weddings, elopements, or adventure sessions, or a hobby that excites you. It is only human to spend time doing things that fuel you, and it is a natural way to de-stress.

Tips To Recover From a Wedding Photography Burnout

Sometimes, all of us find ourselves in situations that are inevitable. If you happen to find yourself feeling burned out, help yourself recover by trying out the following tips. Note that recovery can take time, but it starts with one step at a time.

1. Indulge in Self-Care

Infographic stating indulge in self care to rejuvenate your mind and body

One of the best ways to revive and rejuvenate yourself is to indulge in self-care. Some of the ways of doing that are eating healthy, exercising, journaling, nature walks, taking out time for self-reflection, etc. The key is to be more intentional about your time off. The pattern of constantly using up and burning out your energy to the point of exhaustion will only lead you to the burnout stage.

Related Read: Wedding Photographers — Kick Pain & Stress Out Of Your Life With Yoga

2. Maintain Healthy Sleep Habits

A poor sleep schedule can be deteriorating for your health. Where a good night’s sleep can make you feel energized and refreshed the following day, not being able to sleep well can leave you feeling agitated and uninspired. Having a good sleep cycle is one of the most important factors of your mental well-being. Moreover, sleep deprivation can affect brain functions that impact cognition, productivity, and concentration.

3. Seek Support

Exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy – coping with all these signs of burnout can sometimes make even simple day-to-day actions overwhelming. In moments like these, it is okay and equally necessary to seek support from your mentors, friends, family, or a professional.

4. Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is always a good business practice to follow, but it should be the top-most priority when it comes to recovering from wedding photography burnout. Especially when your to-do list never seems to end. In fact, having a poor work-life balance in the first place is one reason that significantly contributes to burnout.

5. Delegate Work

The DIY lifestyle can be an exciting start for a beginner. However, it might not be the most sustainable option in the long run, especially when you are burned out due to work. The smarter option – as we stated above – is either to outsource to experts or delegate some parts of your work to team members.

6. Remember What Makes you Happy

Bringing back the focus to things that make you happy (whether it is personal or at work) is one of the ways to keep your mind centered towards a sense of joy and happiness. Moreover, being burned out can drain your energy, making taking out time for things that fuel you all the more important.

Recovery Takes Time

Infographic stating recovery from burnout takes time but you should take all the time you need

If you are in the wedding photography burnout phase, it may feel like it is hard to break through it – but know that recovery is a process that takes time, but you will get there. Remember that “recovery is not a race. You don’t have to feel guilty if it takes you longer than you thought it would.” If you think you might have some signs of burnout, take out time to pause, recharge, and act to redirect your life towards a happier and healthier work cycle.

Here at ShootDotEdit, we understand what it takes to run a successful wedding photography business. And so we strive to help you by reducing your post-production workflow by taking editing off your list. To learn more about how we can help, check out our pricing plans.


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