Down Time

One of the biggest challenges any freelancer faces is time management. There are weeks when I don’t seem to have enough hours in the day, barely leaving time for sleep. And there are weeks where everything seems eerily quiet, no one is expecting much of anything from me. The busy weeks are easier, certain things need to get done and I do them. The challenge always lies in how I use my down time. [tweetmeme source=”callielipkin” only_single=false]

Three things that tend to take the back burner when I am busy are business maintenance (filing, archiving, accounting, etc), advertising/promotion (updating portfolios, planning promotions, setting up portfolio reviews) and planning personal shoots (for my portfolio and otherwise). These categories alone seem like a full time job, so it’s important to make a little time for them while I am busy so I never get too behind. They also make up the bulk of my down time. Of course, planning my own shoots is the most fun. For the past few years, I have tried to spend the summer and fall testing new portfolio images, and the winter and spring making images (or videos) for what I would consider personal projects. This has worked really well for me because winter is usually a good time to get recharged creatively. Scheduling both personal and portfolio building shoots throughout the year helps a lot when down time creeps up because I always have something to look forward to.  It’s much easier to do the advertising/promotion elements when there is new photography to promote.  The best reward is being asked by my clients to incorporate techniques from my own work into their projects.

Now I just need a clever way to get excited about paying bills…


Assignment Chicago

I ran into Alex Garcia, an old friend and Chicago Tribune photographer, at an APA event the other night and he told me about a blog he has been working on for the past year.  Its called Assignment Chicago.  There are a lot of great posts about the challenges of being a photographer on there that I found interesting, and of course there are great photos on there too.