I’m in one of the busiest periods of my career. My business is growing and I’m taking on more and more exciting jobs. The automatic self deprecation which is woven into my English DNA is urging me to talk it down somewhat and dampen my own sense of enthusiasm – but no, dammit, it’s awesome and I’m loving every minute. After several years of uncertainty and doubt, my work is paying off and I’m achieving my goals. *End of self-back-patting*
Managing growth is a challenge. Truly. The me of 3 years ago would roll my eyes and say something like ‘Oh, poor thing’ – and the me of now sympathises. It is of course very difficult starting out. But it doesn’t necessarily get easier as you get more established. I have a whole new set of difficulties now: maintaining quality across a number of projects; avoiding burnout; defining exactly what it is I want to do; increasingly unwieldy bookkeeping/business commitments; relationships with contractors/agencies; having a life….the list goes on.
One of the things which I’ve found to be really important in busy times is to keep having fun. Ask yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. I love making videos – telling stories, piecing together imagery and sound, eliciting an emotional response in an audience. Just because it’s my job doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing it just for fun. Away from client expectations, deadlines and all the other constraints that paid work entails, personal projects are a great way to let off steam and experiment. Also, it makes you better. Every moment you are experimenting, you’re learning new things which can then be taken back and applied to your client work.
Last week I got together with close friend and colleague Denis Smith to shoot a Behind The Scenes video for one of his photo shoots. As well as working with me as a co-creator on many video projects, Denis is also running a thriving stills photography business. He has a natural talent to shoot portraits which show people as they really are, informal, relaxed and doing something they love. His model on this occasion was Angie, a young lady who loves sneakers just as much as glamorous dresses. What a great opportunity to have some fun and craft a video which is completely different to my recent client work.
I couldn’t stop smiling after I made this. I took that energy and sense of renewal and went back to the client work. Everything seemed easier, I hit my deadlines and the clients loved the results. There’s a lesson for me in that.
Check out the video here!