avoiding burnout in photography



We all get into a funk. Or am I the only one? I sure hope not. 🙂

It’s wedding season. Not to mention, its the end of wedding season. It’s very easy to just go through the motions and stop pushing yourself not only physically, but creatively. Well, yesterday, I had a wedding not unlike many of my peers around the world. I could have probably shot this wedding with my eyes closed. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. I think those of you who are active wedding shooters you know what I mean. We get comfortable. We have a beautiful bride and groom and locations we are familiar with and comfortable with and its an easy day.

Well, nothing could have been further from the truth for me. Anyone who has worked a wedding side by side with me knows I am always pushing myself to perform. Yesterday, there was a lot more pressure on me and maybe its pressure I put on myself, but regardless, it was there. See, this bride and groom are huge fans of my work. (In fact, she is probably reading this post and I love it!) To make matters more challenging, I was shooting in a location that I have shot in for the last 5+ years. I had to step up my game and really find something new. All of a sudden, as I was packing up my bags to leave the church, I looked back and saw it. All this amazing architecture staring me right in the face, but I never really look back – I am always looking forward. Also, this is a huge church, so this particular view was off to the side, yet another place I dont really spend a lot of time. When I saw it, I had to track down my couple and put them up there in the balcony!

Where am I going with all this? As creatives, we all suffer from burn out. We hit a creative wall and just need time to recharge and find that spark that keeps us going. This was a situation where I walked into an event knowing I had to think differently – I had to “see” differently! I could not let my couple down and I refused to deliver something I had already delivered from this church as an art piece for my client. I hope she loves it! I hope they see it as something unique and brilliant for their home to not only document their love, but document this gorgeous church they chose to get married in. Then, I will have done my job!

If you want to see differently, here are some things to consider when photographing an event.

  • dont go where you have been before.
  • dont go to the obvious spot. your first choice is usually the most obvious and one where everyone else will go.
  • dont go where the event planner tells you “this is where all the other photographers go…”
  • do look for leading lines. composition is your friend.
  • do “see” big. look for architecture. think big portrait not a snapshot.
  • do encourage emotion and connection with the couple. dont just make them stand there.
  • do pay attention to details.
  • do challenge yourself to be better than the last time

In the end, I just wanted to share an ah-ha moment for me this weekend and hope to inspire you to do the same. We are all artists in our own way. Find a way to challenge yourself and push yourself for both your art and your clients. The results can only be positive.

Technical Details.

//Canon 1dx

//Canon 70-200 2.8

//ISO 1600

//Shutter Speed 1/60th

//Light Sima video lights




This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Alton Strickland

    This is a David Ziser signature shot, if you follow him. Makes a beautiful image no matter who captures it. Now, I want to make my own version with my own vision. David usually shoots his in color, but I like this black and white approach. It is always a gift when the eye grabs something subconsciously that we so readily ignore mentally.

  2. Kali Ann Bauer

    This is stunning, Sal. And you hit the nail on the head regarding how to avoid burnout. I feel like especially in the northern parts of the country where wedding season is already pretty much over (along with a majority of outdoor-related anything) it’s easy to feel exhausted and lose your creative touch along with the warmth of summertime. I’m certainly trying to keep from feeling spent. But having a push every now and then like this from other creatives certainly helps 🙂

  3. Jaime

    Just Amazing! You never cease to amaze me, inspire me and challenge me to be better. Thank you!

  4. Michael Anthony

    Very nice Sal. I love it!!!!

  5. Liss

    WHAT A GENIOUS SHOT!!! …..(Isin’t a composite right)??… sure is a Panorama!, but who cares? is the idea what counts, Brilliant! What for many of us is a destination for you is just an element , Thanks for sharing.

    1. admin

      thank you! and no – this is not a composite. its a single image.

  6. Angie

    BEAUTIFUL, just like you always do…beautiful images.
    Question: where exactly did you place the lights? in the balcony, by their feet? and another light in the middle of the balcony’s floor? How far away are you placed from the couple? you seem to be standing on one of the pews due to the angle we see.
    Thanks for sharing…your work is my inspiration.

    1. admin

      my assistant is up in the balcony shining the video lights on them.

Leave a Reply

Want more content like this?

Check out our recent posts

yt-thumbnail-boudoir photography-using natural-light

Boudoir Photography Using Natural Light

Can you be creative with natural light when it comes to boudoir photography? I think you can. You just need to use the light for your portraits in a big and soft way.

Have you ever tried Creative Boudoir Photography Using Natural Light?

Posing is also very critical for the final results. When it comes to posing your portrait photography clients – especially boudoir clients – over communicating is crucial.

Read More »

Creative Beach Portraits Using Off Camera Flash

Ready for some creative beach portraits using off camera flash? In this photography training video, we are on a beach photoshoot using the new Westcott Fusion by Sal Cincotta. This product, among many other features, allows us to create a 6-ft softbox in the field with a free standing unit.

This is a great photography tutorial for seeing how we shoot step-by-step in the field using off-camera flash.

Read More »