March 11, 2019
I’ve been meaning to post more often in my Freelance Life section but quite ironically… my freelance work / life has been a bit hectic of late so I haven’t had the chance. Luckily, I had a 3 hour flight with nothing to do and so challenged myself to write how I was feeling at the moment being a creative freelancer. One thing I struggle with the most – other than a good work / life balance – is staying creative as a business. I’ve talked about where to find inspiration before, and allowing yourself down or low times, but this is different for me.
I want to create wonderful work for myself and for any clients, and feel fulfilled by the work I create, and proud of it too. The business I work in (beauty, photography, blogging, digital) is so fast paced that sometimes I feel like I have to be creating constantly to keep up – even though I know from experience that this will just tire me out and I’ll be unable to create anything I like. For me it’s always when I take a step back, a deep breath and feel separated from it all that I truly create the work I love most.
I feel so lucky getting to work with all these amazing brands and to go on these wonderful trips. For me this job is all about creativity – I know for some it isn’t and that’s there prerogative – but for me my life is to create beauty. In one way or another. You might remember my post about making life itself an art at the beginning of the year, and this is my way of sticking to those goals.
I could stick to a certain formula and carry on being successful but for me that isn’t enough, I need more to feel fulfilled in my work. I suppose as a photographer I am more of an artist and so want to explore different things more often when I shoot or work with a client. I want to create unique visions that allow people to expand the way they see the world. To look at things in a different way. To broaden our minds with what we find beautiful. To show you something new. A new kind of beauty.
Or go back to an old one in some ways. That’s why I’ve been loving shooting on film a lot lately too. This heavily digital world is wonderful in that I get to share with so many of you, but I also find myself confused within it at how so many others are happy creating the same kind of work over and over and becoming part of the crowd in the work they create. For me, everyone should have a point of difference.
I want my work to speak to people and to make them feel, rather than just get a load of likes or views. Sure, that’s important from a business point of view but since my business is an extension of myself and my work, I also want to focus more on how I can keep exploring creatively while still making it a viable business. And I’ve always found that when I’m being the truest to myself, my work will always have a good reaction – rather than trying to force something that just isn’t working for me.
It’s all about a balance between creativity and how that can fit into a successful business.
I know that, as a freelancer, most of my clients come to me specifically for that ‘creative’ side to things that their brand is either focused on or lacking and need more of. Both with my photography jobs and blogging jobs – my clients work with me because I can translate their brand through my lens, and in my voice to either their or my audience.
So for me it’s about finding the happy ground between passion projects and paid work. Having ongoing passion projects alongside paid work means I keep my creativity going in a space where I’m not having to follow a brief, and discover new ways of shooting (eg my self portraits) that I can then use in my paid work. I couldn’t have a passion project if I was never paid and my paid work never grow if I didn’t have a passion project on the side. Creativity and business are separate but also they must constantly overlap.
You can see all my other Freelance Life posts here.