When your passion is your job: the 'Meh' syndrome

Turning your passion into a full-time job. It's a lot of people's dream. Everyone deserves to wake up energized, ready to conquer their day with a smile and be happy to start working. We are part of the "lucky" ones, we've made it happen by opening Scandaleuse full time a year ago. Yet, being a photographer full-time (or any creative careers for that matter) can also burst your creative bubble.

 
 "Submerged: Pisces / Aquarius" by  Deanna Colosimo

"Submerged: Pisces / Aquarius" by Deanna Colosimo

 

Meet your Little Muse

I like to think that we all have a little muse that follows us around. I picture mine as a mini-me who throws ideas out of nowhere. She's the one that's like "hey let's cover that model in pink glitter and put her under the rain okay? It'll be awesome!!". She has taken me on some glorious photoshoots, and sometimes, I have had to ignore her because seriously, this idea was way too insane. But the thing with muses is that if you shut them up too often, they just go somewhere else. See you sucker.

We wrote a blog post a while ago about dealing with creative funk when you are doubting your work and feel like you can't seem to produce anything good. Well this is a different kind of funk: it's the "meh" syndrome. Your drive has been AWOL, like it's on a vacation in Mexico or something. And Fanny and I have contaminated.

The "meh" wall is silently building itself.

Without you noticing. Sneaky SOB.

Truth is, we have been insanely busy with both of our boudoir and wedding divisions, working our first wedding workshop, booking sessions, finding new locations, taxes, admin tasks. There is no one else but us behind Scandaleuse, so naturally we have to take care of the not-so-fun stuff on a regular basis. No surprise here, welcome to Managing your business 101.

Anyway, it felt like something was wrong but I just didn't know what it was. I have been feeling constantly tired, my excitement for our current projects was close to the ground. The energy I had for new projects was slowly being shattered by real life, unnecessary stress and unreliable people (YES I SAID IT!), making the process a lot less enjoyable. Picture your little muse pulling on your sleeve to get attention and you flicking her away because, hey, you don't have time, alright?!.

The "oh sh*t" moment.

I was sitting in my living-room/office, scrolling through Instagram & Pinterest and I realized I was dodging any beautiful and creative posts from other photographers. Why? Because it gave me a weird feeling in my stomach that I had been shutting down for a little while. The ugly truth is that I was feeling envious. Envious of artists showcasing their awesome work when I felt like mine was just "meh". I was not looking at other peoples' work because I didn't want to see better work than mine. After all, we pride ourselves to push our own creativity limits here and this made me realize that we hadn't done it in what felt like an eternity. I mean reeeeally done it.

We had just stopped putting our creativity first. Which is super ironic, considering that our creativity is our bread and butter. It is why people hire us to begin with.

But life got in the way, we are dealing with other things that, yes, need to be done, but have been taking all of our time, leaving no room for brainstorming crazy ideas like we used to. The only moment my drive was back was when we were actually shooting with a client, I guess Little Muse is responsible for that too.

 
Double-exposure-creativity-boudoir-jessie-lam-toronto-yoga-scandaleuse-photography.jpg
 

It is time to grab the bull by its horns.

We have been thinking outside the box our entire lives and there is no way that Scandaleuse becomes "just" a job with standard quality. We swore to make it exceptional for every session (that's actually why we shoot in different locations) and we lost sight of it for a second.

Making your passion your career involves turning it into something quite commercial to appeal to the masses. Because hey, you gotta make some $$$, your work needs to be consistent, and not everyone wants an insane photoshoot concept.

But we need to make a crazy idea come to life once in a while. We need to do shoots for fun and more importantly: we need to make time for it. So I started my own list of super cool ideas for shoots that may not happen immediately, but are here when I will need them. I have put one into place already, and I had forgotten how much fun putting together different photoshoot styles is. It is thrilling and I know I want to live my life that way.

Little Muse is back, baby, and she's ready to rock.

Subscribe to our mailing list & get our feel good gift!