Time Management

Remember in high school, sitting at the sidelines watching the A-student/jock/popular girl or boy in action?  How they seemed to have everything going for them, and everyone loved them in spite of themselves because they truly were great?  (If your brow is wrinkled in puzzlement at this point and you are thinking, “what is she talking about?” then you were probably one of those popular people yourself.  Read on for the perspective from the sidelines).  Of course, those students had their own issues, but it sure didn’t look like it from this side of the fence. 

 Fast forward a couple of decades.  Where are those people now?  Running the universe, most likely.  Well, we mere mortals are down on Earth, juggling the work/life balance.  I think part of the trick to becoming a Master of the Universe is effective time management.  For me, effective time management is not ‘workaholic’ but rather being a hard-worker who knows when to take time for family and oneself. 

 And yet I sit, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of administration and upkeep required when running your own photo business.  (My 4×5 camera still sits patiently in its little silver box, in the dark, in the basement.)  With the digital era, a lot of this admin is created by the multiplicity of sites available (or even required) to plug your work:  facebook, flickr, your website, other photo-forums, your blog….It seems that, to succeed in the internet age, you must be online all the time, updating, tweeting, sharing and blogging.  My business is 20% shooting and 80% show-and-tell.

 Lest you think this is merely an exercise in Complaining & Venting, I will put this out there to anyone who has some thoughts on the subject:  how necessary is it that photographers are involved with each or any of the following for their business?

  • flickr
  • facebook
  • home websites
  • a presence on photo forums
  • Twitter
  • a blog
  • (fill in the blank)

 Are we all just victims of the digital era where a rash of superficial content is spread all over cyberspace in lieu of meaningful, deeper works?  Or is this the best way to promote your business in the digital era?

Any Masters of the Universe out there, feel free to chime in on how you manage your time to be effective at juggling all of this (I’m talking to you, Brangelina).  Those of us on the sidelines would love to know!

Well, this is the best I could do for my Monthly shooting assignment for July.  This is some grassy plant I don’t know the name of by our front door.  Hey, at least I got out!  I’ve jazzed up the image with a little Orton and bleach bypass in Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete to compensate for a rather blah image.

Grass by my front door

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~ by Samantha on August 6, 2009.

4 Responses to “Time Management”

  1. Sam, the trick is to be the master of YOUR universe. Use the tools for what they do well – get your name and your message out. My experience so far shows very significant diminishing returns on time spent in these forums. You get 80% of the benefit just posting a portfolio and the occasional update. Another 10% comes from participating in discussions you find interesting and commenting on work that inspires you. The last 10% can eat up every spare moment you have. Ask yourself if it’s worth it.

    What keeps me sane is to constantly remind myself why I’m doing this to begin with. We make time to eat and sleep to sustain life. Similarly, make time to spend outdoors to sustain your creative soul. Without it, what’s the point? 🙂

    Guy

  2. Hey Guy!

    Thanks for stopping by. I see we have a serendipitous moment about these online applications….But I have been recently lost in a quagmire about whether I am doing the best I can for my business. So good to hear your own thoughts on these forums.

  3. The other way to look at this is what is your goal. Once you have figured this out, you can devote proper time to any of these forums…or none at all.

  4. Hi Sam,
    Don’t waste your time with the internet stuff. Here is a sure fire way to get to the top of Google search engine. Update your website regularly and make sure you have lots of key words. I just changed my web building software to the Mac, iweb and lost my ranking. It seems I can’t add keywords in iweb.

    The key is to get out there and photograph. I guess what I am saying is build a data base of outstanding photography. Once you have a large collection. You now can build your business. Before you can sell a product , you must have a product.

    I noticed your theme on trees, that is what I am talking about.

    You cannot rush becoming a great photographer. It is a slow process and takes time.

    As you travel far don’t forget your back yard. Some of best shots were taken in my back yard. Courtney Milne has a project where he photographs at a pond close to home.

    Sometime photography can be a lonesome profession, so it helps to talk to other professional to lift the spirits.

    We are all going through tough business times as photographers. Hang in there, it will get better.

    Just my thoughts.

    David Lilly Photography

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