Finding time to do what you love is always an obstacle at one point or another. We are all busy, and I don’t like to glorify busy-ness, but at the same time, it can creep into our lives unnoticed until suddenly we haven’t any time left for the things we love.
So, how do I make time to create whenever I want to create?
It isn’t always as simple as that. I am a full time business owner and photography is my main schtick, but I do a lot more than that. I love teaching and writing and trying new things. And this is the story of most people. We have love for a diverse group of things, and I am no busier than anyone else; yet still I sometimes have trouble finding time to take pictures. I feel certain that others have this problem too.
When that happens, I have one solution that I work for whenever times get a little too busy: I shoot multiple images at once.
This requires pre-production, or planning on the part of the artist to make it all come together. Chances are, no matter how busy you are, you can find one hour a week to dedicate to yourself. There are obligations we have that are 24/7, but finding that one hour a week can be all the difference in pursuing your passion or letting it sit on the back burner.
So, whenever I’m having one of those weeks, I stock up. I plan multiple shoots and I go out and get it done all at once. I will typically use the same model, easy to change wardrobe, and a location that offers a different scene per image.
An example is that I used to go to a park early in the morning with at least 3 images in mind to shoot. The light would be good longer because it was nestled in between mountains, and I would shoot one against the rocks, one in the stream, one in the forest, etc…The first time I did this the 3 images below were the result.
I did that recently with my friend Kelly and her husband Chris. They came out to visit and we went shooting in my favorite forest nearby. In the span of 30 minutes to an hour (my allotment) we shot two different pictures. I was showing them around town and doing touristy things, and I didn’t want to force them to do shoots with me the whole week. So instead I budgeted my time and we spent one hour shooting together, from setup to tear down, and it was a blast.
It was fast-paced and exciting and everyone had a job to do, so no one felt left out. Because the setups were so similar, yet with very different results, we could move quickly with little confusion.
Alternately, if I know I’m moving into a particularly busy time, I will get a lot done the week before and then pace out how I edit it or release it. For example, I am about to fly to India and then Dubai for three weeks. I have not a single day of down time in those three weeks, so I know that I need to be prepared. I want to be able to release content regularly, plus I have a weekly Monday video to keep up with! So I have already shot all of that before leaving, and I simply have to press the UPLOAD button when I am ready to share (on days that I have specified on my calendar, because I’m that much of a nut).
So if you find yourself short on time and you’re not sure how to get your ideas out, try to plan carefully so that you can shoot multiple images all at once without wasting time or energy. I love being productive like that!
Will you be searching for versatile locations and try out shooting multiple images all at once? Have you worked like that before?
Mineisha - These photos are so beautiful and meaningful. Thank you for these weekly videos, I enjoy them very much and they are incredibly helpful. You inspire me every single day.
brookeshaden - Thank you so much for saying so – that means a lot to me! Super happy that you find something useful in the videos. And if ever you have a suggestion on something you’d like to see covered, just ask! xoxo Have a beautiful week!
robin spalding - ahh this is awesome and i LOVE these videos getting to watch you work! i did this last week since shooting takes so little time i decided to do a few in at once since all my stuff was set up for it. i like doing it this way now especially for the shoots that are simple to shoot. i feel way more productive!
brookeshaden - That is wonderful Robin!
I love it for those reasons too. If I have a really complicated setup, then obviously this won’t work…but so often the shooting does take so little time for me and then…it’s great! Xo!
Tom Newforge - Those last 20 seconds on the video. Too funny.
*also FYI, I tried posting once and it only took half my comment and then the whole thing disappeared. Weird.
Anyway, I’ll try again.
So I’ve told you before that whenever I venture out into the forest I try to not only find good stand alone images but I also grab images with the intent to be part of a composite. Whether that be a single interesting cloud or an entire row of trees.
My library is growing and I’m pretty excited to take a little time soon to really jump into my own work head first. I still am trying to find my own voice and my own stories that I want to tell. I love your work and others but that’s your l
brookeshaden - Oh no! I’ll look into that. I often have trouble getting my replies to post on here..time to ask for help!
I love that you’re building your library! I can’t wait to see what you do with it. We all have a unique voice and that is the fascinating thing about creating…to see what comes out of each person.
Kristin V. - You two are the cutest soul sisters ever. As usual your images your are so soulful and beautiful, but my favorite part was seeing you and Kelly being goof balls. 🙂 Oh and Kudos to Chris for the fabulous dress tossing.
brookeshaden - Aww thanks Kristin!! We love each other 🙂 And I’m going to be seeing a lot more of her come this summer. Miss you!
Melanie - I love the image of her being enveloped by nature. So beautiful! I would love to implement this way of shooting, doing multiple images at once, especially since my time is very much not my own having a kid I don’t get a lot of time to shoot and I have so many ideas for images I want to create. This is very inspiring. Thanks, Brooke!
brookeshaden - Thank you Melanie! Show me the results when you do get out there to shoot! Sending inspiration this week!
Tom Newforge - Ok. It hates me. It jus submitted itself. Ahhhhh.
My point was that I’m still trying to decide how to differentiate myself. If I see one more HDR composite I’m gonna have a coronary.
I am going to give myself some time later this week and I will keep you posted.
For now…..it’s sending out mailers to help pay the bills. Thanks for giving me an excuse to take a break and have fun on your trips. (Although one likely isn’t for “fun” is it?)
brookeshaden - Ahh sorry!! I’m going to look into the problem asap! Xo!
Margherita Introna - Brooke, I can honestly say one major lesson I have learnt from you is to plan shoots and I have been doing so for some time now. It has made a huge difference. I used to run out and shoot from the hip with only a vague idea of what I wanted to achieve. Now I really think about what I want to shoot and why. What wardrobe I want to use, what prop and what location would be best suited… I also make little sketches and that really help when I go on location and go blank 😛 Sometimes I still shoot from the hip, but those are just added bonuses 😉 Thank you for always sharing your advice and heart with us <3
brookeshaden - Thank you so much for sharing that Margherita! Planning definitely isn’t for everyone but when it suits someone, it really works wonders. I love knowing why I’m shooting something because that’s what fills me with joy. Sending lots of inspiration to you this week!
Mary Angelini - Although I should be more methodical like you, I kind of move where the wind blows me depending on the kind of [day job] work week I have had and whether my daughter is home for a visit or not. Also it has been a bit of a hard winter here so I the things I have in mind require a little less monochromatic white and a lot more leafiness. But just so i don’t feel like I am stagnating or not devoting enough time to my photography business, I have taken to revisiting old images and practicing my Photoshop sills so I am that much more prepared when I am able to get out there and bring my visions to life…particularly with respect to color and backgrounds. his weekend was one such occasion and I way hyper productive: http://maryangeliniphotography.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/re-imagining-my-photography-through-post-processing/
brookeshaden - I love it Mary! And I don’t think at all that you *should* be more like anything! Embrace your process, whatever moves you, and go with it. Though if you are feeling like you have no time, planning can be a great method, but not necessary. I love that you’ve been creating so much despite the weather. A lot of people have been stopped in their tracks by this winter – great to see your creative mind wandering!
Mary Angelini - It has been incredibly freeing actually. I have feel unshakled by a previously held notion that post-processing is bad and like I have been let out of a cage – it’s so exciting I can’t stand it 🙂 Yes, definitely gotta get with the planning, I think I will be far more organized if I do and, thus, create better work 🙂
brookeshaden - That is fantastic! I can’t wait to see you bloom once spring rolls around 🙂
Lu - You rock Brook! you make the time work for you, and that is such a valuable thing. I also feel busyness is overrated. We spend so much time doing yet so little being. Safe travels! (I am glad to know you have your content planned…exited to see what’s next!)
brookeshaden - Thank you Lu!! “So much time doing yet so little being” – perfectly stated and something I will remind myself when I’ve suddenly found myself on Facebook for an hour. XO
thomas miles - typically when I do a shoot I do the exact same! I love how you know what you want, and go straight for it! I find that very inspiring and motivational to create photos that are beautiful! 😀
brookeshaden - That’s great! And thank you so much!
Sharon Fibelkorn Chapman - Brooke, you make my day better … always. 🙂
brookeshaden - Oh Sharon, that means so much to me!! You are such a bright soul!
Amani - Ahh Dubai! 😀 I’m so excited you have no idea!!
I have been extremely busy and it’s not shooting that takes time it’s usually the editing. It’s frustrating because sometimes I wanna ignore everything and just edit, or go shoot something new. But I can’t do that unfortunately. Usually I do only one picture per shoot, because I keep experimenting. Sometimes what I have in mind doesn’t work. Like the pose or camera angle, so I experiment till I find something that does work.
That seems like such a fun shoot though! And the pictures are beautiful. I’m so in love with the first one, I really want to buy that and hang it up in my room!
brookeshaden - I AM SO EXCITED!!! I can’t wait 🙂 At the workshop I’ll make absolutely certain that you get TONS of pics 🙂
Paulo Carvalho - Another great picture and work. What can I say? It’s awesome.
brookeshaden - Aww thank you so much Paulo!
Angela D'Amico - My dream is to have so many photo shoots to do that its the other things in life that I don’t have time for! Photography is my main priority, but of course, there is always work and school that gets in the way. Can’t wait for the day when I can completely devote myself to photography, and hopefully make a living completely on it!
I usually have something in mind when I go out to do a shoot, but I always think to myself “whatever happens, happens”. I’m going to start planning each detail out so that I’m not settling for something that I didn’t want to happen.
You’re spectacular, by the way
brookeshaden - I am excited for you Angela! I am so hopeful that you can find lots of time soon to focus on what you love 🙂
Alicia Raft - I loved the video and post! I do this with my content release and blogging, I use wordpress to schedule my updates so I don’t even have to be at my computer to upload, it just happens like magic. I like to think it brings me closer to being Hermione Granger.
I should definitely be doing this when I go shooting! I don’t think I have been thinking that way when I have models. I do it for backgrounds but never with models. Doh! Thank you again for inspiring me and making me rethink things!
brookeshaden - Hehe that is awesome!! I have often thought about doing that but get such a jolt of inspiration when I get to respond to comments, so I tend to wait until I can be there to force a dialog 😉 So glad you’ll be trying to get more model shots in!
Jen Sulak - brooke, u are like AWESOME.
brookeshaden - Tehe Jen, you are LIKE WAY AWESOME!
Vanessa - I love how you can be completely practical and still house all these amazing, wild, and inspirational ideas- it’s wonderful! Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to hear this week, after coming off of a particularly difficult shoot, that really didn’t need to be difficult. I’m going to plan stuff out from now on, I’m going to plan so hard. People will look at the shots and say: Wow, she planned the hell out of that =)
laura - Well said! I think we all make excuses way too often and I very much include myself in this category. I tried the 365 project to force myself to make time everyday to take a picture. Force being the appropriate word, I ended up dreading it and began to dislike taking pictures at this point I stopped the project. I’ve taken Friday off to do a shoot. I will try out the multiple image idea to see how it goes.
Love the pics above. I thought the first one looked like you were trapped….I’m guessing this makes me a pessimist. Also love the light on the shot of the hand and the dress detail, beautiful
Catherine Rondeau - To follow-up on what amani wrote earlier, I too struggle mostly with finding the time to EDIT my photographic material. I spend way more time in front of the computer than behind a camera. Often feel more like a computer geek than a photographer, which I confess is troubling.
I’m amazed at how prolific you are Brooke. Don’t you struggle with the post-production end of the work?
I have the hardest time determining when a composite image is complete. With the magic of Photoshop, there are so many places you can take an image, and so many ways to get lost in an image too…
If you get the chance Brooke, I’d really appreciate your feedback on the comment-question I left on your previous post about how you go about sending work to far away galleries.
Thanks and warm wishes
Tara - So as you know I have chosen you to be our Artist for this term of schooling. Lillian and I were looking at some of your work on here today for Picture study, and we saw this here. I asked her, “what do you think is happening in this work here?” and she replied.
“Theres a girl in a really pretty dress, in the forest, that is trapped in a bunch of sticks, like a ton and a ton of sticks and she is going to fall and start bleeding. And then I think some wild animals will hear the big CRASH (huge hand emphasis here) and come to see what happened and then eat her.” lol Oh my, had to share that with you! We are going to have tons of fun with the ‘narration’ of your images, I can already tell!