Whether you are a full-time photographer or a weekend-warrior, there will be times when you take a break. Maybe the weather is crappy so you’ve stayed indoors, or you are immersed in other projects or activities. Or, maybe the inspiration is just not there.

Whatever it is, it’s time off from photography that you may not have wanted or planned. I will oftentimes have periods of time where I don’t even use my camera. I’m usually busy doing other things, such as writing a book or taking time off to play in my ceramics studio.

When these lapses happen, it’s easy to start feeling guilty. I tell myself things like “I should take my camera with me more when I go out” or think about all the times that I was “lazy” and stayed home on the weekends instead of photographing the sunset. I feel guilty because I’m not doing work, I’m not creating photographs, and that time is now lost forever.

But what about the things I did accomplish when I wasn’t creating photos? What about the time spent with family and fur-babies, or the hours I used towards enhancing my skills in ceramics? My creative energy was not wasted, it was redirected.

I’m done feeling guilty when my camera collects a little bit of dust. A short break never hurts, and in many ways it can be a good thing. Our work and creativity goes up and down like waves, so ride them and don’t fight them or you’ll drown.


BTW, David duChemin wrote a great post about the ups-and-downs of the creative life … click here to read it.