I love photography. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about and nothing makes me happier than being behind my camera, surrounded by nature!
If you love photography as much as I do, you’ve probably thought about going full time at some point in your life, or maybe you’re thinking about it now! It’s a great goal to have and I definitely encourage you to go all in and give it a shot!
But that being said, realistically, you may find yourself working a full-time job, either to pay the bills and fund your photography, or, if you’re like me, you love your day job just as much as you love photography!
I work 9 – 5 Monday to Friday, at an incredible nature conservation non-profit. I love my day job, and I love that I’m a part of an organization that is making a real difference for Canadian nature, even if the part I play is a small one. But working 9 – 5 means less time for photography. Especially when you consider all of the other daily errands and chores that you need to fit into your lives.
So how do you make time for photography?
Create a schedule.
Figure out what your week looks like. When are your work hours? When do you have to drop your kids off at school? When do you usually run errands?
Once you have your average week laid out in front of you, see if you can find a few gaps. You’ll want to make sure you leave some time for self-care as well, but even if you can find an hour in your week to dedicate to experimenting with your camera or going to a nearby trail to take some nature photos, it will help you get started with making sure you are doing some photography every week.
If you have a busy schedule, you may want to look at what you can move around, or where you can save some time. Can you find a friend or family member to watch your kids during a certain time? Are you able to do groceries once every two weeks, instead of every week? Be realistic about what works for you and try to find a pocket of time that you can dedicate to photography.
Maybe, rather than every week, you can only find an hour every two weeks, or once a month. And that’s totally fine! You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and turn photography into another chore that you just don’t have time for. Take it slow, fit it in wherever possible, and figure out what works best for your unique situation.
Here’s what works for me:
I don’t have kids yet, and I have a very supportive partner. So I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to have this extra time to devote to my photography. Here’s when I do most of my nature & wildlife photography:
This is my prime photography time. I usually spend my Saturday mornings out in nature, doing photography. It’s become such a norm for me that I just naturally make sure I’m free during that time to do whatever I need to do and spend however long I want to spend out in nature. I avoid committing to anything during this time, like family events or appointments, unless I absolutely have to.
If I’m unable to head out Saturday morning, then I try to make sure I go out Sunday morning instead.
I usually leave well before 7am and I’m back home by 10 – 11am-ish, which is when most of my family members begin waking up. To them, it’s like I never left!
Winter is a great time for sunrise sessions! Not only is the light amazing, but because it’s winter, the sun rises a bit later and I’m able to make a quick stop along the waterfront on my way to work.
Early mornings during spring, summer and fall are also a great time to get that sunrise golden hour light. And with the sun rising so early, you have plenty of time in the morning to spend taking photos before it’s time to head to work.
Summer is a great time for sunset sessions. With the sun setting later in the day, you have more time to deal with your other day-to-day tasks before heading out to do some photography.
I haven’t been taking advantage of this time slot recently, but when I used to work in downtown Toronto, I’d bring my camera along with me and head to local parks on my lunch breaks.