photographer recovers from burnout (written for creative folks)

The person who creates from the noise simply adds to the noise. The person who creates from a place of listening, however, can actually make something worthwhile and enjoy his work in the process.

-Michael Gungor, ‘the Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse’




warning: this post is way more personal and rambly than most of what I post on here. If you genuinely want to know more about what’s going on in MY personal life- or if you are a creative soul who’s ever hit a brick wall and can identify with that feeling- read on! If you’re really just here for cool pictures, well, scroll really fast, I’ll throw a few in.  😉

I took last week off.

I needed it.

Like, REALLY needed it.

Businesspeople get burnt out by being in a constant state of connecting, orchestrating, planning, selling… artists get burnt out by pressure, by creative dry spells, and really, just by themselves. The mind of an artist is worse than any 11 headed, fire breathing, Justin Bieber crooning, used car salesman, dragon-demon-monster that you could conjure.

And businesspeople run the risk of wearing everyone AROUND them out by being mentally withdrawn and seeing everything in such a practical light that emotion is shut out completely. (My wife calls this ‘business mode’ and HATES it when I’m in that state of mind).

When you find yourself in the precarious situation of having to be both things at once- an ‘artist’, who is also running a business- I won’t lie, it can be a bit much.

That makes me sound ungrateful, which I’m not. I have a job in which I get to sit in a local coffeeshop much of my workweek. I get to interact with fantastic people. I have the honor of having an employee that loves her job and does it well. I found something I love to do, and I’m DOING IT, full time. My work is fun, rewarding, unique. And, for the most part, it puts bread on the table and supports my little family. I don’t take any of that for granted. I’m thankful, beyond thankful, in a state of praise to God who granted me this life.


bryndi maternity session, springfield mo family & baby photographer, 9art photography30b


But it’s hard. It’s hard to market yourself. It’s hard to be a photographer in one of the fastest growing fields in the country. ‘Everybody and their dog has a good camera and thinks they’re a photographer now’, you hear people say.

Well, it’s true. Everybody. And their dog. I got underbid on a commercial shoot by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier last week. And by a poodle just this morning.

ok, ok, it’s not THAT bad yet. But I don’t want to lie… sometimes, business is slow. It’s a competitive field, and I don’t want to build up a facade, in which everyone thinks ‘wow HE’S got it made! he must be ROLLING in it!’ because, truth be told, I’m not. It’s one of the hardest summers yet.

But in the end… I love what I do. I’m called to do this. God will provide. And the jobs will trickle in as they always do.

So why the rant? Why this personal?

It’s the result of a whole lot of soul searching this past week. I’d hit a wall… my creativity waning, my focus gone, anxiety clouding my days. It’s a dark place to be.



I got some answers this last week. I got some refreshment for my soul. I got away from the noise. I re-connected to my maker. I re-learned how to appreciate the ART side of what I do by appreciating the existence of art to begin with.

How’d I start that process? And, to echo another friend of mine also combatting a creative slump, how do you RE-SET yourself as a creative person?

That’s just one question out of many. There are so many questions for artists… and by artists, I mean anyone with even an inkling of creativity (and honestly, that includes businesspeople too).

I’d like to help answer some of those questions. Not because I HAVE all the answers by any means whatsoever, but because I’m on a quest to find them, and am discovering some helpful resources on the way. I’d like to designate a post here and there, on this blog, to fellow artists.



So keep an eye out. More to come. In the meanwhile, as always, we’ll have more work from recent shoots, as well as some new ideas rolling in for 9art, including a limited edition Joplin prints series.

And if you are an artist- whether established or novice- if you are someone who loves to create- I would love to connect with you.



  1. Your transparency is refreshing. Thank you. For this post and for being my friend. I believe, at least for me, discussing the burnout and obstacles is incredibly helpful. I look forward to your future posts!

  2. Pingback: SUCCESS, or 4K on FB :: an awesome nothingness (artist post #1) « 9art photography - joplin, missouri

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