Loving what you do VS. Loving what you’ve done
This post was inspired by a recent chat I had with a good friend. She asked me how are things since I’ve left my day time job to do 8:45a full time. I replied how the name of the game is to keep busy [prospecting, looking at potential clients, editing] to remain busy [getting clients, shooting, producing]. She too is a creative and a really great photographer but asked:
Should I be looking to do something I LOVE? I don’t hate my job… I like it. but I can’t think of anything I LOVE to do that I would like to do it full time either.
And this is the post that is going to explain what I meant.
But before I do so, here’s my quick creative background:
- Never been to art school
- Picked up a film camera in 2003 and switched to a 2 megapixel camera in the same year and have upgraded almost every chance I get
- Blogs and magazines became my teacher
- Used torrented copies of Photoshop before upgrading to Adobe Creative Cloud while declaring “I made it”
- Made up the “creative trinity” which is Photography, Video, & Graphic Design — being adept to all 3 doesn’t make you holy by any means but surely makes you versatile especially being a one-man band
- Soon realized that the business aspect is more important in order to be a creative professional
If there’s one thing to take away from the above is that I’ve been producing photos and videos long enough to realize that I actually don’t love the things I do but that I do love what I’ve eventually done.
This is the opposite of the phrase: “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
Doing good creative work and getting paid for it is hard work. I’m not complaining but here’s a rundown of what usually happens before a production is actually completed:
Stage 01: Prospecting Stage: Client research, creative pitch, estimate, agreement
Stage 02: Pre-Production Stage: Script writing, storyboard, location scouting, casting, crew, scheduling, treatment
Stage 03: Production Stage: A long day. And most time, multiple long days.
Stage 04: Post-Production Stage: ingesting footage, backing up footage, culling footage, music selection, v1 of edit, client feedback session, v2 of edit, client feedback session, color grading, mastering sound.
As mentioned, I’m not complaining but certaintly the above is not necessarily the things I love. However, all the above and more are certainly necessary to get to my destination that I do love.
And what do I love?
Getting the satisfaction of what the well thought-out production was set to accomplish.
It may be a cop-out answer but I love hitting goals — either or both mine and/or client’s. Whether it’s to raise awareness, drive sales, increased video views or even bring tears to a viewer’s eyes, hitting the intended goal of the piece is what I love.
And at the end of the day, I ulimtately take pride of what my team and I created and accomplished.
Coming back to my friend’s question of “Should I be looking to do something I LOVE?” I say the question should be “What is something I’ll love once completed?” or “What is something I can take pride in accomplishing?”
And yes, doing enough of loving what you’ve done can eventually be loving what you do.