Photography: time out – burnout

It had been your hobby, your passion, your love, but “suddenly” you don’t care about photography any more. You are fed up.

You feel burned out.

You know that you have lost, that had been part of your life, but you don’t know, how to get it back or whether you want to get it back at all.

You only know one thing for sure ……


… there is a time out.

You don’t want to take your camera any longer, you don’t want to take any photos any longer, ideas gone, creativity gone – nothing is left.


Well, looking at all the ups and downs, when one is working on photography, a situation like this happens all the times and nearly everyone is sooner or later confronted with it.

Sometimes it doesn’t only happen once – there are even repetitions.

Many just need a rest – a time out –  and afterwards start again.

But some also give up for ever, regarding their time with photography as a nice but closed chapter/part within their life.


All this never happens “suddenly”.

It is the result of a long process, of quite a lot of time and events having passed before. And finally happens, that is the straw to break the camel’s back and then it is like an avalanche.


There are many different reasons for a time out/burnout.

It might be that one is already in a difficult personal situation, why ever, and thus there are already negative emotions of all kinds.

It might be that one feels that there are limitations to what can be achieved personally in photography and that one isn’t satisfied with the results, one can achieve.

It might be that one feels or thinks that the own photography is not rewarded, however, like e.g. no or only little attention paid to it, no success, no money etc..

It might be that one doesn’t have any encouragement any more to take photos, because whatever idea or whatever photo subject, everything has already been tried out or shot by others as such– there are more than millions of photos all around.

It might be that one has dreamt of working creatively and then has to work in restricted limitations, because e.g. clients want it differently or in order to earn the living standard shootings become a more or less mechanical routine.

It might be that one doesn’t want to be a “no-name”, why ever, any more – and doesn’t want to invest any more money or time or efforts just to be a “no-name” further on, just to be one in the mass of photographers, known to a few people, if lucky.

And so on.


Time out/burnout – what can be done ?

Because there are many different reasons, why there is a time out/burnout, it’s just not possible to give any concrete advices or tips – it depends on you personally and your situation. Thus it is very individual as well as any help can only be individual.

Very generally only this can be said/ recommended:

A time out is a rest that you needed – thus take it as a rest! Try not to think or feel anyhow negative about it – there isn’t anything negative about it at all. Take it as sort of a holiday and enjoy it as much as you can. Remind that creativity always needs a break from time to time – it is not a machine working on high speed nonstop.

Take your time! Take all the time you need for your decision, whatever decision it will be finally. The time might be a few weeks e.g., but it might also be months or even some years – thus never set yourself a time limit like “If I don’t take my camera again within … or until …, I won’t take it ever again and stop photography.”

Don’t put yourself under any pressure – don’t force yourself to take new photos when you don’t really want it, when you don’t really want to take any photos at all, whatever kind of ! You have to be convinced yourself to shoot again, not persuaded.

Don’t ever forget that you are you – you are an individual and thus can’t be compared with anyone else. As well as your photography can’t be compared – it is always individual like you, sometimes more, sometimes less –  but always at least basically.

Whatever your decision will be – it is yours only! No one lives your life but you yourself.


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