• mai leoncito

Being a photographer with a full-time job

Having a full-time job and doing photography on the side is stressful yet fulfilling at the same time. For those who do not know me, I am a master of nothing. But I like to think I’m a jack of all trades. I know a little bit about many things, and when you are pursuing multiple endeavours in different directions, the going can get difficult.

My work desk

I do believe that humans are persistent — we tend to be determined to get what we want. Sadly, we sometimes push ourselves to the point that we no longer consider the consequences. When I first got into photography, my only purpose was to learn how to capture pictures for fun, as a hobby. However, as I eventually became a more passionate shutterbug, I started reading books, watching video tutorials online, and practising more, until I ultimately ended up enrolling in a basic correspondence class to learn about basic composition principles as well as manual camera settings. When I mentioned that people tend to strive harder when we are working to achieve a goal…I think that’s precisely what motivated me to get where I am right now. I find ways to acquire my equipment, knowledge and experience just because I love what I’m doing. No matter how busy I get with my job, I always try to find the time to take some photos, while making room on top of that for other pursuits, including learning how to use Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere. Not to mention outdoor activities such as snowboarding and backpacking, while along the way learning how to sew, bake and cook at the same time. No matter how busy I get, I always find a way because I love what I do.

Late night practice

Running my own business and working a full-time job made me realize how important time is. You need to know what your priorities are, and never forget to give yourself a break. I am grateful for my job because the only reason I was able to start my business is through my position. I’m hoping it will turn the other way around. Juggling a job, a home business and activities, including learning, is not easy. I salute everybody who manages to do all of that at the same time and being a parent as well! One thing I learned out of my experiences is to make a schedule for everything as much as possible. Set an hour or two aside for each activity or project that you want to do and stick to it, because that is the only way you'll get everything accomplished. I know it can be challenging, as I myself am constantly practising to improve on this. In a way, I am lucky that my job is not a 9-5 gig, and my position only requires me to get the task done. I know there will be times that I have to extend my regular hours or even work on weekends, especially if a have to complete an assignment by a specific date. But there are also days when I manage to get my workload done early, giving me some extra time to put towards my learning schedule or even just to unwind.

After my 2 baby photoshoot

If you have a full-time job and manage your own business on the side all at the same time, give yourself a pat on the back — not everybody can do that. When you feel tired, don’t feel bad. Instead, try to breathe and rest. You won’t be able to accomplish your goals if your health is ailing, no matter how strong your will. If your physical and mental well-being are deteriorating, it’s not worth it. Always make the time to properly take care of yourself, because your health is the best investment you can make for your job, business and family.

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