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Victor Habchy had it all-300,000 followers, regular contracts with Adobe and Sony, and the freedom to essentially shoot whatever he wanted. So, why did he just announce he's quitting photography for good?
Mental Health and Photography
As with any job, photography can take its toll on your mental health if you allow it to. When you're at the top of your game, traveling all over the world for shoots, editing late into the night/morning, and trying to juggle your passion and your income, it gets even harder.
Photography is different than almost all jobs because it requires creativity.
As Nathalie Sejean writes in her, "Creative Burnout is Not a Myth," article, you feel great shame when your job requires you to be creative and you're coming up empty.
Editor's Tip: Starting a photography business? Save money and buy quality used gear. You can save hundreds if you buy a used camera and used lenses, and apply those savings to investing in other gear. Better still, a great way to watch your bottom line is to sell or trade in your old gear that you no longer use. Doing so minimizes how much gear you have to keep track of, and if you sell or trade in your gear, you have some spare money to put towards upgrading your kit. It's a win-win!
Victor Habchy is facing the same dilemma.
In this Facebook post, Habchy describes the incredulity he faced when he realized people were interested in seeing more of his work. Over time, this incredulity faded and photography became something Habchy had already conquered.
He got bored. He's not excited about photography anymore. We've all been there, but maybe not just at the top of our game.
Burning Man Craze
Habchy talks extensively about how photographing Burning Man changed his life. It's changed many. Burning Man is a festival that happens every year in the middle of the desert.
Its creators are focused on creating an entirely sustainable city for just one week every year. Then, at the end of the week, all of the art that was created all year for the city is burned ceremoniously.
Obviously, Habchy had to take photos of it.
Many of the people who go to Burning Man are focused on sustainability efforts, artwork and the intersection of the two.
Habchy's photos of Burning Man tended to be extremely surrealistic. They focused on the love and sexuality displayed at the festival and the huge structures displayed in the middle of nowhere.
As a result, his photos of Burning Man are child-like.
They reminded his 300,000 followers of their innate sexuality and freedom, which is why we will miss them so much.