This is my first column and I’m honored to be asked to write for The Photo Life.
Here’s a brief introduction of my own photo life. Think of it as a job description of sorts.
I’m a father of three small children, a husband and the owner of a photo studio in Colorado Springs, a decent-size city.
My photo life comes in three parts and each part enhances the other.
First, I’m a parent. With my wife’s help, we keep our kids, ages 7, 4, and 2, in a regular routine. We make sure they are prepared for the day ahead. When we can, we try to mold them into responsible, conscientious and intelligent human beings. It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. It’s also very much a team effort. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my wife and business partner Cathy.
Second, I take pictures and run a photography business with Cathy. We’re very small. Just the two of us. We photograph weddings at just a handful of locations. And I can proudly say we have a super-efficient, super-simple way to make our clients happy (over-the-moon kind of happy) and that’s huge. Most of clients travel here to get married. It’s a beautiful place and we pinch ourselves every day to know we have such a scenic location to photograph in.
Third, I balance my photo life with something other than husbandry or photography. In my case, it’s golf. I work as a starter-marshall at one of the country’s premier golf courses. A starter-marshall is like an air-traffice controller for the golf course. I get to work outside, which I love and I get to know the golfers. It’s much-needed face time after a day in the office editing photographs. Here’s another nice thing. I don’t have to think about photography one iota. That is unless I want to. I just work a couple of days a week and I have the privilege of playing at the golf course when I want.
It’s a crazy balancing act, but it works and that’s the point I wanted to make. We are in the incredibly lucky position of choosing our profession AND choosing our lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be all photography, all of the time. And it shouldn’t be.
Small suggestion: Find something to balance your photo life and make it un-photographic. Unless, that is, you really want to. For me, the better part of my adult life has been concentrated on photography and building a photography business. A couple of years ago I decided to stop focusing so much on photography and my life is noticeably better.
I’m happy. Over-The-Moon kind of happy. And it all comes from finding a balance.
So, don’t wait until its too late to enjoy the fruit of your labors. Find an escape and make a photo life for you that keeps things balanced. Take it from me, you will be happier.
In the comments section, I invite you to suggest other passions and obsessions beside photography or the business of photography that makes you happy. What keeps you balanced in your life and makes each day that you photograph all the more sweeter?
About Sean Cayton:
Sean Cayton is a wedding photojournalist of 15 years and operates a successful, award-winning wedding photography studio in Colorado Springs. Sean is happily married to the love of his life (also his business partner) and is father to three beautiful children. When he’s not working, Sean can be found outside flying kites with his kids, hitting golf balls or casting a fly rod to hungry trout.