6 Phases Of A Successful Photography Lifestyle Design

Ever thought of recreating your life? If you could put everything else aside, and start over today doing exactly what your heart desires, what would you do? That increasingly is the focus of articles, books and even large production movies (think Eat, Love, Pray).

1. Dream
It’s easy to dream about a different life. Pick up a book and read it, and its easy to put yourself into the shoes of the character. If you’ve seen the movie or read the book Eat Love Pray, it’s easy to look at her life as something you would love to do. Escape the same old routine and head off to Italy, India and Bali for a year to “find youself”. But is that dream really for you? Are you the type that could survive in India? Or would you just prefer a different career choice, living where you are now?

Different people have different dreams. It’s not about the fancy ideas or the unbelievable possibilities. Your dreams need to be unique to you and focused on things you can actually see yourself doing. Scott Webb wrote a great post on Photography Lifestyle Design where he ditched the cubicle life, and concentrated on his passion for photography. He got locked into the “job” mentality that so many of us do, and describes his 8 years of corporate life as sleepwalking. For him, his dream is to photograph, and he’s taken it to the next level.

2. See it
Once you start dreaming about a different lifestyle, its easy to dream of a million different things. Riding camels across the deserts in Egypt. Living on the beach in the Caribbean. They all sound great, but can you actually see yourself doing it? Could you REALLY pick up and move, and accomplish your dreams?

You have to move beyond looking at the possibilities, and put yourself into the dream. Would you be happy to move away from family and friends, and try out a new country? Has traveling always been a must in your lifestyle? Or do you prefer the close community you already have – you just want more time to enjoy it? Put yourself into the picture, and make sure you believe what you see.

3. Acknowledge it
Once you see it in your mind, its time to take the next step and acknowledge it. How can you place your new ideas into your current lifestyle?

Ever tried creating a vision board? I first learned of vision boarding in a class I took with Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. The idea is simple. Take pictures, magazine images, graphics, words and combine them into a vision board that you can display in your home of office. Something that gives you tangible representation of what you want to accomplish. Want to own an Audi TT convertible? Take a picture of you behind the wheel of one, and put it onto your vision board. Want to be featured as a top photographer in National Geographic? Take a National Geographic cover, and put your name on it symbolizing you as a featured photographer. Put that on your vision board. Your vision board will help you see it every day, acknowledge what you want your life to look like, and make you want to take the next step.

4. Take action
Looking at your future is easy. It’s effortless to imagine what your future holds for you. The difficult part is to take a step towards that future. Taking action means that you are ready to change, put everything aside in order to move to a new position in your life. It may mean moving half way around the world. Or letting go of a 9 to 5 job with a regular paycheck. Or saying goodbye to old friends and allowing a new set of peers to fill your time. Taking action can be one of your most difficult tasks because it causes you to change.

Yet taking action is the only way to design your new lifestyle. Look for new mentors that can help you. And do a little each day – just one step that will help you break through your fears, and build up the excitement for the future. Some of the tasks may include:

  • Choose a domain name for a new website
  • Choose a company name
  • Design a logo for your new business
  • Book a one week trip to a destination you are thinking of moving to
  • Read a book or invest in a mentoring session of someone who took a similar road
  • Hire a lifestyle coach for a strategy session
  • Invest in new equipment (camera, computer, technology, etc)

5. Put it into place
As you accomplish each task, you’ll quickly find yourself paving the path towards your goal. At some point your goal will be closer than your past. That’s when you know you’ve made it. That’s the point where there is no turning back.

That’s the point when you walk into your bosses office and quit your 9 to 5 job, because you know you’re photography business will make enough for you to survive.

That’s the point when you sell your home because your flight to your new life leaves in 30 days.

The future looks bright, and there simply isn’t any room to look back.

6. Adapt and change
Once your new life is in place, the dreams start in again. There’s no stopping them. You’ve accomplished one thing, it worked, and you love it. Now what? It’s time to start the process over again.

That’s the great thing about life, its always changing. As long as you look for new ways to enjoy what life offers, and see what else you can do with challenges, you’ll always be ready for the dream.

What’s your dream?

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clientexperience@todaysgrowthconsultant.com' About Virtual Photography

We're the co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com and have been writing on this blog since 2004. We started Virtual as a way to help photographers stretch beyond a part time income, and develop strategies to become a Five Figure Photographer or a Six Figure Photographer. Ultimately its all about lifestyle, and if your goal is to live as a photographer 24/7, we think you should have the knowledge and the tools to do so. Welcome!

  • Scott Webb

    I meant to comment on this great article a while ago, but I was on my honeymoon! Building a life around photography is amazingly exciting now that I’ve made the full out decision. Projects start to emerge and a focus seems to lock in.

    Phase 2 is probably the longest phase… I am certain this is where most people will stick. It’s tough to get out of too. How I feel I broke out of it is to realize that you can do all the ‘lifestyle design’ principles without the move, without constant travel. Everything can be done in your own city withing out moving…. it might sound really silly but I think about exploring any place as if you’ve arrived as an astronaut from another planet. You’d explore everything, everywhere, and see with fresh eyes.

    Figuring out the “business side” is but phase 4 is great advice for getting moving.

    Really great information and I was surprised that you mentioned my article. Amazed really. Thanks!

  • Thanks Scott – and congratulations on your recent marriage!