I have been freelancing for the past eight years and I am happy to say that I truly enjoy it. However, maintaining a healthy work-life balance and staying productive and creative can be challenging at times. Although me and my partner work together, sometimes it is difficult for both of us to escape the feeling of isolation. It is so easy to forget about the world and focus on the work alone. That's why I think it is essential to have interests outside of work, a creative outlet of sorts.
For me, that is photography. Traveling as well. Ideally both. It is a welcome break from the virtual world I live in most of the time. Every now and then, I make it a point to go out there and lose myself in photography so I can find myself again.
I started taking pictures back in my college days, when I bought my first SLR and took a photography course. I like taking pictures of streets, architecture and people just going about their businesses. There is something ethereal about it that makes me feel more connected to the real world. Being able to capture everyday life, to freeze a unique moment in time knowing that it will never happen again fascinates me. It is like I'm making a deposit into some kind of a time vault.
I was always more attracted to black and white technique though. It is almost as if the absence of colour makes the photographs even more real, bringing out the fine details, textures, light and shadow, leaving only the essence. They have that feeling of timelessness to them.
I don't consider myself to be particularly great at photography and I don't concern myself with having the best possible gear. Sometimes it's the Olympus PEN and other times it's just my smartphone. It really doesn't matter because it's a freeing experience. It's about being creative, expressing myself in a different way and not worrying about the outcome.
Having a hobby, experiencing new places and people helps me to clear my mind and it's how I recharge my batteries. It is amazing how doing something that is unrelated to your job can make you better at it.