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About Your Mental Health and Photo Editing Work

PostPro Team

Image by Wasath Theekshana

In the photo and video industry, it is not uncommon to hear about people struggling with mental health issues. A recent study found that 89% of photo and video creators in the UK and US have experienced mental health issues on the job. On average, these professionals spend three times as much time in front of the computer as they do actually producing new work.

In the industry, long working hours are one of the biggest problems, and they've become too normalized. There is less family time, less time for self-nourishment, and more nervous breakdowns, but on the other hand, for professional photographers, the more images they take, the more work they have ahead, but their contempt for editing can not dictate how many images they take.

There are a number of reasons that can lead to mental health issues in those working in the photo and video industry. First and foremost is the long working hours. This can be extremely draining and can lead to burnout. Additionally, many creators find it difficult to grow their business due to the overwhelming amount of work. This can lead to feelings of frustration and despair. Finally, many creators do not get the recognition they deserve for their work, which can lead to a sense of isolation and low self-esteem.

There are a number of things that busy photographers can do to avoid mental health issues. If you feel like that is you, keep reading.

There are a number of things that busy photographers can do to avoid mental health issues. If you feel like that is you, keep reading.

Image by Portuguese Gravity

First, you can make sure to take regular breaks and get enough sleep. Great apps such as Strechly, (an open-source break time reminder app) and the “Take a break” shortcut on iOS (surely there is an equivalent on Android) can really aid on the forefront and help with balancing.

You can also make sure to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Some simple yet powerful activities can start from using a simple Yoga brick, or just something a bit higher than your ankle to stretch your calves with, all the way to signing up (and paying) for a Yoga/Pilates or anything that would take you away, physically and mentally, from the computer and help you take care of yourself.

Additionally, it is recommended to join a supportive community of fellow creators to connect with. You might find it surprising, but we’ve been writing this article because we’ve heard so many fellow professional photographers speak of similar issues.

Finally, and it’s hard work but definitely, worth it, make sure to value your own work and give yourself permission to take time off when needed. Your family needs you, your friends need you, and you need yourself. 

As far as photo editing goes, here is our list of recommended things to do to reduce stress and work hours around the post-production process.

  1. You should be extremely selective about the images you keep. If you're like most photographers, you probably shoot a lot of photos but keep only a few. This is particularly true when photographing a scene that you will not be able to return to. Editing is much easier when you work with fewer images, and this will also reduce post-production time.

  2. Trying to edit everything at once can be very time-consuming. One way to reduce the amount of time you spend editing is to divide the process into two stages. The first stage is to get all of the basic culling and editing done. This includes eliminating redundant photos, applying your preset, and quickly adjusting the white balance, exposure, and contrast. The second stage is to do more detailed editing, such as fixing blemishes and removing distractions.

  3. If you have a deadline to meet, editing can be stressful. Taking breaks can help reduce the amount of stress caused by editing. It will allow you to clear your mind and approach the editing process from a fresh perspective.

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