Often I get asked what I do during the hockey offseason, since that is what I'm now best known for shooting (used to be live music and bands). The answer is: a whole lot of nothing. While I try my best to keep my archives and website up to date during the season, sometimes it slips through the cracks. Below is a list of what I catch up on when my schedule is a little more free.
1. Back-ups: Something that my college professors thankfully engrained in my was the importance of backing up my work. When I am photographing a game, all of the images are in folders on my desktop and I work from those folders during and after the game. But what happens to the photos after that? Well, I have a back-up to my back-up. I have two external hard drives that are duplicates of each other where I store my photos. Once my folders are finished, I add them to my hard drives then delete them from my desktop to free up some storage space. It may seem like a bit much, but come talk to me when you lose all of your photos when your only hard drive fails you.
2. Website update: It's important for photographers to add fresh work to their website often no matter what level you are at. Throughout the year, you're constantly growing as a photographer (or so I'd hope) and creating new favorite images. If you're lucky enough, you will have people who will revisit your website and that is a chance to show your growth.
3. Create non-work-related work: In a perfect world, I would have the time and energy to create personal work during the hockey season. This is often not the case for me. I have a day job that sucks up the time that I have outside of my time shooting hockey. The summer allows me some more down time to photograph more bands and just simply take photos for fun. It's important to create work for yourself as a photographer who does photography for work. You need to stretch your creative muscles and remove yourself from the work you are getting paid to do.
4. Spend time with loved ones: Having a job that's not a typical 9-5 makes it hard to socialize with most of my friends and loved ones due to conflicting schedules. I use the offseason as an opportunity to catch up with friends and give my loved ones a little more attention. After all, a work to life balance is important.
5. Unplug: During the hockey season, I need to be constantly creating content and this means that I need to be on my phone more than I'd like to. During the offseason, I can get away with turning my phone off for a day or two. I can also binge a TV show without feeling guilty.
That's it for my list! I hope you're enjoying your summer. Pre-season will be here before we know it!