It can be challenging, as a business owner to balance the two… love and money.

There are jobs you have to take because, after all, you’re a business and a business must turn a profit. Then there are things you do because you love what are you involved in. Personal projects, for example, or creative endeavors which although might not put cash in the bank – reinvest your passion for what you do.

Yet the balance is something we must do and the decisions about what to take on, where to invest ourselves and what to avoid are not always the easiest.

Over the past month and a half we’ve had somewhere int he range of 50 different fitness talents contact us with an interest in booking us to shoot during the Arnold Sports Festival in Ohio. And we’ve had to tell 50 people that we have decided not to attend or be in the area.

The quandary of love versus money arose. It is more than apparent that financially we could do very well attending this event and photographing talents in the area. Yet we chose not to out of love for what we do.

The last similar event we attended was also financially beneficial but suffered creatively. Many of the talents who hired us were rushing from photo shoot to photo shoot attempting to get in as many different photographers as possible. We would have a talent show up with only 30 minutes to make pictures (because the shoot previously went late and the shoot after ours is coming up soon).

Yes we can (and did) make the images in that time frame; but as artists we feel so much more could have been done if the right time was invested into the project as opposed to being a part of an “industry cattle call.” With that, we elected to opt out of attending.

We may attend events like these in the future – but are working on a requirement list for those who want to book with us to make the investment and experience as worthwhile as possible for all parties.

That is our push to balance the love for what we do with the business side of what we do. Honestly – This may lead talents to not work with us – and for that we do understand. However our push is to provide our clients with the most creative, empowering and dynamic images as possible – and we need to remain true to that vision.

And for those reading this – as talents – it is a balance you all face as well. There is a project which could financially help you out, but is not the type of work that excites you. Or there is a project which has the potential of being a tremendous amount of fun to invest in, but does not support your bottom line.

It is important to think through the work and projects in front of you to determine which to invest yourself into and why.

James Patrick
Instagram @jpatrickphoto
Twitter @jpphotography