Mar 2021

Ep. #49: How to Survive Burnout with Vanessa Hicks [PODCAST]

4 min read

In episode #49 of Find Your Focus, photographer Vanessa Hicks discusses photographer burnout and how to survive busy season.

Surviving Photographer Burnout: Tangible Tips for When Busy Season Hits

Feat. Vanessa Hicks

Episode #49 show notes

Burnout. For many photographers this often becomes their reality, particularly during and after the busy season. Our guest today is Vanessa Hicks, a destination and wedding photographer based in San Diego.

We begin our conversation with Vanessa by finding out what photography means to her, as she tells us about her difficult childhood which was characterized by poverty and parents with addiction. With just five photographs of her late father, Vanessa realized the power of photography when she was 19.

Years later, after her corporate career came to an abrupt end, Vanessa pursued professional photography as her vocation. She has created a successful career as a photographer, educator, speaker, and blogger. With all these responsibilities, burnout became something to contend with.

In this episode, Vanessa shares tangible tips to cope with burnout, and gives listeners two main bits of advice:

  • understand your “why”
  • set proper, timely goals

After elaborating on each, Vanessa tells us about her non-negotiables, why she jots down her schedule in pen specifically, and how to arrange off-days. Toward the end of the episode, Vanessa tells us about the most important aspects of her daily routine.

Through this, we find out about the power of to-do lists, and how to create them in all their forms. To close the episode, Vanessa touches on the importance of taking time for yourself and why rest isn’t something you should “earn.” Join us today!

A Hawaiian woman sits in a tub with a ukulele

Vanessa Hicks

Key moments in this episode

  • Vanessa tells listeners how she first got into photography
  • Her passion for photography and where that grew from
  • We hear about Vanessa’s experiences with photography burnout
  • Advice for those who have burnt out during December’s busy season
  • How photographers can keep their passion for photography alive during the busy season
  • The biggest parts of Vanessa’s daily routine that help her avoid burnout
An engaged couple sit in the Dumbo ride at Disneyland

Vanessa Hicks


“While I was not dreaming of being a wedding photographer and educator, I understood the importance of capturing legacy.” — Vanessa Hicks [0:03:55]

“Not only have I dealt with the burnout, but I’ve also crashed and burned and had to reconsider the non-negotiables in my life.” — Vanessa Hicks [0:08:05]

“Set yourself a goal because sometimes the money is not worth your mental health and it is not worth the burnout.” — Vanessa Hicks [0:11:12]

“The biggest thing that I do that helps me with my success is I have to-do lists and not only do I have to-do lists, I have daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly to-do lists. I’m a big planner.” — Vanessa Hicks [0:17:20]

A bride and groom kiss at sunset on the beach as her veil flows behind her

Vanessa Hicks

Links mentioned in today’s episode

Listen to more episodes of Find Your Focus HERE or wherever you get your podcasts.

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