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How Not to Burn Out as a Freelance Photographer, With Dave Wheeler

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As a creative, going down the path of a freelance worker has a myriad of both pros and cons and as you self-manage your career you need to be wary of fatigue!

As part of our campaign with AustralianSuper, respected freelance fashion photographer Dave Wheeler is here to run you through the best ways to ensure you don’t burn out when you embark on the #FreelanceLyf.


If you’re like me, no matter how much you love what you do, sometimes you still need a break from it all.

In the early days of setting yourself and your business up, you’re going to be putting in a lot of hours, so here’s my tips on how not to burn out.

Don’t procrastinate

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Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day, but often there is, and you just spent them down at the beach. Putting jobs off until the last minute means they get rushed, and if things need changing you’ve left no time to do so.

Staying on top of your work as soon as you have it means you won’t be stressed and you’ll have more time to do it right.

Stay creative

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Spending every day working on everyone else’s briefs will help pay the rent but won’t do wonders for your focus or creativity. Make sure you take time to shoot personal projects and things that interest you.

You won’t always get to shoot jobs you love so having your own things to work on will help keep you balanced, and will show your clients your creative side.

Keep on top of paperwork

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No one likes chasing invoices, paying bills and filing receipts, but sadly it’s all part of the job. Set yourself up from the start with some easy accounting software (Xero and Freshbooks are great examples) and stay on top of the paperwork.

If the back end of your business is a breeze you’re more focused, less stressed and have more time on your hands.

Don’t be afraid to take a day off

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With all the extra hours you’re putting in establishing yourself, you’ve earned a day here and there. It doesn’t hurt to take a step back and clear your mind.

See a film you’ve wanted to see, read a book, or catch up with friends; it might even spark an idea for your next shoot.


Dave Wheeler is a freelance fashion photographer based in Sydney. You can find out more about him on his website.

If you’re just starting out in your career, a few right moves early on can help set you up for life. For more stories in our AustralianSuper KickStart series, click here or go to AustralianSuper.

This article has been sponsored by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788. The views and opinions expressed in any article accessed through theFashionSpot are those of the author or theFashionSpot and not the responsibility of AustralianSuper. For more information, please visit australiansuper.com