Almost every single day, my backpack is around one and a half to two pounds heavier than everyone else’s. That’s because I carry my camera around with me everywhere. And for good reason. There’s a chance that, if I don’t have my camera, I might miss a story. And it’s a lot of fun.
You never know what you’re going to come across. You never know what quick snap is going to turn into a long-term photo story. Constantly searching for a story, however, can become very tiring. When you add up the time spent looking for a story and taking photos, along with all of the other work I have going on, I basically have no time left to do anything.
That’s why when I go home for any kind of school break (aside from summer break), I try and change things up a bit. I, of course, bring my camera home, but I don’t really use it. Take this past winter break. I went home after finals and then didn’t touch my camera until New Year’s Day. That’s almost two weeks. Up here at UConn, I go maybe 12 hours without touching my camera.
It used to bother me a lot when I wouldn’t touch my camera for a long time. How could I call myself a photographer if I wasn’t going out to shoot every day? Sometimes I would just force myself to go out and shoot, but a lot of the time, it just seemed like more work than it was worth. The saying that if you like what you do, you won’t work a day in your life is really fun to say, but sometimes work is work. And everyone needs a break sometime.
Think about how much time you spend “doing what you love.” A lot of us here enjoy what we are studying. So think about how much time we spend in class. Let’s say you take 15 credits. That’s five classes or so. You spend about two and a half hours in each class per week. That’s 12.5 hours a week just in class. Then if we add in study time, eating and going to the gym you have just a bit of time to get some sleep. Trying to find time to do supplemental work for your future career just seems like a lot of extra work.
This is not to say that when spring break rolls around I won’t be shooting anything. I’ll still go out and shoot around town, but the focus will be all on me. Spring break is a really nice time to just kick back and relax. And I mean relax in all aspects of your life. That means taking a break from your school work and sometimes even a break from your hobbies. For me, that means just wandering around my town, going on adventures with my friends and maybe just holing up in a small café with a coffee and maybe a beer.
Spring break is called “spring break” for a reason. Take the break. Enjoy it. Relax. And we’ll see you all back here soon.
Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets at @amar_batra19.