Oh Shoot Podcast 80 Europe Trip

#80 Europe Trip & Dealing with Vacation Guilt as a Photographer


In episode #80 of Oh Shoot!, Cassidy Lynne is back from Europe and ready to spill the tea. Cassidy shares about her trip and how she dealt with vacation guilt as a photographer while being away from work. 

Listen to the full podcast on Spotify or watch it on Youtube!

How I booked sessions in Europe

In July, Charlie and I went to Ireland, Paris, and Switzerland. It all started when I booked an elopement in Ireland. When I found out we were going to Europe, I decided we might as well travel around while we were there!

  • We chose 2 other places we wanted to go. My place was Paris and Charlie’s place was Switzerland, so we did three days at each spot. 
  • After I booked our flights and finalized our dates, I advertised those two locations on social media.
  • I booked two paid shoots, one in Paris and one in Switzerland. The couples traveled to me. 
  • A girl who follows me and lives in Spain came to Paris with her boyfriend for a trip and for a session with me! We shot at the Eiffel Tower. MY DREAM!
  • I booked a session in Switzerland with a girl who follows me from Germany. After work, her and her boyfriend drove to Switzerland to meet us for the session. 
  • Because I worked in all three locations, the whole trip is a “business trip”. DON’T quote me on that though because write offs are confusing! Check with your accountant! I’ll be doing the same!

Photographing an Elopement in Europe

Elopements are EPIC and I’m addicted! It was so easygoing and intimate. The couple called all of the shots and the day of the elopement was so chill. We got up and had breakfast, walked around, and got ready. There wasn’t a timeline. It was more of we just want to do the elopement at some point today. 

Obviously the location had a lot to do with it. We were on the cliffside in Ireland and it was epic. The only thing we had on our timeline was the ceremony and it was so nice! We could take our time with portraits and having flexibility with shooting was awesome. 

The worst part is the travel. I hated the international airport situations. The fact that a lot of things were out of my control sucked. International travel is a completely different game for me versus traveling within the U.S. In the episode, I go into detail about some stressful situations we dealt with, so be sure to tune into the podcast around 11:00 for the tea. From too many layovers, missing a flight, to bag check issues in Zurich, you’ll want to hear about it!

Overall, there’s a million cool places in Europe and I must go back! Also, travel is always better WITH someone. Take someone with you to a place you haven’t been to before, even if it’s in the U.S.

Vacation Guilt as a Photographer

What is vacation guilt? Basically, it’s feeling guilty for going on vacation and taking a break.  It’s typical if you’re self-employed because the lines between work and personal are blurry. 

Why does vacation guilt happen?

  • We feel like there’s more to be done. 
  • We feel like our clients are going to be disappointed or mad at us for vacationing. 
  • We feel like a fraud if we don’t work.
  • We fear our businesses will fail if we take a break and don’t work. 
  • We fear we’ll become irrelevant. 

I started feeling vacation guilt on my trip and it was really hard to deal with it. 

I really felt it when: 

  • When I saw email notifications come through and I didn’t have time to answer.
  • When I knew I had galleries that needed to be edited and delivered soon.
  • For not fully preparing my content ahead of time for two weeks. 
  • When I would photograph a session and couldn’t do my typical workflow afterwards (like culling asap). 

Vacation guilt distracts you from being fully PRESENT on your vacation or your break. It’s the worst part because you go on vacation to unplug, enjoy life, and have new experiences. Instead, you’re wanting to work and move onto the next thing. It just takes away from you feeling fully present in your time off. It’s really hard to overcome!

We feel like there’s more to be done:

Vacation guilt is a feeling because there is always more to be done. Always. It’s a fact.

Tips to deal with feeling like there is more to be done: 

  • Know your goals and your deadlines. Be nice and give yourself grace when you go all the way TO a deadline. 
  • Give yourself the break you deserve and know you can catch up on it when you get back. 
  • Create a list so you can work on it ASAP when you get back. If you can’t shut off your work brain, keep a list going. 

Remember, it’s not that serious. It’s not like our work is the most urgent thing ever, we’re photographers. Not the White House.

We feel like our clients are going to be disappointed or mad at us.

Straight up this one just isn’t true. Everyone is allowed to take a break and you are no exception.

To deal with feeling like your clients will be upset with you:  

  • Meet your gallery deadlines & make people aware you’re out of office. If you can do that, then you’re good.  
  • Create an automatic email response telling people you are out of office and your current response time. 
  • IF a client does give you a hard time, reassure them that their photos are a priority and will be finished by the deadline. This is why you have a contract in place with delivery date deadlines. That 8 week deadline is there to give you time. Remind them of the contract and when their photos will be delivered. 

You are more than a business, you are a PERSON!!!! You deserve a break.

We feel like a fraud if we don’t work.

This is truly rooted in imposter syndrome, 100%. 

To deal with feeling like a fraud for not working: 

  • Remember that your identity as a person is not in your business. Your worth is not determined by whether or not you are working this week. You’re not a fraud. 
  • It’s ok to enjoy work, but it’s also ok and healthy to take time off.
  • If you struggle with this, listen to my imposter syndrome episode #39.

We fear our business will fail if we take a break.

News flash: Your business will not break if you are on vacation or take a break.

You spent how much time building your business? Trust that your hard work can withstand a 2 week vacation or 5 days off.

To deal with feeling like your business will fail: 

  • If you really think you can’t handle the break, hire someone to work on your urgent matters. Hire someone to help you handle:
    • Emails, client communication, social media posting, editing etc.
    • whatever you feel like will break or fail while you’re gone
  • Do as much prep work as you can before your trip. Batch content & editing beforehand so you can take time off. If you have a gallery due during your trip, finish it early. If you have to post a podcast episode during your vacation, get it scheduled now!

I’ve seen people take 6 months+ off their business and they do just fine. We are programmed to think that if we’re not posting, working, editing all the time, we have no purpose. We’re failing. It’s just not the case. Our life is not meant to be work, work, work.

We think we’ll become irrelevant.

Irrelevancy is all in your head. Trust that you can adapt your business however you need to, and you don’t have to be clocked in 24/7

To deal with feeling like you’ll become irrelevant: 

  • Set aside 20 minutes every day on vacation to do small tasks (posting, marketing, emails, etc) and then log off.

My tips for going on vacation as a photographer:

  • Turn off notifications.
  • Hire a virtual assistant to help with urgent matters.
  • Batch content as much as you can beforehand.
  • Use your vacation AS content. However, don’t do this if it means you’ll become distracted with work again, and it will keep you from being present.
  • Work VERY far ahead before you go.
  • Make sure your regularly scheduled content is ready to go and can keep going without you having to be clocked in all the time. 
  • Allow yourself time to decompress when you get back. Don’t jump back into work the day or two after you get back, give it time. Take time to chill and unpack. You need to come back to reality a little bit.

If you’re stressed even thinking about taking a vacation or a break…

This is your sign TO DO IT because you need it more than anyone.

There is so much good that comes from pulling yourself out of your bubble and away from the thing that consumes all of your time. It’s rejuvenating for the soul and grounds you. Time off gives you a new and different perspective even if it’s just one day.

I hope this episode helps you with the guilt that often comes with taking a break or going on vacation as a business owner! You’re not the only one!

Show Notes

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