Embrace the Side Hustle

Southern California lifestyle photographer and blogger

One year, six months, and 14 days.  That's how long it's been since I've turned my side hustle into a full time hustle.  Before that?  Side hustlin' was my jam.  For five years of my military career, it had served as my escape and creative outlet.  I remember feeling like I had split personality disorder--on the weekdays I was in my 9-to-5 military mode, on the weekends I was the cheeriest, happiest, photographer you'd ever seen. 

For years, I've heard so many fellow creatives hateful of the side gig and wishful for the transition into full time.  Even I remember feeling that way one too many times.  But now that I'm on the other side of the proverbial fence, here is what I see:  The beauty of the side hustle is that when we don't have the endless amount of time to do what we love, the hours that we do find to do those things become more precious--a great escape.  The boundaries that most of us live in--our jobs, our responsibilities, the time we spend meal-making, laundering our clothes, grocery shopping, caring for our young ones, school work, etc.--those boundaries are gifts to us only if we dare receive them that way.  They're gifts because having to squeeze in our passions into the margins if our lives is a great, beautiful thing.  And in my humble opinion, deep and genuine creativity is born in those places.

In my side-hustling days, I would take my camera to a friends wedding or offer free portrait sessions to friend, and friends of friends.  I would reach out and collaborate with other creatives on the little free time I had available.  I'd find myself editing to the early hours of the morning.  With time, I built a portfolio that allowed me to eventually charge clients for my talents.  The amount of time we have available to do our creative work isn't the most important part of any formula for productivity or invention.  It's the heart behind it that matters. 

Remember to live faithfully in your jobs and roles, then come back to your creative endeavors and pour all your energy into that small place.  You just never know when your creative spirits will spark in whatever time life can offer them.

Thanks for reading!

Hannah Q Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer