The Importance Of Finding Your Frequency

With anything in life, I think it’s important to find your own frequency.

By this I mean engaging in an activity not so little that you’re always craving more and feeling frustrated, and not so much that you’re often feeling overwhelmed and in a constant state of scrambling to keep up.

Discovering that “just enough” sweet spot in between.

With photography, after around 90 minutes of walking and making photographs, I’m usually satiated.

I’m happy to finish there, head home, and see what pictures I’ve made.

Typically I have a session like this usually once, and occasionally twice, in a week.

That’s the photography frequency I’ve found works for me right now.

If I try to shoot for longer, I notice diminishing returns, because I start to tire – physically and mentally – of the process, and don’t enjoy it so much.

It becomes less precious, less special.

But if I go say two weeks without a decent session like this, I start to become antsy and irritable, desperate to escape back out in the field with a camera.

I need to honour that photography frequency I’ve found works best.

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With blogging, finding the balance has been similar, and, as with photography, it remains an ongoing process.

For a long while, writing and posting twice a week suited me.

Then, partly because I wanted to expand the 35hunter readership, and partly because my ideas and draft posts were stacking up far more quickly than I was turning them into full posts and publishing them, I increased this frequency.

So for the last eight months, I’ve been happily publishing a new article every 36 hours.

Again, I found my frequency.

But now I feel it’s time to change again.

As I recently shared, publishing every 36 hours may have satisfied my creative needs, but it hasn’t seemed to gain any greater readership than when I was posting every three days or so.

Which doesn’t make it feel like time well invested.

Plus, this year, comments have been far more erratic than my posting schedule, and again the greater frequency doesn’t seem to have boosted them.

In fact perhaps it’s had the opposite effect, with you the reader feeling overwhelmed with too many new posts, and then not reading and commenting on as many – or indeed any!

So I’m going to try to find my frequency again, starting with a new post every two days, or 48 hours.

I’m interested to see if/how the interaction here changes as a result.

Plus, the extra time I have not writing (15 posts a month instead of 20), I can invest in responding to comments perhaps more fully too. And trying to increase the quality of the posts I am publishing.

How about you? Have you found your frequency with photography? What does it look like?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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12 thoughts on “The Importance Of Finding Your Frequency”

  1. Great post. My frequency is controlled by my physical limitations. As an Old Guy, I often have to shoot from the driver’s side of my vehicle. It takes a little more planning but is rewarding when the shots come out well. Then of course, the nice morning photos of my birds from the front porch swing. Thanks for your efforts, and blog posts. I started back in 65′ and still going. g

    1. Thanks geezer, for reading and commenting. Do you keep a camera in your car, or just always take one with you, just in case an opportunity arises when driving?

      I take a ton of photos in our garden, and I think it’s something very grounding and rewarding. I’m not a bird watcher with any kind of real commitment, but I do enjoy seeing birds come and go on our bird feeders, and especially enjoy birdsong in the morning.

      I watched a documentary about a very famous American photographer, and in his last years he shot virtually nothing but the small tree at the end of his garden, over and over again. He found great joy in documenting the tree’s life over the seasons and a number of years.

  2. I’m working on my frequency and flow. Trying to develop the themes of both what I shoot – and even more importantly – what I post. I have three cameras (two film one digital) plus my iPhone. Working on finding the flow state helps temper my desire to increase the number and types of cameras.
    I dropped the attempt to have a photo to post everyday because that level of frequency robbed the magic and sapped my creative drive. It became a chore.
    Finding five or six photos from the week is much easier. So I have my weekly post that I have on Saturdays.
    Now I’m trying to add two more posts a week; focused on a place, a film (or both) or some other theme that falls within my categories.
    I would like comments. I would like views…but really I do this for me.
    Love your stuff. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for commenting, and for being here. It sounds like you have a realistic plan for your blog. The fact that you set off with one plan, then found that didn’t work (“it became a chore” is such a crucial realisation) and have realigned your direction and are continuing to commit to photography and blogging, is a great testament to your commitment. And it will reap rewards – so many have given up after the first obstacle, so well done!

  3. I try to develop one roll of film every week. Usually it’s a roll I’ve finished shooting. If I haven’t finished a roll I take a roll with some exposed frames out of one of my cameras and develop it anyway. I bulk load my own 12-exposure rolls so, knowing that I’ll want to develop something, I usually manage to finish a roll every week, even if it’s just a walk down to the river with the 135mm lens to photograph some of the water traffic.

      1. I have missed several weeks this year for reasons of health, travel and work. The danger of interrupting a routine is that it can become easier to skip another week, and then another, and that’s the end of the discipline. Fortunately, my wife knows that my photography has seen me through some difficult times in my life and she encourages me to get right back to it.

        1. I have similar routines (not just photography) as I think you know, and yes whilst you’re in the flow of them they feel almost indestructible, but you do have to keep the discipline to reap the benefits. I see it like going down a long slide and to keep a continuous momentum, you have to push the sides every now and again to give yourself a little boost. Otherwise you stop, and it’s much harder to start again, than to give those regular little speed boosts.

  4. I’m sorry that I don’t leave more notes or comments as in fact I tend to savor each article/post you publish to WordPress (although right now I’m sort of “catching up” after several weeks off the grid). I really admire your dedication, mad efficiency and hard work, writing. I’ve enjoyed the fruits of your labor, Dan. You’re something else. Scaling back on your publishing may not be a bad idea for your own sake, a good guard against burning out. An original, quality post every 48 hours is still super-prolific by most standards. Well, I think so. If I’m honest, I don’t really know anything. Some of us only dream of keeping apace with any regularity. It takes me a day or two to string together several comprehensibleish sentences. Sometimes it seems like turning my camera on and checking the battery power once a week…….I’m getting somewhere.

    1. Thanks J, I always appreciate your comments, and presence.

      I kind of have to have this kind of efficiency, otherwise I get stuck, it’s the easier option.

      As I said to Doug in other reply, it’s so much easier to keep a thing flowing with regular little bursts, than trying to start the great lumbering machine up from a standstill every time.

      What helps is that I actually don’t do much in my life overall. Aside from family, day job, photography, blog, yoga, walking, that’s pretty much it.

      I have a very minimal social life (most of it involves very close family), don’t have any expensive habits or hobbies etc, don’t watch much tv, don’t read newspapers or watch news. Just stay in a pretty small bubble!

      By keeping things fairly simple (hey, with three kids there are always challenges!) I can focus on the few things I’ve chosen to be most important in my life.

      And as our Photo A Day friend was talking about, when something becomes a chore, it’s so much harder to maintain, and you feel it’s being kept going for the wrong reasons.

      Fortunately I get so much from blogging (not least of all from conversation with people like you), that it’s a privilege and pleasure to keep it up.

  5. I think my ideal would be about every 1 or 2 weeks, but it usually works out to less than that. I do appreciate the times more when I can get out, but make the mistake sometimes of being too ambitious, a d then tiring. The last hour is rarely my best. My best images tend to be early in an outing. Looking forward to shooting some dexaying cars this weekend on a one day workshop, should be fun.

    1. Martin, yes I also sometimes have too high expectations of one particular photo walk. I think for me it helps to go a little more often, then if one is only average, it’s not too long until the next one comes along!

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