The Burdens We Bear


If you’ve ever watched a professional photographer at work, like at a wedding or major event, you may have noticed all the equipment they carry around. Trust me, it’s heavy. Cameras, extra lenses, battery packs — the weight of all the stuff that goes into a professional photography shoot are immense. When you get home at the end of the day your back hurts and you know exactly what muscles you used most. Experienced photographers learn that it’s worth the expense to hire an assistant to carry a lot of the gear and to help them make sure they’ve covered all the shots on their shot lists so that the client who requested the shot of the bride feeding the ducks at the duck pond and the newly minted mother-in-laws standing arm-in-arm in front of the wedding cake get taken.

The weight of the gear is a burden most photographers bear gratefully because it means we’re working and we’re doing something we love—making a living. Yet, I know not all photographers feel that way. Rather than bear the burden of doing things right, carrying all the gear they need they leave stuff in the car “just in case,” or they trust one camera and don’t bring a backup. In other words, they don’t bear their burden well. They’re scattered, unprepared and when the once in a lifetime opportunity presents itself, they don’t capture it. The shots that could define them, propel their careers forward, and amaze their clients are gone, leaving them wondering “What if?”

There are times to approach life by the seat-of-your-pants, shooting from the hip, and times to go in fully loaded. An important sales presentation is not the time to be a cowboy. Do your homework first and be prepared.


“Everyone has his burden. What counts is how you carry It.” — Merle Miller

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