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TOTAL BURNOUT

The reason why I stopped being a photographer and have not returned to take photographs yet.

By C.B. VisionsPublished 2 months ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
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TOTAL BURNOUT
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

For some people it felt worse than an earthquake, when I announced the end of my time as a freelance photographer at a moment where I hardly could be more successful. Apart from a few rather rare exceptions, I have not picked up my camera since then.

So why did I end my career at the peak of success? And the honest answer is, I simply experienced total burnout.

Officially, I worked as photographer in two terms. The first term was semi-legal during my time in Mauritius from 2011 to 2015. After I returned to Germany, I struggled with the laws and rules that are in place here in Germany, as well as I officially had to stop until I found an apartment and could register me as a citizen again. Without a legal address, it was impossible to get a tax number and without that, I could not have paid my tax. In order to avoid tax evasion, I had to take a break from work.

It took me almost three years to learn the German rules and figure out a plan that suited me. Since I founded cbvisions photography, I transferred the company over to a friend and could continue to do a small fraction of my work on a voluntary basis. In fact, I never took a break.

With leaving Mauritius I also declared the end of my engagement. It was over some month before, however, it was still a bit of an on/off relationship while we lived together. With my writing career on its second peak, the whole break up and the following war between us happened in front of the public eyes. Mentally it was a really tough time for me and it took a few years until I haad my mental breakdown.

In the summer of 2018 I officially started my “new” business as freelance photographer. I could have brought cbvisions photography as an official business over to Germany, but that was never an option for me. I had some personal reasons for it.

Shortly after I was allowed to work as a photographer in Germany, I started touring the country. Within a bit more than 4 years I travelled through 14 federal countries, and some neighboring states and England. On average, I was travelling somewhere in and around Germany every other day. (2.5 to be correct.)

I covered a distance of over 90.000 kilometers.

From the moment I became self-employed, I had to wage a war with German authorities, who were doing everything in their power to stop me again; after all, I had dared to forego all the expensive courses that they offered. This battle only ended when I hired a lawyer by the end of 2019.

At the beginning of 2020 I had some high hopes that I could spend all my energy on getting my career started. And I guess, you all know, what happened then.

While the first two months went well, the third one brought the whole country to a standstill. And as everyone else I also struggled with the uncertainties of the first lockdown, as well as the fear of the virus. Since going out, travelling was no option, I had no chance to escape the official reports about the unfolding pandemic.

With the weeks passing by I learned the rules of the lockdown and the moment it got lifted, I returned to travel the country again.

For the following two years I even had to work harder to plan every single trip. But instead of slowing down, I increased my speed.

Before the pandemic hit Germany, I only had to plan the trip, the motives, and the best time to capture them. Now, I also needed to focus on the covid regulations. And every federal country, every city and every community had its own regulations.

It became normal to check the rule shortly before I left the house to be sure, that I knew what I was allowed to do. Some parts of my focus shifted away from taking photos and over to the set of rules. It stressed me and with the time I lost the fun.

By the end of August 2022 I was simply tired of everything. So I decided to end the journey and put the camera away for a while. With another trip to Hamburg it should come to a perfect end since the tour started there; however, since my boyfriend moved to London, some of my photos got accepted for an exhibition in London, I decided to take part in it personally and end it straight afterwards.

January 1st, 2023 it all was finally over.

As much as I loved all those trips and most of the time, I had a good time. However, the workload was way beyond what one man can do. Maybe everything would have been easier and less stressing without the background fights, without covid.

Right now, my focus is on my writing career again; the photography has to wait. The moment I feel comfortable to hold the camera again, I am pretty sure, I will have a comeback. Whenever I hold my Canon I feel stressed and afraid, certainly no good conditions for perfect photographs.

Hopefully, it will change one day.

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About the Creator

C.B. Visions

An author, who writes tales of human encounters with nature and wildlife. I dive into the depths of the human psyche, offering an insights into our connection with the world around us, inviting us on a journeys. (Christian Bass)

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Comments (3)

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  • Test2 months ago

    I also used to be a photographer, burned out in a similar situation. My camera sits on my book case in hopes I can bring passion back. I think a lot of it was no longer having access to the dark room, digital was just never the same. I hope you can pick up the camera for the joy of it :)

  • Ameer Bibi2 months ago

    Pandemic has changed the whole world style. You should better follow your experiences about both professional. As you are the one who knew better what is best for you. I can say that your writing style is simple , natural and engaging. So keep it up.

  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Oh, that is a shame it was so difficult in Germany. Follow your gut and you will know. 🤞😄

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