An Honest Talk About Mental Health and Freelance Photography

One of my favorite up-and-coming Youtubers is Mik Milman, and last week, he released a video interviewing clinical psychologist Dr. Ali about the hardships of being a freelancer and how it can affect your mental health as a creative.

Mental health is important; that goes without saying. But taking care of yourself is something that takes constant work, and it’s difficult to know where to start, especially as a photographer, where we can spend weeks in a dark room editing photos or reading photography blogs under the guise of “research” (or in my case, writing them). Dr. Ali, host of YouTube’s PsychShow, and Mik have a fantastic and unedited conversation about burnout, mental health, and how to take care of oneself as a freelancer. What is especially nice about this video is that it is less “interviewer and interviewee,” but more so a conversation between friends, which is always appreciated.  

Some of the key points in this video in my opinion are a few things like the importance of a schedule, say going to the gym at a specific time each week, and social interaction. Humans are social creatures, so it makes sense for us to have a need to see each other. Mik also brings up the idea that us photographers shouldn’t look at each other as competition, but rather brothers and sisters in arms, which I wholeheartedly agree with. In the words of “High School Musical:” “we’re all in this together.” 

What do you think of mental health as a freelancer? Is it something you struggle with now or have in the past? Let’s start a discussion.

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