How Travel & Personal Projects Prevent Burnout

Guest: Drake Busath

Master Photographer | Busath Photography
Salt Lake City, Utah

DATE: July 14, 2022

It’s summertime (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway!) and maybe you are getting ready to take a well-deserved break from your usual routine.

Once the temps start climbing, I’m ready to play all day and avoid work at all costs; especially when the studio has been really busy and I’ve been shooting a lot. 

I need a break from my routine. 

A break to try something new.

To DO something new.

To SEE something new.

I’m inviting you to take your own break and listen to this episode, with my guest Drake Busath. Drake Busath is a portrait photographer from Salt Lake City, Utah and has been working in the same portrait studio for 50 years. While that alone is incredible, what is even more amazing is how he has managed to keep his work fresh and interesting for all of those years by using travel and personal projects to inspire his creative process.

This episode will help you to:

  • Recognize burnout and when you’re in a creative rut
  • Invite danger (Drake’s word) into your creative process
  • Use passion projects to reignite your creativity and interest in your craft
  • Be less visually literal and explore different kinds of beauty

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [3:05] – Drake is not only a photographer, but he also takes groups of people on travel experiences.
  • [4:27] – By doing the same thing over and over again, Drake sometimes finds himself in a rut.
  • [5:08] – Drake’s studio is celebrating 50 years in business.
  • [6:29] – Sometimes it feels like “Groundhog Day” when sessions feel repeated.
  • [7:41] – When things get too safe, Drake makes “dangerous” choices to change things up.
  • [9:16] – Drake likes to go out on a limb and shares memorable experiences.
  • [10:22] – Through his workshops, Drake can shake off boredom and get out of a rut.
  • [12:30] – We’ve been trained to capture something flattering, but being less literal boosts your creativity.
  • [13:54] – When we focus so heavily on what clients like, we forget what we like.
  • [16:07] – Sometimes, we can remember what we love when we think about the things we don’t like as a photographer.
  • [17:20] – Drake explains his isolation technique that allows you to experience a place with all of your senses.
  • [19:47] – There are a lot of little things you can do to help you get out of your comfort zone.
  • [21:42] – Allison shares how photographing and observing details in her travels made her trip even more memorable.
  • [24:08] – The “less literal” photography experience for Drake has made his projects and travels more personal.
  • [25:44] – When he comes home, Drake feels like a better photographer.
  • [27:09] – Drake describes how he “invites danger” into a session.
  • [28:41] – When you first get into photography, especially owning your own business, it all feels dangerous.
  • [31:59] – Drake was inspired by street photographers on his travels to try something new.
  • [33:49] – For 20 years, Drake realized he was separating his experiences.
  • [35:54] – Sometimes the awkward but real experiences of life are beautiful, although not traditionally beautiful.
  • [38:11] – Another interesting thing that comes from traveling is seeing other real people and the way they live.
  • [39:17] – It’s not important to flatter each individual subject but to flatter their connection and interaction.
  • [41:20] – In travel and street photography, you’re looking for something completely different from traditional portrait photography.
  • [42:23] – Drake describes a wall in his studio of black and white pinned photos that are themed and changed every year.
  • [45:54] – We all love a mood-board and this is a strategy Drake uses to include that feeling in his studio.
  • [47:36] – We need passion projects to keep us from becoming burnt out. Drake does these travels or projects a couple of times of year.
  • [49:19] – Drake describes his next project that gets him even more involved in his community. The crazier the better.

Links and Resources:
Download a Transcript
Netflix 20 Feet from Stardom Documentary
Seinfeld “The Handicap Spot”
The Drake is Good

Drake Busath:
Website | Instagram | Italy Workshops

Do The ReWork
Website | Instagram

Allison Tyler Jones
Website | Instagram | LinkedIn