Mon­day, 04 March 2013 12:11

Work/​Life Balance

coffee read

Nobody said it would be easy.

How it all started

When I was doing my edu­ca­tion as a Medi­ade­signer I did free­lance jobs after school/​work and made myself a name out there as a Designer and Pho­tog­ra­pher. I worked my ass off and tried to improve my skills.

Every­thing started as fun. So was my pho­tog­ra­phy and so was this site. All I’ve wanted was a web­site to show off my pho­tog­ra­phy, no mas­ter busi­ness plan behind it all, just for fun. Then there was a time when I decided to take it all a step fur­ther. Busi­ness Cards, a Logo — with­out even notic­ing I cre­ated a com­plete Pyra­mid CI and defined my first Styleguide.

At the age of 20 I already pub­lished 3 Art­books for a pub­lish­ing house and refined their Styleguide which is still used in print prod­ucts. When I decided to move on to high­class post­pro­duc­tion I knew its going to be hard but that doesn’t even come close.

What’s going on right now

Now I’m in my early (or mid — what­ever!) twen­ties and I work at a post­pro­duc­tion agency for big clients and even big­ger bud­gets. Retouch­ing and Com­pos­ings are only a small part of my daily busi­ness. I do print color adap­ta­tions, final art­work cor­rec­tions, tech stuff like Proofer main­te­nance and I try to teach myself more CG and Videostuff. It is a real love/​hate rela­tion­ship — I love the stuff I do, I like the big respon­si­bil­ity and I like the feel of see­ing “MY WORK” every­where, but every­thing comes with a prize.

Nobody pre­pared me for being at work for like 60hours a week, skip­ping Lunch for dead­lines and many sleep­less nights. I can’t see my friends as often as I want to, hell — I barely even talk to them via Face­book or what­ever, cuz I don’t want to spend that lit­tle free­time thats left star­ring at some freak­ing com­puter. There have been weeks and even days when I just wanted to quit. Some dead­lines and jobs are just ridicu­lous cal­cu­lated. Two days to retouch, color cor­rect the clothes, do paper adjust­ments, do exten­sions and build the InDe­sign print file for 20 fash­ion shots/​a com­plete cat­a­logue? Oh yeah right, we could also work on the week­end in between — sure..

I would love to do more free and cre­ative projects, do some model shoots and/​or some film­ing stuff but usu­ally there’s no time and no energy left. We’ll see how this turns out in 2013.


Yes, you can be very suc­cess­ful and you can work for big agen­cies even if you are very young. But you need to keep your shit together and you shouldn’t be lazy at all. This job will con­sume you and your free time.

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Hi, I’m Raphael Lech­ner from Rosen­heim.
I make things look pretty as a Designer, Pho­tog­ra­pher and Retoucher.