Balancing the Grind with Emily May, Content Producer at iD Collective

Emily May is a Content Producer at creative communications agency iD Collective, and is also a photographer, as part of Sally & Emily with her sister.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I have always been connected to the creative world in some way, from my beginnings as a fashion photographer and visual artist to my role now as a Content Producer at iD Collective. I also continue to work on building my photography brand Sally & Emily with my sister Sally Ann.

A lot of my work, in particular my photography is inspired by the subject matter and talent that I’m shooting. Each creative needs a muse. So many of the clients and models that I have worked with have really interesting backgrounds and stories. I love tapping into their personal side and seeing the unique moments we can achieve together.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I feel so lucky that no two days are ever the same. As a photographer, you can often find me out and about shooting. During the days when I wasn’t shooting, I would spend my time creating digital content for my clients including building mood boards, curating beautiful images for their socials to designing an Instagram AR filter.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

100%. Before my current role, I’ve spent around 7 years freelancing and working remotely in different cities, so working independently has become my second nature and it fits my personality type like a glove.

Since we’re all adapting to the new ‘normal’, the WFH culture is definitely something we should consider continuing for some people who find themselves more productive, motivated and focused.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

There’s no golden formula for work-life balance. You just do it – and if you’re going after something you’re truly passionate about, you will always find the time necessary. For example, due to my weekday work commitments, I only have time to create fun personal projects or test shoots on a weekend.

The sacrifices I make in my downtime or social life to further my work don’t seem like sacrifices at all. The long hours and hustling on weekends will feel less like a chore. At the end of the day, it all depends on how much you care about what you’re doing.

Working from home and need inspiration? Grab a copy of our Workflow book, featuring beautiful photos and inspiring stories from workspaces around the world.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started/stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

  • Sleeping and waking up around the same time every day.
  • Regular high-intensity exercising.
  • Daily journaling and meditation.
  • Giving yourself a present daily. It could be a cup of coffee or a spa-like bath at home.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

  • Adobe Creative Suite for content creation.
  • NTS Radio for new music discovery.
  • Nike Training Club for fitness.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I would be more than curious to get some insights on Patti Smith’s and Robert Mapplethorpe’s artist-muse relationship, to discover the creative flow, intimacy and ambiguity.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

For me personally, I had known since I was a kid that I enjoy working with creativity and visual content. It’s important, first and foremost, to figure out which area in your chosen field excites you the most. I would find the most job satisfaction here and it pays off the hard work.

If you have a rough idea what elements of the industry speak to you most, then hone your skills in that area. I promise the journey would be worth it.

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Working from home and need inspiration? Grab a copy of our Workflow book, featuring beautiful photos and inspiring stories from workspaces around the world.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.