Rainy Day Magnolias, a photo by C.Duncan's Photography on Flickr.
Every creative person I know gets stuck. Moments where you're in a rut. You have artist block. Nothing seems new. Or interesting. You'd rather bury yourself in a carton of Super Chocolate Caramel Explosion ice cream and watch reruns of Wonder Woman... well... some of us anyways.
Thought I'd share my go-to list of things I do to switch things up and gain new inspiration. If you've been doing photography for many years, these will be old hat to you. But if you've never tried these, it can put the excitement back into photographing whatever comes your way. Here we go;
Set An Absurd Boundry ~ We all know the ideal conditions for shooting inside, outside, whatever. So give yourself a specific shooting condition and only shoot that way. Only landscapes in the rain. Only portraits at twilight. Shoot every day for an entire month only from your backyard, or along a specific stretch of road. Force yourself to get creative. And tell others about your
self-inflicted project so you follow up.
Use Your Gear... All of It! ~ Use your lenses in creative ways. Wide Angles for portraits! Yep, you heard me. Figure out how to get creative with your perspective and the POV you shoot from and get some cool portraits. Stop reaching for the obvious lens choice. Use your telephoto first when photographing architecture instead of the wide angle. Force yourself to see within a tighter, less chaotic frame. It's simply thinking outside the box but sometimes we're in a comfortable rhythm and can't see anything else, then wonder why our images seem uninspired.
Face Your Weaknesses ~ If you steer clear of macro nature shots because you can't seem to get what everyone else gets in the lens, start exploring what else you can aim a macro lens at. Over the course of a month, those skills will grow. If you avoid portraiture in general, start with a fun project with your family making crazy faces, or only your dog for a few weeks, in different light, in different locations, and hone those portrait skills you were afraid were non-existent. What you learn about yourself you'll be able to apply to what you do love. Or it may open up a new vocation for you completely. And how exciting would that be.
Invoke The Buddy System ~ Invite others to participate. The more the merrier, and everyone stays motivated, feeding off each others energy and experiences. This is what my friend Dave Pratt and I did with our Epic Personal Photo Challenge... we opened it up to anyone who loved photography and every two weeks a new person picks a theme we have to shoot in. We reveal all our images on the same Sunday and discussion runs rampant on what our individual approaches resulted in, and new ways to see a subject. It's fabulous and very inspiring. The fun is injected back into the act of photography, and you can tell by looking at the images each week. You can click the link above to join us if you'd like....
So have a fabulous Friday gang, and let's inject some inspiration back into our photography. Just change it up!