How many times have you found yourself in a creative rut when it comes to photography? There are things you can do to get your picture mojo back if it has up and left, shut the door in your face, and walked away without saying goodbye. It actually occurred to me.
In recent times, I’ve found it challenging to get out and shoot photographs. The image you see above is one that I took almost a month ago. Since then, I have had very little use for my camera other than to fulfil the requests of my clients’ commissions.
The lack of drive and inspiration are the two main obstacles that prevent us from becoming creative. If we do not have the motivation to do things, we will not be motivated to take photographs. On the other hand, even if we are inspired to go out with our cameras, we can be at a loss as to what we should photograph or how we should go about doing it. Because we aren’t becoming inspired, it’s easy for us to lose motivation as a result. As a result, this pair is bound together inextricably, creating a vicious cycle.
I try to motivate myself through a variety of various strategies. It’s not anything I came up with on my own; rather, it’s my take on tried-and-true methods that I’ve modified to be applicable to photography. Because the other individuals I have shared them with have found them to be beneficial, I am hoping that you will also find them to be helpful.
Any kind of creative endeavour could be affected by the same lack of drive and inspiration. In addition to shooting, I also write, and I’ve run into problems with writer’s block in the past. I also play the guitar pretty poorly and often find that I am at a loss for what to play. When it comes to the first two forms of creativity, I am legally required to generate work; yet, I am not compensated for playing the guitar. Therefore, even if I have no interest in producing photographs or writing articles, I have no choice but to do so, not only because it is required of me by my contract, but also because I have to pay for the food I consume.
In addition to photographing professionally, I also take pictures just for my own delight. On the other hand, getting started can be a lot more challenging when it is not absolutely necessary for me to utilise my camera. It is much more difficult for me to wake up early and go for a walk on the beach or through the port in the early morning, despite the fact that I am aware that these are activities that I enjoy doing.
Trying to Get My Photographic Mojo Back
A few of history’s most brilliant thinkers have reported having their most brilliant insights while sleeping or daydreaming. This is how Einstein came up with the idea for his theory of relativity. J.K. Rowling came up with the concept for the Harry Potter books when she was waiting on a delayed train. The melody to “Yesterday,” a song by The Beatles, came to Paul McCartney while he was sleeping. Daydreaming is a good way to get inspiration. As a result, I occasionally give my subconscious the power to inspire me.
Have you watched the fantastic adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman that is available on Netflix, or have you listened to the excellent adaption that is available on Audible? In one of the episodes, there is a character whose mind is racing to come up with new concepts, and without giving anything away, I won’t reveal who it is.
That is something that we consistently engage in. There are around 60,000 transitory ideas that go through our brains on a daily basis, most of which are generated by our subconscious minds while we are not focusing on a specific task. The majority of these musings are forgotten, much like our dreams, but if we write them down, we may keep them for future reference. Because today’s smartphones all come equipped with a note-taking feature, doing this task no longer necessitates that we take a notepad with us. Putting an idea down on paper is simple.
This approach of finding inspiration should become a habit gradually, since pushing it will not provide the desired results. The creator’s block will get much worse if they sit still and force their brains to come up with new ideas. Nevertheless, going for a stroll in a park and watching other people as the sun shines through the leaves of the trees is a good way to get some thoughts. In a similar vein, spending time by the water, wandering through the woods, atop a mountain, or pedalling your bike will get your creative juices flowing. Some of those ideas will be worthwhile to implement, but not all of them will be. It is vital that you either jot down your thoughts or capture them in a note-taking programme on your mobile device. If you don’t do this, you will forget about them.
When coming back to these notes, fresh concepts for photography will come to mind
Exploring the work of others may also be a source of inspiration for you. Looking at photographs might spark creative thoughts that can then be expanded upon. It is not my intention to recommend merely copying the images of other people; doing so would be plagiarism. To be creative, though, you need to take a variety of ideas, combine them, and then come up with something original.
In a recent piece, I made the suggestion that we should take pictures of things that we are familiar with. On the other hand, we could run out of ideas very quickly. When I’m not photographing seascapes, I enjoy spending time by myself on the beach in any kind of weather. Taking the time to position the camera so that it will catch that exact second gives rise to a sensation that is truly one of a kind and imprints a fantastic memory. My previous photographs continue to be improved upon with each new one that I take. On the other hand, there are occasions when I have the sense that I’ve “done that, got the t-shirt.” After that, I make a decision to pursue an altogether new course of action. Moving to a new setting might sometimes be all that’s needed to reignite a person’s drive and enthusiasm.
Recently, I’ve had a number of customers who expressed interest in taking abstract photographs. It’s odd how that works out, especially when different people ask for the same thing completely by accident. That turned out to be a fortunate occurrence for me because it encouraged me to revisit the location and capture more abstractions. It would appear that this is how the world functions, with things coming our way at the precise moment they should.
The act of taking photographs is typically a lonely activity. Getting together with other photographers, on the other hand, enables us to pick each other’s brains for new ideas. You still need to be careful about the company you keep, though. It makes a great difference to surround oneself with people who will support and applaud your efforts and who value what you do. Your creative potential might be stifled by negativity.
Spending some of your time reading about photography may serve to both encourage and inspire you as a photographer. E-readers do not display photographs to the same degree as a decent print on paper, and books are quite expensive. However, used bookstores typically have photography books available for purchase at prices that are a fraction of the book’s original list price. This is how I’ve come across some real jewels, and as a result, the bookcases over my computer are stuffed to the brim with antique photography books.
Music is a second source of creative motivation. The imagery that is evoked by music can bring about ideas and feelings that you can then translate into a photograph. This is true whether you are rocking out to Queen, listening to the surreal lyrics of Bob Dylan, or unwinding to a Chopin nocturne. All of these musical experiences can bring about these ideas and feelings. Similar effects may be achieved with other types of art as well; it was a picture by Caravaggio that inspired me to try out some low-key chiaroscuro photographs for the first time.
I also set objectives for myself. Having a lofty objective is inherently alluring, and the satisfaction that comes from accomplishing one is incomparable. To counter this, I find that giving myself a reward after accomplishing even one of my more modest goals gives me a greater sense of accomplishment overall and makes it easier for me to go on to the next activity. I shift a little money into a different account so that I may save up for the next lens I want to buy.
A big impediment to many people’s ability to get motivated is fear. Everyone, from novices to seasoned experts, has voiced fear when it comes to the prospect of displaying their work in a gallery or on social media. It’s kind of like having stage fright, I think. The only way to get through that obstacle is to proceed with the activity nonetheless. What’s the absolute worst thing that might happen?
Last but not least, in order to combat my lack of drive, I schedule my photography. I schedule time in my calendar to snap photographs, and I am sure that I will not miss any of those appointments. When I invite another person along, it is mandatory for me to show up.
Do you have any methods or tips that you keep to yourself that assist encourage or inspire you to shoot photos? It would be wonderful if you could tell me about them in the comments.