It’s completely natural for every photographer to experience creativity ruts in their photography journey. If you’re shooting the same subject, the same way day in and day out, it’s bound to happen.
Our contributors have all experienced dips in their own creativity. They’re sharing their tricks for sparking creativity when they’re feeling uninspired.
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I find that my photography creativity has it ups and downs. When I feel I need a boost in my creativity I will give myself mini challenges. One of my favorites is to challenge myself to only shoot with a certain lens for a period of time, a week or a month. This forces you to look at the world different when you know you can only use one lens to capture it. Often times, I’ll choose a lens I wouldn’t normally use for a particular situation.
This month I have found myself stuck inside more and challenged myself to use the Tamron 85mm which is not typically considered an indoor lens. However, it forced me to think of different angles and different ways to tell my story. I have been able to capture images I know I wouldn’t of captured if I hadn’t pushed myself.
I’m a planner and list maker by nature. I often find myself getting into a rut if I try shooting without a goal in mind. The key for me is making a list, but leaving a bit of flexibility for creativity. I also intentionally undershoot so I’m more mindful about my shots.
For example, our family recently took a day trip to a tourist heavy location. I had the typical iconic shots on my list, but I also added – Take a family photo without help from a stranger. For most this would mean dragging along a tripod, but that wasn’t practical. This shot of our family being silly in the reflection of the sunglasses my daughter was wearing wasn’t planned, but having a list helped me to notice it.
Read more – 5 Reasons You Should Stop Overshooting
What is the one thing that makes me want to grab my camera & start shooting? Photo books.
I know, it sounds like it might be something that is a lot of work and you might be wondering how creating a photo book can inspire creativity. But, I promise you that it will. Just last weekend I created a photo book using Adobe Lightroom for a family day at Disney to print through Blurb. I had already edited all the images & they were ready to go in the book layout. And since I have shared this tip before (when you are photographing an event or trip, make sure to get all aspects from wide angle to detail photos and everything in between), I thought that I had all the photos I needed.
Unfortunately, I found myself searching for just the right image for the cover and then because I like to keep the images on facing pages from the same event, moment, or place, I ended up wishing I had a few more detail images from our day. That is where the inspiration comes in for me. Just the task of pulling together images from a special day or trip, gave me all kinds of new ideas for what to make sure to photograph the next time around.
If you find yourself wondering what kind of activities and moments you should be capturing with your camera, make a photo book to see what you think is missing from the story!
Read more – How I made 3 photo books in 4 hours
A great way to get creative with your photography is to try out a new lens and challenge yourself to shoot exclusively with it for a set amount of time. I decided to challenge myself to shoot exclusively with a wide angle lens for about 3 months and found that I was encouraged to photograph in a new way. Because wide angle lenses bring more of the scene into the frame, it encouraged me to get creative with my angles should I want to eliminate distractions.
Using a wide angle lens is also a wonderful way to photograph from above effortlessly, giving me a new perspective when photographing. Whether you pick a lens you don’t normally use or maybe you pick a lens that you struggle with, encouraging yourself to use only one lens to photograph your everyday can be really inspiring and challenging. And it’s the challenging things that really supercharge your photography as you learn to navigate through it.
When i’m feeling stuck or in a rut, I like to learn something new. Having direction gets my creativity flowing. Whether I dive into a new medium, like film, or play around with an insta camera, or take a new class, it helps me see the world in a new way and gets me headed in the right direction again.
Currently, I’m taking a still life class, which has been pretty challenging because it makes me think about the objects I’m photographing and what role they play in my life or the life of who it belongs to. This is one of my favorites so far.