Photographers (hobbyists & professionals alike) fall into a trench of boring themselves by their own work. We get caught at our computers staring into the screen scrolling through old and recent photos thinking “Damn... why can’t I take photos like COWART or AVEDON?!”. So fed up by this inconsistency between yourself and fame you decide to plan your next big shoot. Beautiful model, EPIC location, who knows maybe you decide to set the background on fire… Wait a second... *scribbles note in book*… So you finish your shoot and you feel great as you plug your camera in… What?! It all feels the same again! Here are a few tips to get out of the funk.
Shoot less. Digital imaging is ‘free'. You can borrow a camera and card from a friend, shoot a thousand photos, then wipe the card clean and return it. Nothing has been consumed or destroyed. The US alone is projected to take 105 billion photos this year alone. More photos does not make you a better photographer. Better photos do.
Execute unprepared. Yousuf Karsh, the original master of portrait photography practiced letting his interaction with his subjects during shoots dictate the photos that emerged. He purposefully did not plan out shots; no poses no props, simply who he was shooting and everything he could learn about them. See for yourself, no two Karsh portraits look alike. Regurgitation is not art.
Get uncomfortable. Photography is a peculiar art, we use existing props, locations, people to create something… where something litterally already existed. Step outside your circle, try drawing or panting. Try making music, woodworking, or writing a journal. Why not a blog? If you are already a solitary creature, leave that comfort zone. Take friends out for coffee; meet strangers. Nothing comes from nothing. So do stuff, you’ll surprise yourself.
Don’t take photos. Let yourself enjoy a moment in life without the burden of thinking “That would be a great shot!”. I am a firm believer that somethings are not meant to be captured on camera. What’s the use of taking a picture if we can’t even remember how the moment felt to us. Creativity feeds off of emotion and experience; get too wrapped up in likes and retweets on that photo you took, and it will starve.
How do you stay creative?
UPDATE: Now through the end of February, all couples and engagement sessions are 20% off! Book your session now!