Feeling a lack of photographic passion? It can happen to the best photographers–especially those that have to produce photographic art in order to make a living. Just as with any other job, the daily grind can deplete the passion that once made us the creative people we are today.
But what are some ways to reignite that creative spark? Check out some quick tips below:
- Visit websites of other creative professionals. Of course, most people automatically assume I mean other photographers’ websites. Not in this case. I tend to find interesting ideas for photography in some of the most unlikely places. Online home improvement magazines like Better Homes and Gardens tend to inspire me to try my hand at food photography or push me to go outside and explore the world around me. Fashion forward stores like Anthropologie are a fantastic resource for photographers. They do a great job of weaving architecture, posing and lighting together to form an eye-pleasing image. Of course, National Geographic is eye candy for any photographer wanting to step outside of their world and immediately be transported to another. I love being inspired by the diversity of humanity.
- Take a class. Even if you have been photographing for a long time, there is always something to learn. Being open to new photographic ideas and techniques may give you the kick-in-the-pants you need to get over your slump. Some of my favorite learning opportunities come from websites like clickinmoms.com (a completely friendly website open to all levels of photographers) or SantaFeWorkshops.com. Also, check out your local career center. Many of them offer photography classes from great local photographers.
- Join a photography club or online group. Being able to bounce ideas off of other photographers can be a very useful tool when trying to get over a creative slump. Just sit back and listen to what they say. Their style might not be the same as yours, but they might have a perspective or technique you have never thought about. Local photography groups usually meet about once a month, but online groups are available 24/7. Check them out and see which groups are right for you.
- Learn from a newbie. I have garnered some great perspectives and advice from complete photographic newbies. Think about it–their outlook is fresh, generally untainted and pretty perky. They are willing to try new techniques and can’t wait to share their newfound excitement with anyone willing to listen. It’s refreshing!
- Start a new project or portfolio. Pick a style of photography that you don’t normally do. If you get paid to shoot portraits, then try building a portfolio of landscapes or food. If you generally photograph still life, then try your hand at pets or wildlife. Who knows? You might find a new photographic passion.
- Enjoy an activity that helps you relax and refocus. It’s easy to lose focus and creativity if you don’t stop working and find something else enjoyable to do. Even though you became a photographer because of an extreme passion, it’s important to take a break to enjoy other fun activities. Go out to dinner, catch a baseball game, read a book, or drink some coffee or wine. Just find something that will get your mind thinking about something other than photography. Sometimes a little “reset” for your brain is all you need.
- Need more time? Set your camera down for awhile. There is no shame in taking an extended creative break. Whether that’s for a day, a week, or a month it may be important to give yourself a vacation from photography in order to re-ignite your creative spark.
Your clients, Facebook friends and Instagram followers depend on you to give them beautiful images to enjoy. Don’t let them down by falling into a creative slump you can’t shake. Have a great weekend and go grab that shot…or don’t. Maybe it’s time to put your camera down and refuel your creativity in other ways.