4 Tips for Getting Reinspired as a Photographer
The end of a year brings with it plenty of mixed feelings. December is a wonderful time to feel all the warm fuzzies about the year that has just been and gone, and to hunker down with the people we are closest to for a happy celebration of what’s to come.
But the end of a year can also leave us feeling pretty jaded and tired and, for the creatives out there, lacking that sense of endless inspiration that seems to follow us from Spring to mid-winter.
So, how do you get it back? As aficionados of all things photography-related, here are some of our favorite alternatives to putting your camera on the top shelf until a bolt of inspiration strikes from the blue.
Try out a new medium
Photography is never just a case of ‘point and shoot’, and even the most natural of subjects requires that creative vision from the person behind the camera. But there are additional elements you can introduce into your photos that will give you a new challenge, a new perspective, and brand-new results.
Think of light painting – the technique of creating shapes or features within a photograph by working with a long exposure and literally drawing your designs into the air. This is a tricky art-form to master, but it’s also incredibly rewarding; from abstract elements to creating entire family portraits with nothing but a light source, the possibilities are endless – provided you can bring the vision.
With a new medium to work with, you’ll start looking at the world through a new pair of eyes, which means you can feel like your old self again – the version of you that was always on the lookout for art, beauty, and a creative challenge.
As you grow your portfolio, you can start to create new photo books that showcase your evolving artistic abilities with different mediums – a great way to see the incredible strides forward you’ve made as a photographer.
Look to the people around you
Portrait photography or candid street photography (and everything in between) are such diverse and exciting exercises because the subjects – the people themselves – are never the same. People are dynamic, exciting, fun, and they literally breathe life into any art form they touch, and it’s impossible to lose all your creative momentum if you’re letting yourself be inspired by the people you love – or even strangers who share the same passion as you.
Whether or not you consider people to be your ideal muse for photography, it’s worth giving them a shot at pulling you out of a creative slump.
Talk to family or friends who have a particular fondness for photoshoots – you’re bound to know one or two! Alternatively, head out into the streets and work on your street photography (provided you’re not too shy to approach potential subjects)!
Make yourself the subject
Creative geniuses have been inserting themselves into their works for centuries. Look at Alfred Hitchcock, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, and Miranda July (to name just a few). It’s a great way to blur that divide between the artist and the work they create, and it means you’ll end up with a nice collection of pictures of yourself.
We know, we know – most photographers are photographers for a reason, with that reason being, ‘I’d rather be behind the camera, not in front of it’. But putting yourself in your pictures means you’ll approach the process entirely differently, figuring out what sort of ‘ideal world’ you’d insert yourself into, and how you can manage the technical demands of good photography from the other side of the camera.
Consider it a rite of passage for any artist, whether they’re creating a film, a painting, a photograph, or anything else. In the very least, it will mean you’re not missing from every single shot that finds its way into our photo book maker!
Shrink the world
Sometimes, a lack of inspiration can stem from having too much scope – too many potential projects to get invested in. It’s hard to commit yourself to one idea when there are 50 more jostling to take center stage in your mind.
The solution? Shrink the world down to such a small point that all your focus has to be trained on the minute – the infinitesimal. Micro and macro photography mean finding the most intricate sort of beauty. Your subjects will train your focus, block out all extraneous details, and enable you to find fresh inspiration in places you’ve never looked before.