Every photographer goes through a time when they are feeling uninspired, frustrated, and stuck. Everything you try isn't turning out the way you have it planned out in your head. Or you just can't seem to come up with the amazing creative ideas that you have in the past. This is completely normal.
Don't get discouraged, and definitely don't think this is the end of your photographic dreams. Sometimes we just need a break, or to switch things up a bit. Creativity should never be forced. Here are some tips to help you get out of your artistic rut.
Do Something You Have Never Done Before
That famous line from Albert Einstein - "If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten." Its true. Doing the same thing over and over again makes practice perfect, however, it can and will get boring, and monotonous. Get out there and challenge yourself to learn something new. Rent some equipment that you have never used before and try it out. Check out Borrowlenses.com. Or, try a new technique, a new location, even a new tool such as the poplar Sphere or prism that create some really unique images.
Stop The Comparisions
If this is the reason for your lack of inspiration, stop it. I know, we all do it. We compare ourselves to other photographers because its human nature. We look at others work and think that ours is not as good as theirs. Step away and ask yourself these questions:
- How long have they been photographing compared to you? Have you only been shooting a year and they have been shooting 20?
- Are you doing everything you can to grow, learn, and perfect your craft? If you are able to handle some constructive criticism, then ask for it. Evaluate where you can improve and work at making it better.
- You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes (or social media scene). Their work might be good, but is their business successful? Do they have other skills besides taking pictures?
- Take a step back and understand that social media has created a slu of pop up photography businesses. They more than likely do not have what it takes to stick with it and become successful.
If you have the drive, and the motivation to continue and pursue this career, turn off the outside world and create for yourself. Use your frustrations to fuel your drive.
Take A Break
I am always on the go doing something. And if I don't have anything to do, then I end up creating about 10 tasks for myself to get done. And for some reason I tend to think those 10 tasks have to be done yesterday. Along with being a mom, a wife, and running a household. Don't get me wrong, everyone in the house does their part. But I still found myself getting extremely frustrated and burnt out. I love what I do, and I have no plans to ever quit doing it. But I knew that something had to give if I was going to continue loving my job as a photographer and blogger. Taking a break is ok. If you feel like you will fall behind by taking a break, then make a list of the things you can get done in advance. If you send out weekly or monthly newsletters, can you schedule them? If you are finding it hard to keep up with posting on social media, scheduel those posts as well. If it's just on Facebook, they have a built in scheduler. If you are wanting to post to multiple social media outlets, Hootsuit is a great place to start.
I find that since I have learned to step back and take a break every once in awhile, inspiration strikes me when I least expect it! Then I get the drive to create!!
Try Out A New Editing Technique
I am a Lightroom user. I do use Photoshop for cloning reasons at times. But I never really have taken the time to learn about all the amazing tools Photoshop has to offer. Have you tried using textures or the creative blur tools? You should! Even if you don't plan to incorporate them into your art, they are still fun to play around with. You might just spark some creativity!
The most important tip of all, be you. It's not cliche'. No one on this earth creates like you can create. The way you create, is just as unique as your fingerprint. And if you don't create, it won't exist.
What are some other ways you find inspiration? Tell me in the comments below!
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