Working in a creative industry can be tough; the bread and butter of your business relies on churning out new and innovative ideas and constantly testing your limits of how to stay creative.
This can be exhausting and much-like writers suffer from writer’s block, photographers can struggle with their own bouts of creative fatigue. Going through a slump is never easy, but it gives you the perfect chance to sit back, take stock and work on some new ideas.
So, what can you do when you feel like your creativity reserves need a boost and you need to kick-start your imagination again?
Take on an unusual project
If you’re a photographer that solely works with schools or in another niche area, it can work wonders for your creativity when you go out of your comfort zone and take on an unusual project.
Take a look at your inbox and search for any enquiries that might not usually appeal to you, but could certainly challenge you, these projects are the ones that challenge your brain to come up with new ideas and stay creative.
Heading into a project that requires new ideas, perspectives and responsibilities can help you to generate some useful knowledge in a different area and bring something back to your normal projects. You can take inspiration and unorthodox ways of working back into your field and buck the status quo with your photography style.
Experiment with new styles and equipment
Testing yourself and pushing yourself to use new equipment or photography styles with your projects can help you to practice new skills that can lead to better photos. Think about how you’d usually approach a shot and try to do something completely different and challenge yourself to subvert the method you’d usually take.
Swap your lenses, use a different camera or use different software to edit your photos with. But you don’t have to just change your technical approach – you can simply change locations, lighting etc to create new photos.
Sometimes it helps to practice photography that’s not work-related, so you can relax, stay creative and enjoy your processes in a less stress-intensive environment. Take yourself off for the day and try to capture some good shots as part of your own personal photography projects.
When you’re taking photos of everything and anything around you, you can come up with new ideas and help to exercise your creativity in a new environment. Ideas can come to you at the strangest of times, so getting out and about and heading to new locations and working with different people can work wonders.
Seek out Inspiration
Thankfully, there are thousands of fellow professional photographers out there who publish and show their work online. Having a browse through other photos and perspectives can give you some much-needed inspiration to stay creative.
Take a look on photography forums for new ideas, to seek advice or check in with any of your favourite photographer’s websites or social media pages to see what they’re working on at the moment. You can see what approaches are trending, which equipment people are using or ideas that they’re used to great effect.
Think of it like a big, communal mind-map. Record and take note of any ideas you come across that interest you and try to build on those ideas in your own projects.
Talking to other photographers can be really useful too, as you can spark ideas off one another and they can give you some concepts to think about and tips for new perspectives and equipment.
Here’s a website to check out right now!
The worst thing about stagnant creativity is that it can make you doubt your skill and ability as a photographer. The best thing to keep in mind is that it happens to everyone from time to time and a lack of ideas isn’t because of your ability, it’s a natural part of the photography process. Keep persevering and your ideas will start flowing again.
Read More: Creative School Photography: The Yearbook