Let’s face it, we’ve all been here before. We start off being in love with photography – the camera, the lenses, the accessories. We dream of creative and artistic compositions and editing techniques. Eventually, though, the enthusiasm begins to fade and you feel like you’re taking the same photos over and over again. I mean, who wants to get up at sunrise all the time!
This probably sounds odd, and it’s true for me, but I believe that this is a cycle that I had to go through to get to a point where I’m almost always inspired by photography. Of course, there are slumps in the year, typically in late November and again in February, but I’m usually excited about photography.
In this video, I’m exploring why photography is inspirational to me. I’m also featuring a couple of creatives – Lisa Michelle who is a San Diego State University Entrepreneur student from San Diego, California and Sarah Gerber who is a professional makeup artist from St. John’s Newfoundland, to share their ideas with us.
Just at the moment when you think your photography is at the professional level, or at least at a decent competitor, you open up your Instagram one day and someone else’s imagery blows your mind. Someone once told me that “art imitates art”. At first, I was hesitant to accept that. However, I’m beginning to wonder if I am influenced, even unknowingly, by other photographer’s imagery and their techniques and compositions somehow inform my photographs. I am continually in awe of the creative gifts of other photographers and the images that they make.
With a photo, you can capture a moment, and have it forever. With everyone carrying a camera in their pocket these days (a smartphone) I think we take the value of photographs for granted. As photographers, consider our ability to capture moments in time that are unique, emotional, powerful, and perhaps even iconic.
I sometimes joke with my friends that I view life through a lens. Having a photographic mindset is an incredibly transformational experience. Suddenly you notice the light, shadows, colours, textures in a new way. The world around you is new and different when you start to see the world as a photographer.
Once you start noticing details, you begin to see how much beauty surrounds you, even in the most ordinary or unexpected places. This realization changes your everyday experience and can add to your quality of life and happiness.
One of the most inspirational aspects of photography is sharing photography with others, either through mentoring or simply by sharing the experience. I’ve started photo walks, for example, with a notion of what and how I’m going to shoot something but the ideas of others and their perspectives always push me to be more creative and challenge my technique and composition. This discomfort and challenge have pushed me to make better photographs.
When people take photos of things they are interested in, they ten to focus on those things more intently. This intense attention can lead people to deeper engagement with their surrounding and ultimately create more lasting memories. There is no room in this process for thinking about what you want to eat for dinner tonight or what movie you watched last night. Instead, photography focusses you on the now and encourages us to live in the present.
I hope this article (and don’t forget to watch the video) has inspired you to challenge yourself creatively as you dive into photography. Keep challenging yourself to explore all of the wonderful facets of this creative art form.
What are some things you have found successful when you are in a photography slump? Feel free to share those in the comments below to help other readers as well.