Losing your creativity? What to do about it?
Someone that reads my blog on a regular basis sent me an email and it went like this: “Rick, I’ve improved my photography, but feel like I’m getting stale. I love to take pictures, but bored with the images I’m shooting. I’m losing my creativity. What do you suggest?”
Surprisingly, I’ve received a number of comments like this. I think that just about everyone suffers from this condition every once in a while. Keeping yourself motivated and enthusiastic about photography can be challenging at times.
One of the best ways I’ve found to get out of my “Stale Mode” is give myself a new goal. For example, a year ago, I felt like my photography didn’t have a purpose or a focus. I was tired of shooting the same old thing, so I gave myself a goal to start writing a photography teaching blog. This goal set me in motion in a way that I hadn’t expected. Suddenly, I had to perform a critical review of my images, my shooting style, and plan out what I wanted to teach others about creating wonderful images. It added excitement and gave me a reason to improve.
If you aren’t interested in writing a photography teaching blog, then find another goal that appeals to you. Here’s one I recently tried. I offered to take pictures of our next door neighbor’s young boy using my new Lensbaby I purchased. I took the best image, converted it to black and white, and gave the family, free of charge, a 11 x 14 print. Note: If you wish to explore the idea of using a Lensbaby, you can read my article: Lensbaby Project.
It could also be something as simple as just photographing a different subject matter. For example, rather than take landscape photos, focus entirely on portraits of people on the street. Start shooting from different angles. Learn how to shoot in either Aperture preferred or manual mode. Or, one of my favorites, macro fall leaf images.
Photography needs to be fun in order for us to keep our interest. Most of us don’t rely on photography to pay our mortgages, so the reason we do it is to provide fun and pleasure to our lives. If photography has stopped being fun for you, then it is time to reassess your motives. It is time to try to understand why you are doing it. For me, it is a passion. I do it because I enjoy the challenge of creating art, sharing it, and teaching others.
By trying something new or out of your comfort zone, it forces you to learn a new technique or method. For the next Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge, try some thing new. Tilt your camera at a slight angle and take the shot. Move in and get a closer shot. Convert that color image into black and white. Try using a different white balance. It also forces you to be creative in a different way. There are many ways to expand your mind with photography; all it takes is a tiny bit of motivation to try something new. You might be surprised with the results!