Every day we’re told about the “Secrets” of photography, how to shoot this, or that, how to be successful, how to get rich, and so on, and they usually have quite the price tag attached to them. The simple fact of the matter is that there are little, if any, secrets when it comes to photography, only myth and misconception.
Chase Jarvis, however, believes that there is one big secret that we can all benefit from, and I’m inclined to agree with him on this one.
He’s right that it’s something nobody seems to talk about, at least not openly. Many seem content just to look at everybody else’s work and moan that they’re own work isn’t anywhere as good.
Every day, though, I see messages from people telling me about their cool new photography projects that were inspired by something that had absolutely nothing to do with photography in the beginning.
When something other than the bits of metal, plastic and glass you hold in your hand becomes the passion of your photography, the work starts to stand out and take on a life of its own.
Sure, you do need to concentrate on photography for a little while, look at the work of others, reflect on your own, seek help and get the technical side of things figured out, but once you get to that point, stop. Go out and explore other things. Find worlds outside of photography that you can discover, learn about and be inspired by.
It kind of goes hand in hand with getting out of your “comfort zone”, except that instead of simply trying other styles or genres of photography, we’re experiencing something completely different to photography and taking from it what we can to inspire us and our work.
Much of what I believe to be my most interesting work (even if not necessarily my best technically) was covering industries and concepts that were completely alien to me.
At one time, for me, photography was that thing outside of my industry that inspired me elsewhere.
Now that photography is my main industry, I’m constantly seeking inspiration from other areas of life, and having a reason to make photographs other than simply wanting to make a photograph drives you and pushes you as a photographer and as a person.
What do you do outside of photography to inspire you and your work? Let us know in the comments.