If you’ve been into photography for a while, you know it can sometimes be hard to find fresh inspiration. Sometimes, you can feel stuck in a rut, and if you’re like me – it can get really frustrating.
But worry not; there are ways for both you and me to get those creative juices flowing. In this video, Mitchell Kanashkevich shares five fantastic and actionable tips to rekindle that photographic spark and boost your creativity.
1. Convey the sense of atmosphere and mood
The first tip Mitchell shares is that you try to capture the essence and emotion within everyday scenarios. How can you put this into action? Start paying attention to light and color around you, as they significantly impact mood and atmosphere. Experiment with different lighting scenarios and embrace varying elements such as fog and rain to evoke strong, intense feelings.
Mitchell gives a great example of snapping an everyday scene – taking his dog for a walk. There’s an evening walk, a walk after a rain shower – each capturing unique atmospheric conditions and lighting.
2. Focus on body language
If you shoot portraits, try to focus on expressive body language. Instead of static portraits, take photos of people while they’re interacting with the environment, each other, or even with you. Anticipate and capture moments where subjects become animated and expressive. To practice this, try taking photos of your friends and family in candid, expressive moments. I’d add asking for permission beforehand as it can sometimes be annoying during conversations.
3. Capture the sense of place: wide shots
If you have a landscape or a cityscape in front of you, ask yourself: what’s the characteristic element (or elements) here? Focus on these iconic features or distinct elements of a scene and make them the main actors in your photo. Be purposeful in highlighting the characteristics of the place. For example, while capturing a city skyline or mountain peaks, identify the distinct features and emphasize them in the composition. You can do this by utilizing the lighting or various composition techniques – but I leave this up to you.
4. Communicate the sense of place: up close
This is the opposite of the previous tip, but it can be helpful for your creativity. Instead of going wide, try to capture close-up details that tell a story about a place. Find smaller elements or details that communicate the essence of the place, be it cultural symbols, distinct environmental features, or characteristic textures.
Mitchell shows shots of close-up details like Buddhist prayer flags in the Himalayas or dilapidated mailboxes. Both of these convey cultural and environmental stories about the places he photographed.
5. Communicate the sense of action
There are two ways to communicate a sense of action: by freezing the moment or blurring it. Try to capture dramatic, repeated actions by freezing the moment. See the example in Mitchell’s video. He “froze” a fish in mid-air at a market as a man tossed it in the air. You can also capture the motion blur of people or moving vehicles to add a sense of movement.
I like Mitchell’s tips because they’re not abstract and undoable. they’re very realistic and actionable, and he gives great examples in the video. So the next time you go out shooting, you can turn these tips into challenges or assignments. Challenge yourself, expand your views, experiment, and play. I’m sure you’ll rediscover joy and creativity within your photographic journey again in no time!
[5 Tips to Boost Your Photographic Creativity | Mitchell Kanashkevich]