Overcoming Creative Dry Spells and where to find inspiration
One of the things I used to hate when perusing my path as a photographer is when I reached a point where I was uninspired to shoot, or I’d reach a point where I’d feel that my best work is behind me and there is nothing new I can do. These creative dry spells used to happen to me from time to time and I know it happens to everyone so I want to share what I personally do to overcome this feeling.
First thing you want to do is note, screenshot, or take a picture of the things you think will inspire you. I always use the notepad in my phone to jot down ideas that comes to mind.
Browse and bookmark
Looking at pictures will also inspire you and give you new ideas. I take time to browse pictures on Flickr or 500px then bookmark or favorite the pictures that inspire me. Find inspiration and create photos of your own from this. Here is the trick though, never replicate the shot exactly put something of yours into it, because this is ow you grow, besides simply copying a photos – that’s just plain stealing.
It may sound weird, but Idle Times are important. This is when the ideas come in. It’s your time to get away from client work and from the hustle and bustle of the day and just sit and think about new things you can/want to do. Idle times can be waiting for an appointment, as I am doing right now while writing this blog, commuting to work, lunch breaks, every idle moment is a time where you can just think of new things to do.
From time to time I’ll drive around 3-4 hours in a day (Philippine Traffic), these are wasted moments – just sitting in a car – and many times I find inspirations while driving. I always look at billboards when stuck in traffic, and most of the time the articles that I do are inspired by billboards. I also listen to podcasts about photography and when I’m not the one behind the wheel, I browse youtube for photography tutorials or projects.
Frustrations and anger
Ever get frustrated because of someone? Maybe someone who just keeps on ranting on facebook or a photographers who are corrupting the market, and know-it-all photographers that think they know everything, frustration and anger can also be turned into inspiration believe it or not. Use it as a motivation that you can be a successful photographer without being harmful to others.
Look at your past photos:
We all started photography by just learning the basics, look at your photos when you started photography and compare it with the photos you have now. Try to repeat the pictures you did before and do it again today with all the new things you’ve learned. You will see that you will have grown a lot and you can still grow and learn some more.
It’s also very inspiring to look at photography blogs just as this as you learn new things for free and also know what’s the new trend in photography.
Like in all fairy tales – true love will break the curse. Cliche’ and corny as it might seem, to be honest it works. Finding inspiration with the people you love can make you do wonders.
If all of that doesn’t work don’t worry because creative dry spells or feeling uninspired happens to all of us, and one day you will just wake up and feel inspired to shoot again.
Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!