Lacking inspiration, mojo whatever you call it we all go through it regardless of our chosen past time be it photography, painting, sewing whatever at some point we hit a block and stop. I really struggled getting the camera out throughout last year. One moment I would be full of ideas and enthusiasm then nothing. It always bothers me when this happens and I start asking myself why – is it due to lack of time to actually get out there and take photos, life taking over and getting in the way, is it lack of inspiring subject matter or I am loosing interest in photography? Maybe it is a combination of all those things and more.
In an attempt to find my way back and move myself out of this rut I enrolled on a photography course and a number of the evenings were spent looking at other photographers work, something I do but not enough and always on my own, this time it was different as it was done in a group and we had some really good discussions re the authors work which I found enlightening and so beneficial to actually share thoughts with other like-minded people. As part of the course we were encouraged to start a project, I actually came up with two ideas, the first was inspired by a book called “Summer Night Walking” by Robert Adams, a set of images taken at night in his local area, all black and white. Instead of going around my village I went to some of the local car show rooms at night and photographed them. I enjoyed it but I couldn’t see it going very far. Then and how it came about I really can’t remember but I decided to photograph red telephone boxes and this project has really caught my imagination and I am really enjoying it. Amazing how many there are around once you start looking. It is nice as well as my friends keep sending me locations of one’s they have seen on their travels, so I have a list of places to go to. That seemed to kick-start me again, so in a huge effort to keep it going I pulled out a scrapbook that I made a few years ago, it is made up of images cut out of magazines and I make notesas to why I like them, a great source of inspiration is in there. I am starting another course in a couple of weeks time on studio portraits. I do a lot of portraits but lack the knowledge re studio lighting, so that will be good to learn. As well as all that I have started – yet again – a 365 project, which you can see on this blog and I started this blog to help keep me inspired.
So my remedy for rekindling my fire has been:-
1. Enrol on a course or two in my case,
2. Talk to others re photography, not just what you like photographing but what you don’t as well, look at famous photographers work, explore different styles.
3. Revisit my scrapbook and update it, write down ideas you have, things you want to photograph then start working through the list,
4. Start some personal projects, (I am planning some more this year but have only mentioned the ones that have started) the one thing I discovered with the personal project – it really does have to be a project that excites you and makes you want to pick up the camera and create the next photo. If the subject matter doesn’t set you buzzing it isn’t the right project and it won’t be completed. For me I have written down a format of how I wanted the images to look in the end so that I had some guidelines to work to and I am setting myself a time limit of 6 months to complete the telephones.
5. Look at books, websites, flickr, join some on line challenges,
6. Start a group,
So if you have been struggling with motivation I hope some of the ideas above help you to get started again, they are nothing new but they all help to relight the fire, if you have any ideas please leave a comment and add to the list I would love to hear them. but the most important bit is to pick up that camera and start taking photos again. x