Beat the blues: 5 tips for rediscovering your photography mojo (Part two)
This is part two of a two part series on rediscovering your photography mojo. You can find part one, from last week, here.
6 Follow your instincts
Most of us have experienced the sense of knowing things before we know them, even if we can’t explain how.
I firmly believe in following my instincts, not only as a photographer but also throughout life. It’s how we experience life and it can aid in breaking creative ruts as an artist, but how you may ask? Whenever you feel an inclination of inspiration, or have an idea, pause and then follow your gut while the inspiration is fresh.
It can be extremely difficult to rekindle that spark once the moment has passed, and it’s almost always impossible to conjure up on command, so listen to the voice inside and pursue the moments and ideas whenever they arise.
You never know what it may become if you don’t at least give it a shot.
7 Take from your mistakes
One of my favourite quotes belongs to Raymond Carver, who once said, “You’ve got to work with your mistakes until they look intended.” This quote is very fitting for anyone looking to succeed in photography.
We all make mistakes whether we are open about it or not. No one is perfect and this is exactly why we should acknowledge all those imperfections. It’s only through insisting and pretending that the errors are intentional that you can make real, unintentional masterpieces.
A good practice is to try shooting a roll of film, which is intentionally about mistakes.
Give it a shot, review each frame and see where you went wrong, but also see how and why some of those mistakes work.
8 Allow yourself space
Most of my strongest images are taken when I am in the right frame of mind for making pictures. Typically, this occurs when the situation is unplanned, spontaneous and free to uncertainty. The forest itself gives me time and space for unexpected and introspective thinking.
I feel safe in being alone in nature, allowing for both intimate and personal behaviour to take place, which is when I tend to produce my best work. A good practice is to go somewhere you feel at ease, somewhere quiet and private. Only photograph when you feel the timing or moment is right.
Don’t force yourself to take the image if you don’t feel it. By doing this experiment you’ll realise the importance of being in the moment, and not just firing off shots until you feel like you’ve got the shot. It’s an inspiring sensation when the camera becomes an extension of yourself, and it’ll teach you a lot about yourself too.
9 Play with different gear/techniques
Sometimes mixing things up with the gear we use can have a dramatic impact on our approach and motivation with creativity. For example, maybe you regularly shoot portraits using only natural light, so perhaps you could try adding flash to give a different quality of light.
10 Set goals
One of the most common struggles for photographers, especially those who do it full time is figuring out what to do with your precious time.
Having specific goals is a great way for productivity and clarity as well as for staying motivated and inspired.
The key is to set realistic goals that are achievable on a day-to-day basis. Take a moment to think about what exactly you want to achieve, write a list and then slowly work your way through them.
It could be as simple as taking daily photos at the same location or route that you travel each day, or maybe you want to make a photobook, so set aside a few hours each day to shoot specifically for the book project. Goals will help keep you focused and motivated to create new work.