1. View Others’ Work
Whether you’re on Flickr, 500px, or Google+, being part of a community can inspire you to go out and shoot. When we look at the work of other photographers, both unknown and known, we can ignite a spark of our own creativity.
Just like writers are influenced by books and other writers, taking a look at the latest the photography world has to offer provides you with a great way to spark ideas.
2. Read Blogs Geared Toward Your Style
3. Give Yourself a Shooting Assignment
Many different forums and websites challenge their viewers to complete a shooting assignment. You can take it a few steps further by finding the image that has inspired you in the past and try to replicate it.
The idea here is to force yourself to get out there and shoot. Once you’re doing it, you will be surprised how much of a fun challenge it can be.
4. Attend a Workshop
I’ve attended a few workshops, and from them I learned different techniques and disciplines in photography. One that has stuck with me the most was when I went to Peter Read Miller’s (former Sports Illustrated photographer) sports workshop in Colorado many years ago. While attending the workshop, he set up exciting photo opportunities like mountain bikers, boxing, arena football, and track and field.
Workshops are a great way to meet your favorite photographers and learn something about their style.
5. Photo Walk
A photo walk can be done by yourself or with other photographers. It is fun to put yourself into a situation or place like a downtown area, national park, or wherever, and walk around and shoot what catches your eye.
It is a great way to experience the world around, and to capture things that may never have really seen before.
6. Listen to Inspirational Music
Many artists like to listen to music when they work. Whether it’s a graphic designer behind a desk with some headphones on plugging away, a painter listening to music in their studio to spark inspiration, or a photographer that has their earbuds in listening to their favorite tunes, music has the power to move and inspire.
For some it’s Mozart, and others it may be nature sounds, music has that power to inspire you to shoot.
7. Do Something Out of The Ordinary
Sometimes when I feel like I have nothing to create, I will do something that I wouldn’t normally try. This usually means I’ll hop in the car, grab my gear, and travel a few hours to a place I’ve never photographed. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, it makes me think of when George Costanza does everything the opposite of how he would normally do things. George finds that the things he was afraid to try actually make his life better to an extent.
Taking the plunge into something new is scary, but it’s rewarding.
8. Read Inspirational Quotes
The quotes and aphorisms of famous people often have the power to inspire. By reading Rumi, Mark Twain, Gandhi, Oscar Wilde, Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, Robert Frank, and many other artists, writers and philosophers, you have a great supply of inspiring words that can get you out of creative doldrums.
Here’s a few for the Road:
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” – Elliott Erwitt
9. Create a Unique Composition
Trying new genres of photography definitely takes you out of your comfort zone. One way to challenge yourself is to put yourself in front of something and try to find a way to make an interesting composition.
Understanding and trying to practice composition will fire up the creative process.
10. Approach People On The Street
Many great portrait photographers are out on the streets politely asking people if they can take their picture. Some will say no, but some say yes. If you’re not used to this kind of photography, it will be a new experience that will make you a better, more confident photographer.
By challenging yourself to do something that you wouldn’t normally do, it brings out an adventurous and daring side you may not know.
Endless by https://www.flickr.com/photos/s_j_photography/16485912354/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.