Tips for Maintaining Creativity as a Photographer

As photographers it is pretty much in our job description to produce creative and inspiring work. If your income is based around photography then you know creativity sells. However, there’s always a point in time when creativity is low—writers call it ‘writer’s block’.

creative photography

“A Whisper to the Sun” captured by PictureSocial member James Elliott

So how do we combat this unwelcome phenomenon? Luckily there are a few tips to help you keep your work fresh and creative—and here they are provided in a nifty list format!

1. Surround yourself with creativity

You may or may not know that you’re not the only artist out there. In fact, the Internet is home to millions of artists. Spend an hour or two browsing the web to find all sorts of wonderful photography to draw inspiration from. Don’t just look at photographs, read about them and their creators. Learning about yesterday’s greatest photographers may just turn you into tomorrow’s greatest. And don’t just limit yourself to photography…

2. Art provides infinite inspiration

Photography isn’t the only thing you will find inspiring. Paintings, architecture, and even sculptures can have a similar effect. Don’t just limit yourself to visual work for finding creativity. Music and writing are just as inspiring; in fact music may be the most helpful tool I turn to when looking for inspiration. Again it is important to not only experience these works but to learn about them as well. Expanding your knowledge is key to increasing creativity.

3. Lose yourself

Not literally, but metaphorically. Take a step back from your work schedule and responsibilities and go for a nature walk. If you’re the type of photographer who’s cooped up in a studio or office all day, then a day outdoors may be just what you are looking for. From the sights to the sounds, there’s creativity all around. You’ll find that the world itself is an inspiring place.

maintaining creativity

“The Fountain of Youth” captured by PictureSocial member James Elliott

4. Learn something new

Sometimes the creativity is in us, we just need the right key to unlock it. You’ve always seen those incredible HDRs and panoramic images but thought it was too tricky to try out. Maybe that’s just what your creative side needs: a challenge. Learning a new technique will not only challenge you but it might just awaken some hidden potential, and of course, creativity.

5. Be a “social” photographer

This should be the easiest step to follow. If you’re reading this article then it is safe to assume you’re pretty handy with the Internet—so use it! There are tons of photo-sharing sites to display and discuss your work. Sites like PictureSocial and Flickr bring photographers from all over the world together and are the perfect places to talk about photography. Sharing your experiences as well as hearing new ones will expand your knowledge and further your creative spirit. You may also want to dip your hand into photo-blogging, as it’s a great way to force yourself to keep creating new and innovative content.

6. Remember why you are here

This may be the most important step. Often times we let the business side of photography override the fun side, which is why we started in the first place. Remember that your photography is just that—your photography. If you start to think of your photography as a job or tedious work then it will be really easy to lose focus and creativity; always try to have as much fun with it as possible and create the type of photography you want!

photos with creativity

“Goodbye” captured by PictureSocial member James Elliott

Creativity comes and goes, so don’t be disappointed when you are having an off day. But if you’re in the mood to shoot right away then try the tips above and you never know what might turn out. Best of luck and happy shooting!

About the Author:
James Elliott is a photographer, writer, and creator of ‘Through the Lens’. My aim is to share my world the best I can, and have a little fun while doing so—check out my blog.

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  1. Kevin Mike says:

    Good photographs are the end result of photographers applying knowledge of their craft by using visual design with camera tools and techniques in harmony with their own unique personal vision. The technical skill alone, which a photographer acquires does not make him or her a good photographer. All the same, the finest personal vision cannot materialize without some degree of technical skill to express the photographer’s ideas through the medium.

  2. Natalee says:

    Hi, I was wanting to know how do you emphases a ‘section’ of a photograph?
    ie highlight or outline a ‘section’ of a photograph……

    Thanking you in advance………………………

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