Inspiration is vital in any form of art. It motivates you to keep creating. However, staying inspired is a big challenge. Struggling to remain inspired can put a pause or even an end to the way an artist works. In this video, photographer Jay P. Morgan from The Slanted Lens shares 10 ways to remain inspired as a photographer:
1. Keep a Sketchbook
Ideas can pop up anywhere, any time. Keep a sketchbook handy so you can sketch ideas for your shoot. Take notes of things, locations, and events that inspire you to take a photo. Then, when you’re struggling to come up with an idea for a shoot, refer to your sketchbook.
“Keeping a sketchbook really gives you a place to keep all these ideas, keep them wrapped into one place.”
2. Maintain a Digital Folder
If carrying a sketchbook around isn’t your thing, maintain a folder on your computer. In that folder, save a copy of images that inspire you or that you feel are interesting. Refer to the images in the folder whenever you need some inspiration.
3. Watch a Movie with Rich Visuals
There are great cinematographers in the industry who can inspire you. Watch visually rich movies with the sound off. This way you can concentrate more on the composition, lighting, and the visual elements on display. You can even sketch the interesting bits so that you can refer to them later.
4. Visit Museums and Art Collections
Pay a visit to museums and art collections. Observe the art and create a sketch of works that inspire you the most. Jot down the thoughts and feelings that you get when you’re there. Later on, you can incorporate those feelings into your work and create something new.
5. Go to Photo Exhibits
Photo exhibits are great platforms that allow you to see a great collection of photography in one place. And if you get a chance, don’t miss out on vintage collections. Photos from the past have the ability to trigger emotions that may motivate you for your next project.
6. Check Out Music Videos
Music videos are made to create a rich visual experience, and they can be a good source of ideas for a shoot. Who knows, the music too may get some creative juices flowing.
7. Go to Photo or Video Conferences
Conferences like WPPI, Shutter Fest, NAB show, and Photoplus are great places to be for you to interact with great speakers and see some awesome work. Listening to good photographers and talking to like-minded people will definitely help you elevate your creativity.
8. Find a Photo Club or Group in Your Area
It’s like that there’s a local photo club in your community. Look them up and approach them to be a member. Then, participate in their meetings, events, and photo walks. Being around creative people will help with inspiration.
9. Take a Hike
Spending some time in nature will give you peace of mind and allow you to think freely. Have that notebook handy to jot down the ideas that come your way.
10. Look at Great Illustrations
Great illustrators are particular about how they work with light. Invest some time in going through illustrations and take notes on what you really like.
“Follow illustrators. It’s one of my favorites. I saved it for last because I think it’s a gem. It’s a great place to get inspired and see great work, and they help you share your own style by seeing what other great artists are doing.”
The only way to keep yourself inspired is to surround yourself with creative things, ideas, and people. What are your sources of photography inspiration?
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