A constant comment I hear among my photographer peers is that they feel like they’re in a creative pit. They’re bored and uninspired. And yes, let’s be honest, I have as well. Who hasn’t?
I’ve found a few cures for the ailing inspiration in the past and am looking forward to implementing new ones as well.
I’ve been too comfortable and lazy. In the past I would eliminate technical setbacks with gear and software. So, I’ve sold all of my equipment. And then I changed to a new system to see how the other half did it. But over time I was still unsatisfied. Lesson learned: equipment doesn’t matter.
For now, I am exploring and re-learning analog. Don’t misunderstand, I still enjoy my DSLR but I’ll be using it less and may even sell that as well eventually. But when I allow my brain to go manual and take control over automatic this or that is when I like it best. I get creative. I have to think and plan. It isn’t easy. I don’t want it easy anymore. There are constraints and limitations with film photography that are different from digital. If going analog gets too complacent then I’ll try an instant camera or a toy camera.
I’m questioning everything lately. Do I need my photography website? Do I need a place to show galleries and portfolios? Who will see it?
I’m not offering anything unique then the next photographer. I may have some great work displayed there but so will she and he. What can I do that will set my website apart from them? Why should you follow me in the future?
I’ve been enjoying the idea of real, honest to God, tangible products that you can touch. I’ve embraced the physical portfolios and it all started with the art show in September when I offered prints for sale. I had prints leftover and so they went into an album and it thrills me in a way that photography hasn’t in such a long time. I had prints made from some of my recent road trips and those too went into an album. Magical. Now that I’m shooting 35mm and instant, they have their own albums/journals.
When I get my shit together and organized, I’ll even self-publish photo books and zines. I had. A few printed off in the past but that was back when the self-publishing industry was getting started. The offerings have improved and I’m honestly looking forward to this. Again, if I can get it together.
Perhaps these ideas will help distinguish myself from the bored, uninspired photographer. Perhaps these ideas will help me get out of those negative, bored places as well. The visitors to my website may appreciate the distinction from a bored photographer shooting the same thing as the other 12 million people fighting for attention. By making tangible products, I’ll be happier. Even if it is for myself.
Waiting for a muse is just not realistic. She isn’t real. I’ve realized that inspiration rarely comes to you but instead it is something to pursue. Doing the work itself can be inspiring. Planning the projects, cultivating my ideas, projects and products can be very beneficial.
Creativity is difficult to obtain and maybe this is why so many people are bored and uninspired.