Sometimes it's really easy to say things like 'I'm not a good photographer' or 'I just don't have the motivation to take photos today.' Yes, I have those days but I try not to give in to them too often. So how one break out of a slump or find their spark again? Inspiration lurks in a number of places online...
Photobucket, Flickr and My Shutterspace are just a few of the many free photography communities that dwell online. Not only can you store your photos for viewing and/or linking, you can share your work with others for feedback or suggestions. Most importantly, you can search the millions upon millions of photos that others have posted and find various styles which might help you see things in a different light. Then you just might find...
Photographers You Love
For me, the biggest boost I get on my I'm-stuck-in-a-rut-and-don't-know-what-to-photograph-blah-blah-blah days is to browse blogs/sites featuring my favorite photographers/artists. There's nothing like seeing something that still moves you, even years after you saw the photos for the first time, to get the creative juices flowing. For example, Diane Arbus was such a wonderful and fearless photography who took so many risks to satisfy her need for the shutter. So, how can I let a little rain or a busy schedule keep me from grabbing my camera when inspiration hits? How can I not get out there and challenge myself to do better?
Contests can be an excellent source of creativity and inspiration, even if you don't want to enter. Not only do contests give you an opportunity to feature your work and win money/prestige but it is a great platform that provides a large number of photos for public viewing. Just like online communities, contests show you just how varied the photography world and can get you thinking. One of the most popular is funded by the World Photography Organisation and it's definitely worth taking a peek at the submissions.
I'm fairly new to the DSLR community so I have much to learn...hence the theme of September! However, the learning really never stops even if you're an old pro. Tutorials keep photographers updated on new ideas/products, tips, techniques and more. How can that not be inspiring?
I've recently found The Digital Photography School online and I'm obsessed. Highly recommend!
Not all photography is about aperture, composition and nameless folks. With social media's skyrocketing popularity, it allows us to meet other people that share our interests. Hashtagging (#) is one example. Many hashtags are commonplace on Instagram photos (#food #theusual #followback to name a few) but did you know that many of them actually connect people for causes/movements/empowerment? For example, the lovely Rebecca from Manzanita is pictured above for her #nomakeupportraits movement that encourages her followers to show their beautiful makeup free faces to the world. Cool, eh? I also connect with fellow feminists, animal advocates/rescuers, folk art fans and more simply by using a hashtag. Amazing, yes? Inspiring? Definitely!
I try to explore a number of blogs weekly, both old favorites and new favorites alike, and in doing so I've found some beautiful and/or powerful photography that really speaks to me. Jes and her skills are amazing and so is her subject matter. Isla Everywhere is a new favorite and I freakin' love her camerawork! Of course, she's a very lovely person and that really shines through her photos. I've definitely become inspired to try some new things. I usually have severe/straight lines, bright lighting and clear definition in my photos but her slightly soft focus and composition seem like of a dream...and I'm hooked. By exploring her blog I've discovered that there is plenty of room for varying styles of photos in my (imaginary) portfolio.
What about you? What inspires you? Do you suggestions, links or ideas? Please share!