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Creative Inspiration for Photographers

Paige Newberry

Mar 2, 2022
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In a world of constant content creation, writers aren’t the only ones to have “blocks.” Creatives have the challenge of not only bringing their skills to the table every day but they’re often expected to flip a switch and turn on creative inspiration any time. Because of this, it can be difficult to force that inspiration on days you feel burnt out as a photographer.

When you find yourself hitting a “photographer’s block,” it’s time to take a break from work and recharge. Exploring new techniques, locations, or forms of art can bring that spark back. We’ve got some top actionable tips to help you find creative photography inspiration while still building your portfolio.

Learn a New Photography Technique or Niche

Best way to break out of that photographer’s block? Step outside of your comfort zone. Try learning a new technique you’ve been interested in trying, but haven’t dedicated time to doing. Now’s the chance to try something new, whether it’s a technique or photographing a new niche, to change your perspective on things.

Take a Photography Challenge

Want to mitigate the usual pressure you feel when trying to determine the subject or theme of a shoot? Take a photography challenge for some creative inspiration. A photography challenge can refine your skills or force you to practice some skills that you haven’t put to use in a while. It offers you a chance to find some motivation to complete the challenge without the added pressure of having to deliver a project to a client.

Try New Photography Gear

Not a lot of things can get you more excited to take more photos than to buy (or rent) new photography gear for yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. You can shop for accessories, like a new filter or flash. Treat yourself to something new, big or small, that can help you take your work to the next level.

Master Your Existing Photography Skillset

Take this time to revisit your existing skillset and master those tactics that you feel you could use some work on. Research other photographers that you inspire to be like. Read blogs on how you can hone the skills that make your portfolio shine.

Go Outside

A breath of fresh air and some sunlight can be just what you need to refresh yourself. Get outside! Join a photo walk to find some inspiration either in your neighborhood or in a new area of town. Browse some interesting locations near you, or research places you have on your photography bucket list for more creative inspiration.

Read a Book

It may help to get out from behind that lens. Sit back, relax, and read a book. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on photography, but it can be on the arts, history, or whatever inspires you. Immersing yourself in another creative outlet can push you to continue to create.

Look Through a Magazine

Creative inspiration can come from composition, colors, or different photographers' works, especially when flipping through a photography book or magazine. Flip through the pages and find something that catches your eye. Then ask yourself, what is it about that image or design that makes it stand out to you? How can you use that composition or color in your next shoot?

Start Journaling

Journaling can be a great way to spark inspiration in all parts of your life. To feed your creative photography inspiration, start journaling and write down why you became a creative in the first place. Detail what made you pick up a camera for the first time. Make a list of what you want to achieve in the future for your career. Most importantly, there are no rules to journaling. Jot down ideas as they come into your head and leave room to expand your creativity.

Travel

Time to hop on a plane or train and travel to those photography bucket list spots we mentioned earlier. Pack up your gear, book your flight, rent a car, and journey to those highly desirable places we’ve all seen in the magazines. Experiment in your new surroundings and take the creative risks you might not take back home. And remember, there are more beautiful places than the ones showcased on social media or in print. Explore off the beaten path, and you never know what you’ll find.

Watch a Movie

While photography and videography are certainly different, there’s creative inspiration to be found from both. Watching a movie can give you insight at new ways to frame a shot or into new perspectives and focuses. Gather further inspiration from the sets, the script, and the score.

Explore Photography Blogs and Galleries

One amazing benefit in this age of content creation is that you can educate yourself and expand your skillset often from the comfort of your couch. There are some great photography blogs and galleries that you can explore to help yourself grow as a photographer and gain some creative inspiration. Some of the ones we recommend most are:

Create an Online Visual Moodboard

A helpful tool for a photographer can be an online visual mood board to draw inspiration from throughout the year. You can use online social platforms such as Pinterest or Tumblr to create a mood board. Add photos, designs, and color palettes to it as you stumble across ones that stand out to you.

Visit an Art Gallery

Recharge with a stroll through your local art gallery and pull inspiration straight from the canvas. Journey through the generations of artists and study how art and photography have evolved over time. With the trends you see throughout the decades and centuries of art, find creative inspiration in figuring out where those trends might be heading next.

Network with Fellow Photographers

A great way to break through the “photographer’s block” is to network with other photographers. They can share ways they’ve been able to get over the creative block, inspiring locations they’ve been able to photograph, and even techniques that they’ve discovered or have been working on recently. Networking with fellow photographers can bring some light to ideas that might not even be on your radar.

Listen to Music

One of the greatest art forms of creative inspiration is music. Now is the time to lay back, relax, and sink into the music that evokes feelings of creativity, innovation, and imagination within you.

What colors do you see when you close your eyes during that one particular song?

What landscapes does that album make you think of when it first begins to play?

Take those thoughts and use them to push your next photography session further.

Meditate

Lastly, simply meditate. Breathe, clear your mind, and be present in the moment. Removing all distractions, stresses, and challenges you’ve been trying to work through by meditating can give you the space you’ve needed to open your mind to new ideas.

Now that you have the tools and tips to break through the photographer’s block and help find the creative photography inspiration you need, it’s time to get back to what you love. Use your new inspiration to reach out to some of Agency Access’ database of over 80,000 contacts and find the ideal client who’s ready to take the creative journey with you.

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