Creative Blocks in Photography
As I'm writing this, I am currently under the influence of a Creative mind block and these honestly suck.
As I'm writing this, I am currently under the influence of a Creative mind block and these honestly suck. You may be experiencing one also and you're asking yourself 'How do I get past this block?', 'How do I overcome this?' or you might tell yourself something like 'I'm quitting!' (I find myself doing the last one quite often.) But the truth is we don't need to 'quit' and these blockers are only temporary. Below are 5 points on how I overcome these blocks and start creating wonderful imagery again and these may even help you.
1. Look for inspiration in your favourite photo book.
I always find searching through your book collection and selecting 1 or 2 books to sit with over a cup of coffee is a really good starting point for fighting these blocks. Looking at how the image is framed, the textures, the subject helps inspire you (now don't copy the image directly but learn from it). This will allow you to get outside with your fresh mind and try something new.
2. Watch your favourite YouTube Photographers/Artists.
I spend more time than I should watching YouTube. Whether I'm on my lunch break, on the train, or at home I am always searching for inspiration on YouTube. There are some great photographers producing content for their channels with reviews, tips, and image showcase. You will sure find something that tickles your fancy and will get those creative juices flowing. You could also give a few documentaries a go. They're incredibly inspirational and very much about the artist, their processes, and their success stories (which they would have also been through creative blocks).
3. Go to a photography exhibition or Art Gallery.
Losing yourself in photography in the physical form rather than your Instagram feed is an experience like no other. I visited a Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibition in Amsterdam a few years back and seeing those images printed is another level of incredible. It's great to see things instantly on your screen but printed exhibitions allow you to be part of that image. This point bleeds into the next point. When travelling, look out for galleries because these really help get those juices flowing.
4. Travel to a new place (Inspiration will jump out at you).
Travelling is fun, rewarding, and sometimes a little stressful. So is photography. Going to new places or even taking a different route when walking your dog or walking to work will uncover things you weren't expecting to see. When in a different country, learn about their culture and try and capture that in your images. Try and be original. Challenge yourself. This should definitely show you a weakness in that block that you can smash and get your mojo back.
5. Get out and Shoot.
This one defeats the object of this article because you're probably reading this because you can't go out and shoot because you're having a blocker. Well I guess the best thing to do is just go out there and attempt to overcome these barriers. You could even try an utilise the above methods to ensure you get off to flying start.
I often find if I'm struggling, just going out for a walk with my camera and some music can help you discover what that blocker is. Choosing the right music that fits your mood may also put you on a level playing field with your own head and you can look into wha'ts not inspiring you anymore or what you need to change about your approach to photography.
That's all, folks.
I hope these 5 tips have helped. I personally use these every time I'm struggling to overcome blockers and barriers. I'll admit they don't always work but a little but of determination goes a long way.
We all go through blockers at some point in our lives, whether daily, weekly, or hardly at all. They all happen in everything: life, jobs, hobbies, friendships but taking a step back and looking at it through fresh eyes can work wonders.
Thanks for reading.