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Practical Tips to Help You Find That Photography Spark Again

I've been taking photos for over 14 years. When I first started, I had a very intense passion for photography. Inexperienced and naive, I assumed I'd feel that way my whole life! As you know, it doesn't work that way, but don't let that discourage you from finding solutions.


You might relate to the feeling of not wanting to pick up your camera anymore, worrying about other people's opinions, or being so busy that you can't make time for any of your hobbies. I've been there many times. In fact, I avoided photography for 5 years before re-discovering my passion.


Some of the tips below aren't directly related to photography, but they might help you find that spark again. All of these things have helped me overcome creative block at different points in my life. I hope they help you, too.



Recharge Your Batteries

When you think of relaxation, what's the first word that comes to mind? Maybe it's vacation or sleep. There's much more to it than that, though. By "batteries", I mean all the things that bring you happiness and rest in life.


Depending on your circumstances and personality, you might need to recharge your social, mental, or spiritual batteries. On a psychological level, you might be experiencing creative block because there's something else in your life that's bothering you.



I know this might sound a little wishy-washy, but bear with me! When I didn't want to pick up my camera, I was so focused on finding my passion again that I forgot about the things that really needed my attention: my social life, my lack of physical rest, and a few other stressors. Finding solutions to those problems helped me find clarity, which in turn helped me find motivation.


My advice is simple. Get enough sleep as often as you can. Surround yourself with people who bring a smile to your face. If possible, let go of connections that bring you down. Take care of yourself in general. As you do these things, inspiration may return more quickly than you expect.



Don't Review Your Photos Immediately

Some photographers don't edit their photos, but the culling/reviewing process is inevitable. If you're very self-critical, chances are you judge your photos before you've even taken them. You're probably already editing them in your head and hating the results! (I'm exaggerating, but you know what I mean.)


A few years ago, I met a photographer who told me that he never reviews his photographs during the shooting process. He turned off preview mode to stay present and avoid overthinking. To each their own, but I found his approach very refreshing.



I try to separate the process of shooting from the process of looking at my work. When I take photos, I occasionally review them to make sure the focus is sharp and the composition looks good, but that's it.


The next time you take photos, try to savour the feeling of photography as opposed to the results. It might feel uncomfortable at first, so be patient. Focus on the pure joy of it all.



Seek Friendships With Different Photographers

When I say different, I mean a completely different genre of photography. As a portrait photographer, I spent years prioritising friendships with photographers in my industry. When I started meeting people who specialised in other genres, I discovered a new world of inspiration!


Many of you are nature photographers. Maybe you're interested in something else entirely. Regardless of our differences, we can learn a lot from one another. When I read Ian Plant's posts, like his recent article about the Great Cypress Bayou of East Texas, I'm rewarded with the following:

  • The opportunity to travel virtually through photography, which is inspiring enough on its own

  • A greater understanding of composition, which helps me frame my own subjects aesthetically

  • An appreciation for landscape and nature photography, which sparks my curiosity


If I ever feel like taking a break from portraiture, I'll happily pursue nature photography. When that happens, I'll have all the knowledge that I acquired from different photographers and a spectacular amount of images to draw inspiration from.


Also, having conversations with photographers is generally inspiring, especially in a community like this. Don't be afraid to start conversations in the comments section, ask questions, and share your own work with us. Let's inspire one another!



Pursue Other Forms of Art

Sometimes, I come across photographers who don't like to call themselves "artists", and I respect that. However, just because you can't paint or sculpt doesn't mean you can't appreciate other mediums of art.


Following other photographers' work is great. However, if you often compare your photos to theirs, turning to other forms of art may be a better option. More often than not, I find inspiration in music, paintings, and cinematography. Writing about photography is an art form of its own that intensifies my love for it.


You do you. Do you like listening to classical music, watching people draw, or going to art museums? I encourage you to learn about different kinds of art and see if any of it sparks some ideas.



The ideas themselves may not be direct or obvious. I love complementary colours and soft lighting, which is why I enjoy looking at Renaissance paintings. As I analyze them, random ideas come to mind. Sometimes, they have nothing to do with the paintings and everything to do with the process of admiring art.


To put it simply, enjoy art more often and you might start to find inspiration again.


I could write about this topic for days, but I'll stop here. Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this on Photo Masters!


How do you find photography inspiration in your life? Let's share some more ideas in the comments.

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