If you read our earlier post on creative ruts, you’ll know that the first step to solving this problem is articulating–or admitting to yourself–that you have a problem. Often, a simple acknowledgement that we are stuck in our imaginative habits can jolt us to think differently. But if your creative channels are still feeling blocked, try these (relatively) quick tips for re-inspiration. And if you’re in need of some more serious re-conceptualizing, come back tomorrow for some in-depth suggestions on how to move your artistry away from what it was, and toward what it should be.
CONSUME MORE ART THAN YOU PRODUCE.
What is true for writers is true for us, too. Make a point to source and read tons of art, design, fashion, and photography blogs, books and magazines, as well as see plays and movies that inspire you. We recommend dedicating at least an hour a week to refueling your creative tank; by sourcing new and fresh ideas from outside your currently-traveled imaginative path, you will lay a foundation for innovative ideas of your own. Immerse yourself in the world of the visual, but don’t limit yourself to just contemporary pieces or local artists and photographers. At Design Aglow, we believe in collecting inspiration in a child’s painting, a vintage advertisement, a hand-drawn script; the broader the inspiration, the better the ideas that come from it.
GIVE YOURSELF A CHALLENGE.
Step away from the 50mm lens.
You heard us: take that nifty-fifty off your camera and try something new at every single wedding/session you shoot. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play with a pinhole camera, paint your own backdrop, or shoot with medium-format film. Investigate new lighting styles and devices, coax your clients into new poses, or rent a different camera lens: the possibilities are endless. Try to incorporate a sense of experimentation into your photography, even if you never show your clients the finished product. This sense of play is as much for you as it for them; because after all, didn’t we get into this business because photography was supposed to be fun?
If these exercises don’t bring the creative twinkle back to your eye, then we’ve got some more serious work to do. Check back tomorrow for the final installation of our series on creative ruts, and in the meantime, please share your best suggestions for shaking up your artistic routine.