Last night, Eric and I had a discussion about creativity and how it applies to photography. It was sparked by one of his students, who asked “How can I be more creative?” I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you.
I think people often associate being creative with being artistic. I don’t agree. You can be creative in so many different ways, it all depends on how you look at it. Sometimes, you need to “force” yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Sometimes you just need to accept where your strengths lie.
Perhaps you are creative in your use of Photoshop… like Eric is. As some of you may know, I have my black belt in Kyokushin Karate. When Ella was a few months old, we thought it would be fun to have her doing something associated with that, but not really possible. Here’s the result.
This wasn’t the first “impossible baby photo” that Eric created. He did these ones of his niece and nephew too.
Maybe your strength lies in capturing personality or setting up the scene or seeing light. Photography has so many different facets, and each photographer has different ways of seeing things.
When I’m feeling stuck in a rut, here are the things I do to re-inspire my creativity.
1 – Look for inspiration. That could be looking at other photographers websites, in books and magazine. It could simply being going for a walk and seeing what you see.
A while ago, when I was in New York, I took a walk in Central Park. I loved the way the tree branch framed the stone archway.
2 – When something interesting catches your eye, capture that photograph, but then also take a few moments to see what would happen if you looked at it from three or four different angles.
The other day, I posted an image with Eric reading to Ella and Tehya. Here’s another view of that same scene. I love that you can see Ella holding Tehya’s hand and the smile on Ella’s face… however, I think the one I posted the other day tells the “story” better.
3 – Give yourself a FUN assignment. It could be something like photographing only the colour white, or finding shapes. I took this image at IE this summer, I love that my instructors, Greg and Lesa, are framed by a heart.
These are just a few of the things I do and I hope you find some of it useful! What do you do when you’re feeling stuck creatively?