We all hit creative blocks at some point. Mine are often related to being burnt out from doing too many shoots. Suddenly I feel like I'm going backwards and all my editing is getting on top of me. Here are some of my tips for overcoming the block and how I find my mojo again.
1.Take some time out
This is an obvious one, but for me sometimes it all just gets too much, especially if I have a backlog of editing. Putting the camera down and taking even just a week out allows me to catch up on my editing and has me itching to shoot again. It's crazy how a little time like this has me going cold turkey and needing to get in the studio again!
2.Work with new people.
I have a great regular team, who have become close friends. But if you work with the same people week in, week out, creatively you are going to hit a wall. Sometimes its good to have a time out and source new people to bounce off. This allows you to see things through fresh eyes and in a new light. Sometimes you end up expanding your network, and other times it makes you appreciate what you have!
3. Remember why you started.
As anyone that knows me well will tell you, I often question why I'm doing it all. Whats it all about. I never want to give it up but regularly wonder where Im going with it all. At these points I remember why I first started. In my case it was simply to take better images of my family. So I stick my favourite nifty fifty on the camera and spend time capturing them again. I love it when create good images that Im happy with of them and as my kids never sit still I find myself working different angles and compositions. Suddenly I'm buzzing again and playing with different settings and light.
I used to read photography books and magazines all the time. Now I find I just have no time as I'm always shooting or editing and even worse, I'm guilty of thinking I won't learn anything new from them any more. This is a HUGE myth! You never stop learning or gaining inspiration. Buy yourself a couple of new books grab a coffee and absorb them again!
5. Hit the streets.
I don't do this enough but I find street photography exhilarating. Both trying to capture the decisive moment or approaching strangers to ask them for a photo. You learn to think on your feet. Settings need to be second nature to you and you never know what your next image will be of!
6. Work with one prime lens.
I mentioned it earlier but for me this is always my 50mm 1.8. I love that lens. If could only keep one lens, it would be this one. Working with just one fixed focal length lens makes you think. You have to zoom with your feet and if your in tight corners you need to get creative. I usually keep it wide open as well so you have to concentrate on your focal point and depth of field.
7. Try a new location
Get out your normal space and organise a shoot somewhere new. Even if this means hiring someones else's studio. New sets, new lights, new modifiers all mean new ideas! Don't get stuck in a rut creating the same images over and over in your comfort zone.
These are just a few of my personal ways to get out of the rut I regularly find myself in on the creative roller coaster. What are yours?