Do you remember when you begun to take photos? You was full of enthusiasm, you used to take pictures to everything, everybody in every moment. Then, when you get more experience, you begin to shoot less, but the quality of your pictures is better. Finally, mostly when photography becomes your job, you have to face a crisis, a lack of motivation slides inside your brain, you are sick of your camera and bored to take pictures. But don’t worry, it’s pretty normal and there are a lot of ways to overcome this crisis and get new inspirations.
Read a book (about photography or not)
A good way to have new inspirations is to leaf through a book of a great photographer. When you observe great pictures you are more stimulate to go in the street and do your best. Also a good manual about photography can work: you can discover new techniques and new ideas to shoot, or analyze some theories. Sometimes you can just read a good novel: your imagination is stimulated and maybe you can think to take some pictures inspired by the book.
Go to YouTube
On YouTube there are a lot of channels owned by photographers, where you can find interviews, documentaries and good videos about photographers at work. I find it very inspiring. Some of them? This interview to Daido Moriyama is great, or this long video about William Kein. You can just type “street photography” on YouTube and find a new world of inspiration: try!
There are a lot of blogs about photography around the web. You can read some good post (maybe like this one!) to find some good inspirations to forget your crisis and be in love with photography again. One of my favorite blogs is Eric Kim‘s.
Watch movies or tv series
I’ve studied cinema at university and I think that movies and tv series are a great inspiration for my pictures. Try to find a list of the best cinematographers and observe how they use the lights in movies (an example? Take a look to Lubezki or Deakins to have new inspirations!).
Try new gear
I don’t love to spend money in gear, I buy a new lens only when I really need it. But this is really a good way to find new passion for photography: observing the world (well, your city) through a new lens is a very good way to watch a place that you know very well from a different point of view. Trying a new lens is really a good way to overcome your crisis! You can also decide to shoot for a day or a week just with your smartphone: you have to change your habits and it could be a great way to find new inspirations.
Begin a project
A photo project is maybe the best way to save your passion for photography. I think the most dangerous and boring thing in photography is to go out with your camera and don’t know what to shoot. With a project in your mind you can really be focused on your ideas and your passion will bloom again! If you work on a project for a contest is even better: deadlines are an excellent boost for your passion.
Enter in a collective
Internet is full of groups or collective about photography. Find the right collective for you and try to enter: competition can be very stimulating for your works. Observing other photographers work is always a great inspiration: if your colleagues are always on the street, you won’t be still.
Watch your old pictures
You really don’t want to go in the street again to take some new photos? It’s ok, you can always take a look to your old pictures, maybe you can open Lightroom or Photoshop and work on a new post-production of them. With the passing of years you learnt new skills that you didn’t use on your oldest photos, so maybe it’s the right moment to work on them again!
Go to a exhibition
As I wrote before, observe other photographers’ works is always a good way to get new inspiration. Check the museums or the galleries of your city: you can find something interesting to help your passion.
Take pictures of your life or friends
Your passion is really low? No problem, try to bring your camera when you meet your friends and play with photography: you won’t believe how great it can be! I did it once, pretending they are a gang like in Bruce Davidson project about the Jokers: it’s been super funny and great for my passion.
Print your photos
I always suggest to print your favorite photos: it’s an amazing feeling when you touch it with your hands. Print photos and give it to your friends or hang the pictures on your walls. When your pictures leave the screen of your computer they really live: try to print your best photos in a big size and discover new details. You’re going to discover how good are you as a photographer.
Try a Workshop
Workshop sometimes are a waste of time, but if you find the right one they could be a great way to find new passion for photography. Maybe you can find a workshop about a photography genre that you don’t handle, so you can learn something interesting to use in your pictures.
This is the last point and the most banal. A travel is always the best for your inspiration: when you discover a new place your eyes are full of enthusiasm and ready to observe everything.
So, if you are in the middle of a crisis, don’t give up! There are a lot of solutions for your problem. Please let me know if you have other ideas to keep your passion alive!
[Looking for more inspiration? Join us in the group Living Is Easy With One Eye Closed]