We all hit the proverbial photographic wall at multiple points in our career. You feel like you’ve photographed everything, and don’t know where to look next for another picture. Take a look at these top 5 tips for getting inspired, and hopefully it won’t be long until you’re clicking away again!
1. Look Online
Photographers from all walks of life post their latest and greatest images online. One excellent way to get inspired is to browse through recent popular submissions to websites such as 500px and Flickr.
Many of us are guilty of looking at the many amazing images we find online and thinking, at some point, “I may as well give up.” Just because someone else has taken an amazing image that you feel you can’t achieve shouldn’t make you want to throw in the towel. Instead, look at the image and think That’s great, but how could I improve on it if I were to take it?”
This critical way of thinking when looking at other inspirational shots will set the ball rolling for your own photography, and cause you to think out of the box and achieve something truly unique.
2. Focus on Your Hobbies
What is it that you really enjoy doing, besides photography? Sports? Music? Whatever it is, try and take a selection of differently styled images that focus on this interest. For example, if you are a musician, photograph up close details of your instrument using a macro lens. Or, you could photograph other musicians at work from obscure angles. Experiment with focus points, depth of field, and all other aspects of your camera.
You never know, you may end up with something fantastic.
3. Join a Camera Club
There are camera clubs all over the world in almost every town, and that’s no surprise considering how popular photography is nowadays. Joining a club will allow you to bounce ideas off your peers, sparking new ideas for where to go next for photography. Plus, with so many keen photographers around, you are all likely to learn from each other and improve greatly.
4. Take a Walk
Take a walk around a new location, whether it be a city, a park, or by a river. Make sure you have your camera out and switched on. As soon as you see something of interest, take a photo of it. Then, take some more at different angles. Try multiple styles and play with different lighting.
Just being outside with your camera will spark interest and keep you feeling inspired and content.
5. Start a Photographic Project
First, choose a subject to photograph – for example, a leaf. Then, set yourself the task of photograph all different kinds of leaves. You could take a variety of shots through the seasons, showing the transition of the life of trees and their leaves.
Once you’re bored of leaves alone, move on to the things they relate to: branches, trees, forests. Put together a project that encompasses the entire being of your subject. Shoot every aspect of its life or situation. This is also great practice for training yourself to continually think of new ways to photograph.
Most of all, don’t give up at the first hurdle. If you’re just starting out and this is your first photographic wall and you aren’t feeling very inspired, then just get out there and keep clicking. It’ll pass – it’s just like writer’s block! We all get it at some point, and ultimately we come out the other side as better photographers.
About the Guest Contributor
Will Nicholls is a professional wildlife photographer from the UK. Will is also the founder of Nature TTL, a free photographic resource for nature photographers filled with tutorials, inspiration and reviews of the latest equipment.