WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds

Feeling Creatively Burned Out? Here Are 3 Exercises To Help You Get Inspired.

By Hanssie on February 28th 2015

Burnout. I would venture to guess that a good number of you reading this are part time photographers, working a day job and shooting gigs on the weekends. Perhaps you’re spending your nights editing away while the soothing sounds of a Netflix drama plays in the background, and each day, you wonder if you’ll ever be able to make the leap to do what you love full time. Except now, it seems like your love for photography is more of a millstone and you are tired. Your photo shoots are becoming mundane, you can’t find it in you to do anything new, and even if you had the energy, the well is dry.

You are burned out and we’ve all been there. Full time photographers experience this all the time too, allowing the weight of the business aspect to swallow up the creative process. For artists, creativity is something to be nurtured and in the following video from Photoshop Week on CreativeLive, photographer Julieanne Kost shares 3 exercises she uses to nurture her creative spark.




In another life, I may have been a self-help guru because I love these types of exercises. So many of us flit through life and just go through the motions, complaining about this or that and wondering why life is sucky. Aside from the end of the year when half hearted resolutions may wander into our minds for a few days, few people really contemplate where we are, where we are going and how we are going to get there.

As creatives, it is important for us to be introspective. As Julieanne mentioned, we tend to have many limiting beliefs and self doubts in our abilities. These doubts and fears are creativity killers. Consider doing one of the suggested exercises  and perhaps it will help give you that creative fuel you need to spark an amazing idea!

What are some ways you get yourself out of creative burn out? Comment and let us know below!

If you’ll be at WPPI, COME MEET THE SLR LOUNGE TEAM! We would love to chat with you. Find us around Booth 1157 and the trade show floor.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Joseph Prusa

    Great article.

    | |
  2. Josiah Dewey

    Going to try that tonight.

    | |
  3. Kevin Nguyen

    Love the 2nd idea.

    | |
  4. Simon Ashby

    Nice lady and great tips…
    I believe in affirmations.

    | |
  5. Richard Hammer

    My favorite exercise for getting out of a creative drought: choose a random image from a random photographer (the legends are the most fun…Avedon, Leibovitz, Newton, etc.) and go about trying to replicate it with your own gear. What inevitably happens is that once you start the process of trying to mimic the image, your own creativity starts flowing and you’ll find yourself drifting from the original intent into your own vision for the photo. By the end of the process, you’ll have a completely different image that will inspire you to keep exploring.

    | |
    • Richard Bremer

      Sounds like a good excercise, I will definitly try it out. Thanks for sharing :)

      | |
    • Aidan Morgan

      I love that idea. Thanks!

      | |
    • Dave Haynie

      Cool! I’ve used that exact technique in music. Never thought about applying it to photography, but I’ll get to fixing that right away.

      Also from the music world, there’s this deck of cards made by Brian Eno called “The Oblique Strategies”. When you get into a creative dead end, you’re supposed to draw a card and do whatever it sayd — partiicularly fun when using that very deck to assist i creative dead ends that aren’t music-related. It would be interesting to make up a photography-specific set of strategies..

      | |
    • Richard Hammer

      @Dave Haynie If you Kickstarted that idea, I would be onboard…I imagine anyone in any of the creative fields would benefit from something like that.

      | |
    • Dave Haynie

      @Richard Hammer I thought about it a little, and it might be possible with a little collecting of ideas. But one of the best things about Eno’s deck(s) is that a great deal of the cards are general purpose — they apply to any creative endeavor. A few, but I’d say less than maybe 1/4, apply specifically to music. Doing something like that, without overlapping “Oblique Strategies”, would be a challenge.

      This is also pretty easy to find online in electronic form. Here’s a site I found very quickly:

      | |
    • David Blanchard

      Look for the Creative Whack Pack by Roger von Oech. Not new, but same idea.

      | |
  6. Brandon Dewey

    Great tips!

    | |