As a photographer there are times when I find myself stuck in a creative rut. It’s not just me though, I hear this all the time from other photographers. It’s a feeling that left me feeling unfulfilled and at times has made me think whether I should be doing photography at all.
For so long I have found myself doing what the client wants and to some extent doing the same thing as other photographers and falling into place with the rest of the industry.
The spark had gone
To start with it was exciting as learnt all the different styles and genres of photography. As a photographer though I wasn’t feeling fulfilled and as result there have been times when I really wanted to quit. The spark had gone.
I was working all the time, but it wasn’t always the type of work that challenged me. I missed the times when I just went out with the camera and did the things that I wanted to do. The times wen I experimented and tried different things. Yes, somethings worked and there were of course times when the results weren’t quite what I wanted. It was a time that pushed me to look at how I could take a photograph and to look at ways to make them stand out from the crowd.
What do I have to lose?
This year though I have asked myself the question, “What do I have to lose?”
I wanted back the feeling of simply picking up a camera. The time when there was no pressure to do a good job. The time when it was just fun. That was after all what got me into photography in the first place. It was fun.
It’s obvious that I can’t try something different with my paying clients, I can’t experiment. They have book based on what they have seen. What if it didn’t work? I would just be left with an unhappy customer, and the customer without the photographs that they wanted.
I felt trapped with having to repeat the same photographs time and time again without being able to progress with what I wanted to do.
This year though I have decided to work on more personal projects. Little challenges that will push me to produce the photographs that I want to do. Projects that will allow me to try those different angles with different lenses. Ideas that will get me moving the lights around to produce different effects.
This is where I am right now
I am already working on the first part of one of these projects. This is a self portrait of me. This is where I am right now an ongoing project.
This project is now inspiring me to start painting my own backdrops, try out different setups with my lights and explore what I can do just by being a bit more creative.
A simple step that has also already inspired my next project. A community project where I aim to capture one hundred people from the local area in a portrait photograph. Not only that but to also put on an exhibition of these portraits for all to see.
I feel this is going to be an exciting time in the coming months, and I am already looking forward to sharing this project with you as the months go by.