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Google defines “writer’s block” as “the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.”
Much like writers, photographers often experience photographer’s block. Sometimes the feeling passes quickly. Other times it feels like the magic is gone, inspiration has disappeared, and you’re not sure you’ll ever get your creative spark back.
Getting out of a creative rut
When I’m having a hard time pulling myself out of a creative rut I usually fall back on one or more of the ideas below and turn my photographer’s block into an avenue for personal growth.
- Make a decision – Decide that you want to change the status quo and then make yourself accountable. Tweet your goal, post it on Facebook, tell a friend, etc.
- Make time – Carve out a few moments a day (or a week) and devote them to your goal.
- Get Inspiration from Others – Go to a gallery, pick up a photo book at the library, or peruse the online portfolios of photographers you admire.
- Push Yourself – Get out of your comfort zone. Try something you wouldn’t normally do. If you don’t normally take photos of people try some street photography. If you only take photos of your kids, try a few landscapes.
- Learn Something New – Take a class, read a book, or research a new technique online.
- Give Yourself a Challenge – and stick with it! Some ideas include focusing on a topic or technique for a day, working with a specific piece of gear (i.e. shooting everything with your nifty fifty) or a long-term challenge like a 365 Project.
- Take a Photo Walk – It can be an organized event with other photogs or on your own. Get out and explore an area close to home, camera in hand.
- Spend Time with Other Photographers – Find a photography group in your area and get to know like-minded people. (Meetup.com is a good place to start.)
- Become a Mentor – Help someone else discover the magic of photography.
- Frame Your Favorite – Pick one of your favorite photographs, get it printed and put it up on the wall.
- Buy new gear or software – I realize a new camera or lens might not be an option for everyone, but perhaps a new filter or even a new piece of software can inspire you to take your photography to the next level. Check out the left sidebar of my blog for discounts on some of my favorite post-processing plugins!
Just Start Shooting – Pick up your camera, iPhone, etc. and start snapping. Even if you aren’t feeling it, you are still practicing your craft and as you get better inspiration WILL find you!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means that I may receive a commission if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase. I only share products that I believe will be valuable to my readers. All opinions are my own.