This is what I keep telling myself I’m going to do, basically every day 10x a day. But yet I’ve morphed into an automatic couch potato after work as of late. I’m not sure if it’s the stresses of life, pure laziness, lack of motivation, heartbreak, or all of the above but I need to get out and shoot more. And so do you.
We all go through the creative slump. Basically everyone who, for a prolonged period of time, has been persistent at any form of art has experienced this. The key to getting out? Don’t stop. Don’t stop like you’re running from a gaggle of angry man-eating birds chasing you at the speed of a cheetah. Get through the shit and grit to get to the good stuff. Not every image, every roll, every set, every trip out is going to be Nobel Prize worthy.
While pushing through the slump, you’ll likely hate everything you produce. The amount of time you must endure this period is known only by you. Some take longer than others. I need you to beat your slump and get back to the gold, so I’ve got 3 tips to help you out.
- Set an alarm and block out 15 minutes of your day. Whip out your phone and treat your current surroundings like a photo-op. Examine everything around to determine how you can exploit it to fit your style. Maybe you’ll get lucky and be in a crowd of people. Ask someone if you can take their portrait, more people are willing than you’d think. At the end of your 15 minutes, scroll through your shots and delete the trash. See if you can come up with somewhere around 4 – 5 images you feel strongly about.
- Stake out a location for a couple of hours and people watch. Grab a coffee and your camera and head out early one morning to a trafficked area. A great way to spark creativity is to watch other people. Study them; their clothes, their mannerisms, their accent, their personality, you get the idea. Sometimes I get super lucky and find a killer scene I want to stage and have to wait for what seems like forever before the right person to steps in-frame. Immerse yourself in your own city and approach the excursion with the mindset of a tourist. Try to look at the building you see every day with a new perspective.
- Get your ass off the couch. Literally, get up and start moving your feet. Close your phone, laptop or whatever you’re reading this on (after you’ve made it to the end of course) and grab your camera. “Nothing will work unless you do”, said one of my college professors.
I hope these brilliant thoughts of encouragement help you and spark something in your soul. Or maybe it’s just a bunch of garbage and you feel like you’ve wasted the last 5 minutes of your life. Either way I’m glad you’re reading.
GET OUT AND SHOOT!