One of the best things I have learned by being a photographer has been to find beauty and inspiration in the most unconventional places. I don’t have to have everything be perfect forit to be beautiful. Not to say that there aren’t days when my inspiration has waned and I am feeling a little blah, but it usually doesn’t take much to spark my creativity and get me excited about shooting again.
I constantly find myself looking at other photographer’s work, not to compare myself to them, but to see what has inspired them. (And don’t ever steal someone’s work. It’s one thing to be inspired, but to blatantly rip them off is a no-no!). There are some amazing photographers out there and just looking at their work makes me want to grab my camera and head out the door.
Another avenue that seems to add fuel to my creative spark is Pinterest. Oh my, how I love Pinterest. Pinterest is a a social catalog and you can create boards and post things you like. I have a ton of boards and they range from photos of vintage cameras to weddings to style choices. Pinterest has grown in popularity and I really think it is because people are looking for that inspiration and that little “kick” to just get them going.
I have been lucky enough to befriend some fabulous photographers and when I see their work, I just want to push myself even more. It’s not about competition, but I know that I can do better and I want to do better. I look at images I took months ago, a year ago, two years ago, etc. and I critique them. With each shoot and each image I have gotten better. I have learned about my camera. Posing. Lighting. Learn. Learn. Learn.
My New Year’s Resolution every single year is to learn more about photography and editing. While I am learning I am also finding and cultivating inspiration. As you learn more about techniques, you find that creatively you want to do more. It’s this circle and you can just keep going in that same small circle or you can choose to add to it and let that circle grow more and more.
I encourage every photographer I meet to keep a photographer’s notebook. You can write yourself notes, put ideas on paper, write down websites you like, tutorial info, and more. (I go through notebooks like crazy!).
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and leave your comfort zone. You don’t have to follow the same posing and shoots as everyone else. Find things that inspire you and let your inspiration lead you to places you have only dreamed of. Learn to find inspiration and beauty in everything you see. Imagine you have a viewfinder at your eye while you are sitting at a park bench or waiting for your kids to come out at school pickup. Eventually you can train yourself to find creative angles and beauty even where no one has seen it before! Everyone’s path in photography is different and yours should be as unique and imaginative and you!