How to Motivate - Tips for PhotographersAn inspiration-fuelled rocket for being creative again!
how to motivate
how to motivate
Finding how to motivate yourself (as a photographer), during a creative lull, can be hard to see and even harder to go looking for. We all suffer from creative blocks like writers and painters.
Hopefully, this uplifting guide will give you the rocket fuel you need to jet set into a creative space – we can’t guarantee these awful puns will stop by the way!
Why You May Be in a Motivational Gap
There are 3 types of comments that we’ve noticed our students make when referring to their lull in creativity.
These types of negative thoughts contribute to a downward turn when not knowing how to motivate yourself as a photographer.
But, if we can understand our thoughts, we can hopefully find a solution.
Let’s tackle them one by one.
‘I struggle to think ‘outside of the box’ when shooting.’
When you’re adapting to new situations don’t force yourself to be extra creative – just shoot. Take lots of pictures, recognise what is bad and what isn’t (based on what you feel good about).
How about setting yourself a little project? Choose a subject you like and try out every angle you can use (different camera techniques etc). Just play around without thinking of ‘trying to get the best shot’ – just get a shot.
‘I’m never able to match (or think you can’t match) my expectations.’
You’re stopping any positive motivation by instantly being negative. Without picking up the camera you’ll never find the actual answer to a question you think you already know – but could be wrong.
Why not just try taking those shots regardless? If you’re an iPhotography student, use your knowledge from our courses.
Don’t shoot for others, it’s not a rating game. Likes, shares and attention is only for people that need it.
‘It won’t be good enough, so I won’t take it.’
Good enough for who? Who are you taking pictures for? As soon as you start shooting for popularity, likes and reactions then you’re missing the point of photography and you’re trying to become an influencer.
Remember why you started taking pictures and only aim to pursue that positive feeling that you used to love. That’s all we’re going to say on this piece, as it’s the most destructive comment you can make as an aspiring photographer.
Finding Inspiration at Home
Once you’ve acknowledged that you’re lacking the motivation that a photographer needs, it’s time to start overriding the negativity with practical actions.
How do we start finding inspiration? The first thing to know – you have to chase it, it won’t come to you
Start a varied daily/weekly timetable. Too much repetition won’t force your creative eye to wake up, it’ll get too lazy with the mundane. Embrace activities outside of your 9-5 life; try activities with family, kids and grandchildren which interrupt the normal routine, and you’ll find it easy in knowing how to motivate yourself.
With all that said, you need to recognise what you like to shoot and run with that. While it’s great to try something new, a better alternative may be to go back to what you know and find that passion first in a comfortable environment before pushing on.
You can go backwards to help you go forwards, it is not an indignity or acceptance of failure to photograph places you’ve shot before.
Start at home and try these action points:
Finding Inspiration Outdoors
If you prefer to get outdoors and seek inspiration in the wider world then firstly consider what kind of place would inspire your type of photography?
- Landscapes – outdoors (obviously! Go on a hike or a group ramble)
- Still life – antique shops, jumble sales, second-hand shops
- Portraits – socialising, people-watching in a cafe
- Wildlife – visit a zoo/animal park
If you can’t get out that regularly, then browse the net first. Instagram and Pinterest are amazing resources to find inspiration and know how to motivate yourself.
We’ve even got tonnes of sources of inspiration and motivation for photographers right here. Check out our iPhotography blogs and YouTube videos etc., We try to keep our tutorials light and fun and suitable for amateur photographers with entry-level cameras (and sometimes just compacts or smartphones).
Save images to your phone/tablet over time. Don’t try and rush it all in one day. Inspiration takes time but the more regularly you open yourself up to it, the more interesting things you’ll see.
What Others Are Reading
iPhotography Course not only teaches you all the standard technical expertise, settings, skills, and special effects with your camera – but we also show you how to use these skills to develop your own individual style as a photographer.
Who Are Photography Classes Made For?
Are our classes made for you? Well if you’re brand new to photography or been practising for a little while but starting to hit a wall then, the simple answer – YES!
Whether you have just bought a camera or have spent years behind the viewfinder, our photography classes are comprehensive, educational, honest and cutting-edge – there are no other courses like it (believe us, we checked a lot!).
We’re like the Wikipedia of photography – all of the answers are under one roof.
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Sunlight can be discussed using a few different photography terms and approaches. There are normally 4 considerations photographers look at when using natural light in their photos - Direction, Colour, Intensity and Quality.
In which direction is the light falling? Is the direction of the light where you need it to be? While it’s very hard to change the direction of natural light unless you’re using reflectors you may have to move your subject into the path of the light to get the right finish.
There are 3 main directions that you can use natural light in a photo;
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How to Be a Nature Photographer
Going from a beginner nature photographer to making money from your camera you need dedication. It requires time and a never-ending passion to get outdoors with your cameras and practise new techniques. Get outdoors early and return when the sun sets.
Get familiar with your local woodlands and read nature books to learn about wildlife, birding and foliage. This will help you understand what you are shooting and when is the best time of year to find these subjects.
The other challenge when shooting through glass is the tinting. Unfortunately, architects and designers didn’t think about us photographers when creating these skyscrapers.
Their windows are invariably tinted in some way to help with heating.
This means that some of your photos may have a green/grey tint to them.
It’s not the biggest issue as you can rebalance this tint in editing with the ‘tint’ slider for example.