How to Motivate - Tips for Photographers

An inspiration-fuelled rocket for being creative again!

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.

how to motivate for photographers blog image man with head on desk in front of computer

Saying No.1:

‘I struggle to think ‘outside of the box’ when shooting.’

Solution:

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.

Saying No.2:

‘I’m never able to match (or think you can’t match) my expectations.’

Solution:

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. 

Saying No.3:

‘It won’t be good enough, so I won’t take it.’

Solution:

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.

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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.

how to motivate for photographers blog image lady planning a trip in front of laptop with camera travel

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:

  • Revisit a location you shot years ago
  • Crack out some old antiques or family heirlooms to photograph
  • Recreate a theme/era of life that meant something to you
  • Stage a shot as a homage to your favourite type of music or sport

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.

how to motivate for photographers blog image man taking a photograph in woodland blue coat orange bag

Summary

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.

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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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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.