When photographers go beyond copying the achievements of others, or repeating their own accidental successes, they learn that they do not know where in the world they will find pictures. Nobody does. Each photograph that works is a revelation to its creator – Robert Adams.
If you have been through a creative lull, a complete lack of ideas, a slump, and no knowledge of when you will start to create again – welcome to my world.
Of course, feeling unwell doesn’t help (I’m half way through a bout of Covid), but I’m sure that the inspiration will return in due course. The thing you have to remember is that ‘all things will pass’, as George Harrison once said.
One of the traits you have to have as a photographer is perseverance – and the willingness to accept that things will happen to your creative flair from time to time. At some point though, something will happen that will re-ignite your fire again, and you’ll be off on a new tack or journey.
One image can be all it takes to start you off – after all, dropping into doom and gloom because you can’t think of what to do next won’t help.
You could of course keep on repeating what you did before – especially if it was successful, and was readily accepted by judges, social media, and friends.
Repetition though is a lack of creativity all on its own. On judging a competition some time ago, the same image cropped up at least 5 times. Same person, same pose, same lighting – the first time you see it, it’s great, unique, different, the second, there’s an air of ‘haven’t I seen this before’? – but by the 5th time, you’re bored with it…. Where was the input from the artist?, where was the creativity, originality and thought process from the photographer(s).
Find a project, and guide yourself through it, the excitement can come from working through problems, watching tutorials, getting ideas, and then applying them to your own work.
Speaking of projects – the book I promised myself is now complete, and I’ve got the first (and probably only) copy.
I published it on Blurb, and it’s expensive, but it was a project I set myself, and completed – it took a number of years, but the question is – does that matter? The answer is no, it’s just done…. And that’s it. I have the pleasure of rereading my blogs, and pearls of wisdom(?) .. It was worth the effort…..
My photography is not truthful. The images I make are the ones that I like, that make me smile, that allow memories, that remind me of friends and family. Why should photography be more ‘real’ than a song on the radio. It is always up to the photographer to decide how factually accurate an image will be.
Someone asked me why I’d picked particular images to go into the book. “They’re my favourites” I said. “We were rather hoping from something more insightful” they said. “Hard luck then” I thought……
“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it”. – Jay Maisel