I’m a photographer, but you wouldn’t know it based on current evidence. I do post on Instagram almost every day — I love the community and my photos are sometimes creative, but my feed also includes an inordinate amount of pictures of my dog and melancholy photos showing my daughter growing up and away from me (in the best possible way). Not that I need to make excuses for that, I love my daughter and my dog. But I have felt the need for a photographic kickstart recently.
I’m building a career as a visual storyteller in which photography plays a big part of what I supply to my clients. However, as that career has developed I have stopped carrying my big girl camera on a daily basis and stopped shooting for my own enjoyment. I’ve all but ceased searching out and telling a visual story, or getting down on my stomach and shooting down low as I used to, or practicing the kind of shooting that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable and which stretches me creatively. I keep saying I’m going to re-start a 365 (never going to happen) or shoot weekly or monthly prompts (determined to do that before the year is out), but I procrastinate or get busy and picking up my camera and shooting for my own development and fun slips further and further down the list.
So this week, as I did some shooting for a friend and client in her studio space, I decided to set time aside to create some setups of my own. The light was nice, I had some props with me, and the first thing that caught my eye was her desktop and the tools of her trade.
And I must have moved these eggs and pears gently from spot to spot, with props and without, in sunlight and then filtered light, for close to an hour. I lost myself in it.
Was it time wasted? No way. I felt that little spark of — what is it called? — FUN. I played with ISO and aperture and focal points without even thinking about the end result. The journey rather than the destination. And felt pleased as punch when I got home and found a few images which pleased me.
How do you keep inspired and creative when you work in a creative field, or even if you work creatively in a corporate setting? I think back to my first tentative years with a camera in my hands and it was always two things that provided that spark – community and prompts. We have that first one here in the Viewfinders community in spades. And there are so many avenues for finding prompts and fellow enthusiasts with whom to share the journey (just Google photography prompts). Now that I’ve re-awakened my muse, I will be searching for ways to stay accountable to myself – to feed my creativity and walk the talk, so to speak.
Please share your favorite ways to stay inspired!