A while back Nicole Young wrote a piece of overcoming creative block. Here’s my version – overcoming photographer’s block.
It happens to the best of us. Sometimes you just get into a photography rut. You find yourself unmotivated. The couch seems more comfortable than usual and the excuses to keep your camera in the bag are mounting. If this describes you, here are seven tips that might get you back shooting.
1. Make a decision – getting past photographer’s block starts with simply making a decision to do something about it. Write it down. Say it out loud. Tell your friends. Post it on Twitter. Let the world know you’re planning to get back in the game.
2. Call it a comeback – changing your conversation will make a difference. And changing it to something positive will help. Don’t talk about getting out of a rut. Talk about making a comeback. Bret Farve did it and you can too.
3. Schedule time – open up your calendar program and schedule photography time each week for the next four weeks. It you set a schedule, you’re more likely to get out there with your camera.
4. Call a friend – sometimes getting another photographer involved is all it takes to get you behind the camera. Especially when that friend is either just starting and very enthusiastic or if the friend is otherwise highly motivated, that could be all you need to get cracking.
5. Look at lots of photos – Go to the library and check out three or four photo books. Browse the magazine rack at the bookstore. Look at the photos being published. Seeing great images can motivate any photographer.
6. Workshop – If you can afford it, attend a photo workshop. Spending time learning amongst other photographers is always an inspiring experience for me. It’s almost impossible not to get motivated after attending even a mediocre workshop. Just the energy of all the other photographers might be enough to start your engine.
7. Be accountable – set goals and tell a mentor or a friend. Ask them to hold you accountable to your goals. Set a regular time to speak with them about your progress. Knowing someone has your back is always reassuring.
Photographer’s rut doesn’t have to end your love of photography. Give these tips a try and go out and shoot.