Every once in a while I get contacted by a Photofocus listener or reader who lets me know they are burned out. It happens. It happens more often to pros than amateurs, but at some point, there’s a “been there done that” mentality that creeps in and people get discouraged. My aim here is to help you overcome this problem if you’re unmotivated.
1. Relax. Take a deep breath. This is not life or death. The problem can be exacerbated if you put a lot of pressure on yourself to overcome the lack of motivation. It happens to just about everyone at some point in time. While this may or may not be helpful, know that you aren’t alone in this problem.
2. Rethink what you are photographing. Stop shooting ANYTHING that doesn’t excite you. Shoot only things that interest you. Photographing people, places or things that you love may be all you need to get you over this hump.
3. Schedule shooting time no matter what. The very worst thing you can do when you hit a slump is to stop shooting. Seriously – this is a big deal. Do not stop picking up the camera. Pick a time at least two or three days a week to go out and shoot. Take the advice I gave you in the previous paragraph.
4. Get a sponsor. Yeah like an “AA” sponsor. This person is someone you should confide in. Let them know you’re having trouble. Have someone you trust hold you accountable. Make sure you share your goals and your trials with them.
5. Mix It Up. Just go shoot something you’ve never done before. Try a new technique, a new camera, a new lens. If you’ve never shot macro, go shoot macro. Never tried landscapes? Go shoot landscapes. It’s important to keep shooting SOMETHING. This way you can identify if your burn out is the result of too much photography or too much of the wrong kind of photography.
Hang in there. I’ve been through it two or three times in my nearly four decade career. These tricks and tips kept me going and I hope they will help you too.