I’ve written here before about shooting your way out of a rut. Now I want to help you before things get that bad. This is a little secret I learned years ago and it has helped me to keep my photographic interests alive longer than most of you reading this.
Here’s the secret…
Stretch your boundaries – leave your comfort zone – do something daring or at least different with your photography at least once per year.
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. But it’s harder than it sounds. Ships are safest in the harbor but they are not built to sit there. They are built to sail.
If you want to avoid boredom, and dare I say it, receive the additional benefit of even growing, try something new.
Abraham Maslow said, “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
Visit some new territory if you want to grow. It worked for me. I was safely behind the wall of wedding and portrait photography, enjoying my success when one day I saw photographs of birds by Arthur Morris. I decided to try my hand at some bird photography. Talk about a stretch. I moved from the controlled environs of my studio and strobes to open fields and nothing but sunlight. But it helped me get past the boredom of shooting portrait after portrait and move forward to something new and fun and hard – photographing birds.
Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that life will be over before you know it. Try something new before you run out of time. Shoot something you would normally never think of photographing. Take it further and actually study and scrutinize the work of photographers who work outside your genre. The more you apply yourself to this exercise, the more you’ll get out of it.
Not only will you avoid the eventual boredom that envelopes many long-time photographers, you’ll find yourself with better vision and growth in a new direction.
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