Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons

Photographers tend to fixate on post-production workflow but might be better-served if they concentrated on their creative workflow first.

Here are seven ways that photographers can improve their creative workflow.

1. Keep an idea book. It can be a journal, it can be a box full of pictures you like, it can be a series of web-based bookmarks – but keep a stash of supportive, inspirational ideas on hand and work on this during your non-shooting time.

2. Schedule time to shoot – preferably every day. Make it part of your routine. If you constantly expose yourself to photographic situations you increase the chances you’ll come up with something creative.

3. Prioritize your creative time. If you start your week by spending time on creative endeavors, it becomes less likely that you’ll find an excuse at the end of the week to say “I’ve run out of time.”

4. Look at lots of other photographers’ work. The more work you look at the more creative you will become. I am as sure of this as I am my own name. You don’t need to steal their ideas, but you can be inspired by them.

5. Reshoot a photo you made at the beginning of your career. Think through all the things you’ve learned since them and methodically apply them one-by-one. Then start thinking like that on new projects.

6. Juxtapose ideas, thoughts, and anything else you can think of that normally does NOT go together – like a basketball team standing in a swimming pool or an 80-year-old great grandmother shredding on an electric guitar. Then try to find creative inspiration in these odd mixes.

7. Think about what you want your photo to look like as a finished product – THEN press the shutter. This will force you to apply the same sort of creative ideas you use in post while in camera.


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