Once in a while I cover this subject because I get an email from someone who’s a bit down. They’re bored with their photography or even photography in general and they are looking for something to motivate them to get off the couch.

Some of you are thinking – “How can that be? I live for photography!” Well believe me if you’re into this photography thing long enough it will happen to you. So be prepared.

Years ago, I created an idea scrapbook. It’s taken many forms. For a while it was literally a scrapbook. But I got lazy and sometimes it was a shoebox, still others an entire drawer in my big file cabinet. The place, manner and method of collecting the ideas is unimportant. What IS important is the collection of the ideas.

Here’s how this works. You buy a magazine and you’re thumbing through the pages and BAM! You see a photo that rocks your world. You tear that page out and put it in your scrapbook (or box or drawer or bank vault for all I care) and you move on. When you’re bored or uninspired you go through the scrapbook and the idea is, you become inspired. Sometimes I’ll go try to recreate the photo that moved me. Sometimes I’ll just study it and try to figure out what the photographer had in mind when they made the shot and apply those principles to a totally different shot. It really doesn’t matter how you use the idea – it just matters that you USE the idea.

Fast forward to the series of tubes known as the Internet and this idea becomes even easier to implement. You look at online galleries and you see a picture that motivates you take a screen grab and store it in a folder on your hard drive called BIG IDEAS or something similar. No – you are NOT violating anyone’s Copyright as long as you don’t publish or republish the photo. This is just for your own use. You look at it – you see something about it that makes you want to get off the couch and you go out and shoot. Not for publication but for enjoyment.

Every time I’ve felt my photography growing stale I’ve used this trick and it works. I hope it does for you.

P.S. you can use this idea even if you aren’t bored with photography. It’s still a great way to get inspired.The Photographer’s Idea Scrapbook


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  1. […] THIS was a great idea.  Shout out to Allan Brunke who has been doing this for a while.  He’s a […]

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