To be a professional photographer, you have to be able to be inspired. Guts and toughing it out won’t be enough. You will continually need to be inspired. Where you draw your inspiration from is a personal choice. I decided to share some of the things that have inspired me over the years in the hope that you will find something on the list that inspires you.
1. Watch a movie
Yes this is one of those rare times when you are allowed to kick back! Watch a movie. Study it or just experience it. There’s always the chance something will catch your eye.
2. Read a book
Grab something light and funny or deep and thought provoking. But read. I like to suggest The Artist’s Way. If want to be inspired as an artist by reading, check out The Artist Way. It will do the trick.
3. Learn a new goofy hobby
Take your mind off the world and learn a new hobby. The extra space this creates in your brain could lead to big-time inspiration. Suggestions? Here’s a zany one. Learn how to use a Yo-Yo. Yeah it looks easy, but to do it well takes some luck, affinity and skill. Believe me, photography will seem easy after trying to master the Yo-Yo.
4. Study and ask why
Look at photographs from photographers who you admire. But instead of the usual “Oh that’s cool” reaction – strive to know why. Ask yourself “Why did they make this image? Why does it resonate with me? Why is that visually inspiring or arresting or important?” WHY is one of the most important inspirational tools out there. People will do crazy things if the WHY is good enough.
5. Watch trash television
Okay I admit this one is on the edge, but it works for me. One of the things that stops many of us from being inspired is being down or depressed. All you have to do is watch 10 minutes of Jerry Springer or some similar show to realize how good you have it. I guarantee you that you’ll feel better about your life afterwards and if you go out with your camera right away, you’ll see a smile in your photos.
These are just a few of the ways I inspire myself. Try them and see if they help you.