Let’s face it — some days we don’t really feel like going out to take photos. Weather, kids, work, chores, projects … the list goes on. It’s a list of excuses, because really, that’s what they are. All of these things take us away from our passion, our hobby and even our photography work if it’s a job for us.
I came across a quote in a book I’m reading and this passage struck me as kind of perfect for all of us at times.
“Creativity begins with an impulse, but it is the practice that hones the form. Having a creative practice makes the time, space and energy — a routine over time — that is necessary to formulate a creation. Making creativity a routine practice can assist you in overcoming resistance to your own creative impulses. Rather than becoming bogged down in trying to create something specific or achieve a certain outcome, simply begin the practice and engage the energy that arrives. Take the photo, write the sentence, move the body, sing the note, press the piano key, moisten the paintbrush, plant the seed; begin.” –@tamilynnkent
The header image above I shot the day I read this. I looked out the patio door and saw this. When I finished my morning writing I took the camera and went out and shot it. Action. I took action. Don’t overthink it, just grab the camera and shoot. It does not always have to be a masterpiece, technically perfect or even a good image. The action of grabbing the camera and shooting, that’s it, sometimes that’s all it will take to get you motivated to shoot more.
Stay close to home
Earlier this winter it snowed here, A LOT. Normally this is the most exciting time for me, as I’m waiting to grab the camera, snow boots and go traipsing through the snow out by the river or in a forest preserve nearby. The day it snowed, I was not feeling any of that usual excitement. I tried, I wanted to want to take my camera out but nope, I had no motivation to do so.
Taking action isn’t always easy, but pushing yourself to do so will help. Finally, I made myself bundle up, boots, snow pants and headed out into my own backyard. What on earth can you find in your backyard in the winter under 10 inches of snow you ask? No flowers, no grass, no leaves, well there are still some leaves hanging around so there’s that. There is a fence, there is snow! Have you ever noticed how snow makes interesting shapes when it piles up? Great for abstracts. Hear that? Those are sandhill cranes flying overhead. Look up. Always look up. Here are a few images I found when I spent just a half-hour in my own backyard.
Go — just go!
A mentor of mine made us do an exercise, he called it Go Anyway. No matter how you’re feeling, what the weather is, what the light is (there is no bad light anyway), if you think you don’t have time, nothing to photograph, can’t find my favorite lens, or whatever other reason you have for not going, ignore it and go anyway.
Sometimes we need to force ourselves to get back in that creative frame of mind. Action, the act of actually getting out and using our camera helps us get our mindset back to that of creating.