In the world of photography and visual content creation, the pressure to develop fresh new ideas can be an unending challenge. Creative block is a daily reality for many photographers and artists regardless how common, extraordinary or abstract the subject matter.

While the technical issues encountered can be far and wide, many times the problems faced are much more ingenuous and down-to-earth. Here are a few practical ways to work through the stale times and reignite the creative flame.

1. Stop working in a vacuum

Go somewhere new, even if it’s a new grocery store across town or driving a new road in a place not-so-familiar to you. Oftentimes ideas can spark in ordinary places, and it can help if they are new to you.

2. Know and revisit your ‘why’

Sometimes looking back on why you started your photography business can rejuvenate feelings of excitement or nervousness, and spark new life back into the present.

Many larger companies regularly review where they’ve been, where they are currently and where they’re going. It works not only to stay on-course, but to effectively assess the present and help propel the business forward.

3. Talk it out

Much like the first tip, the simple act of asking someone else or talking through your frustrations can offer new or alternative perspectives that can in-turn help to reignite the flame.

4. Take a break

Give yourself the permission to not think about photography for a period of time. In these times, I like to grab my bike and hit the local greenway or take the kids and dogs for a hike. Sometimes a simple change in diet can make a huge difference, especially (for me) laying off the caffeine and sugar.

5. Focus on others

Along with taking a break, shifting focus from photography to something or someone else in our lives can work wonders. Even if only for an hour, helping someone else or tackling other concerns in life can allow you to reset, be thankful and return to a project with a fresh new energy.

6. Revisit an old project

If you’ve been working for quite a while and experience a block, consider revisiting a past project and simply try to make it better. Often I have found this gives me a starting point from which I can acquire a fresh thought process to apply to current and future projects.

Understandably, when lacking inspiration or motivation it can be debilitating and hard to do anything. Taking the first step can often be the most challenging, so try to prepare for these times with a speech, a video or a quote — anything that speaks to you. Doing so may very well be exactly what is needed to successfully catapult you into your next creative adventure.

Do you often find yourself at a creative standstill? If so, how do you break free? Feel free to share any helpful tips below with those who may benefit.

Thanks for stopping by, as always. I hope you find these helpful in your journey.