Are you drawn to photographing certain subjects? Do you ever feel like you’re running out of ideas or new ways to photographic those subjects?
Where to start
Start with what you have. Take a look through your archives to figure out what it is you seem to shoot the most. Is it a location? Are there certain colors that show up over and over in your library? Do you gravitate toward the details in a scene? How about reflections or shadows? Architecture? Macro?
How do I find these in my archives? Keywords! You do keyword, don’t you?
What creating a series can do for you
Determine your niche
Creating a series can help you determine what your niche or style is. By pulling images that have a common theme you will be able to see patterns and consistency in your library. You might even be surprised at what you find. We tend to just go out and create individual images, not really thinking about our complete library. We shoot at the moment because we’re traveling, or out for an event, on a photowalk, etc. without really considering the fact that we’re likely creating more images to add that could be cultivated into a series.
Focusing on a series will help you see more. When you are looking for specific things as you are out shooting you’ll be much more aware of what you are seeing. If you shoot a lot of a certain shape, say circles, the more you look for circles as you’re out, the more you’ll see them. It’s kind of like when you buy a new car and you never really noticed that particular brand/model before on the streets but now that you have yours you see it everywhere.
Slow down and look around
You’ll become much more deliberate about the images you are creating. By choosing to shoot images for a series you will slow down and look around before clicking the shutter. You’ll likely capture other interesting images in the process that you may not have noticed if you weren’t taking the time to look specifically for your series shots.
Become more cohesive
Your Instagram feed will look more cohesive. If you are on social media, particularly Instagram because of the way the images are presented, you will be presenting a much more focused group of images. Your image as a photographer will look much more polished and professional. I’ve been doing a series of nine on my Instagram feed for quite some time. It helps me focus also on what images to choose to edit and present as I go through my archives and as I’m out shooting.
Get out of a slump
Having a series (or several) to work on can make it easier to get out of a slump. It happens to all of us — we don’t feel like going out and creating images. By having a series to work on, it can give us the needed nudge to either go back through our archives, find and post-process old images that fit within the series or gives us a reason to just get out and take specific shots for the series. Either way, it helps get the creative juices flowing again.
With so many beautiful options in this world to photograph it can be overwhelming to choose what to focus on. Take the time to choose one or two subjects and create your own series. Doing this can be a great way to learn more about what you love to capture, what you see around you and help you to be more present in the moment when you are out creating images. Art is everywhere.
Do you create a series? We’d love to see them, share your links in the comments.