We all feel stuck sometimes. Stuck at work, stuck in our own thoughts, stuck trying to write a blog post and most certainly as photographers we all get stuck with what to shoot. We feel we’ve lost our creativity, our mojo, our muse has gone on vacation and we sit there at our desk wondering what to do or we sit there and force ourselves to try to do something, anything. This whole month I’ve struggled with writing, as in I have not written one article yet this month. Having just returned from a fairly epic trip I have not been out with my … [Read more...] about Feeling stuck?
Feeling creatively stuck? Here’s one way you can get the creative juices flowing again. Choose a list of random words, or have someone give you a list. Six to eight words is usually a good challenge. Take those words and create an image for each one. The interpretation of each word is completely up to you and you can create the images in any manner you’d like. Any type of camera and/or post-processing is allowed. Here are six examples. Bully Create an image that tells the story of the word, that makes the viewer see beyond the first thing … [Read more...] about Thinking outside the box
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. The 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. Take action 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 … [Read more...] about Pick up your camera and go
As photographers, we’re hard on ourselves when we feel like we’re not creating the shots we want or when we are feeling like not even picking up our cameras. The reality is it happens to all of us. Here are some things you can do to work through this downtime. Help others Helping others is a great way to motivate and get inspired. You never know what bit of information, a way of seeing, shooting location or processing tip might help someone over that next little hurdle they have to make in order to get better. In turn, you’ll feel so good … [Read more...] about Help! I’ve lost my inspiration
After a long couple of days of teaching at Photoshop World, my good friends Ray and Kim insisted I join them for dinner and a quick shoot. Exhausted, I tried every excuse not to go but they are the type of friends you can't say no to—and I'm glad I didn't. Here's what went through my mind when we created the Sports Grit Look using a cross-light setup with continuous light. Not My Normal Lighting Gear Normally I use a 3-light setup using studio strobes or speedlights attached to strip boxes and a beauty dish. For this setup, I had one … [Read more...] about No Excuses! Making Photos No Matter What
I'm going to try to tone this down a little bit, as I've willingly participated in absolutely ridiculous and brainless conversations regarding the iPhone 7 with people. Everything from conspiracy theories like, planned obsolescence, to thoughts like "my life as a professional photographer is now doomed" have been made known to me. C'mon people. Really? I don't think anything has been as dramatic in politics, recent news, The Bachelor and other random TV shows lately... except for … [Read more...] about PEOPLE! Stop Fearing the New iPhone!
I don't know if there's a term for the photographer's equivalent for writer's block, but l had it for the majority of last year. I remember that I couldn't feel the vibe, I couldn't find the energy to shoot and I couldn't find the motivation. I took a double dose of it all when I started feeling self conscious about my work. Now, if you were to pile on some of the issues that could exist in life-- relationship issues (or perhaps a lack thereof), financial burdens, moving, school and a slew of other things-- it can be more than enough for many … [Read more...] about Dealing with that Creative Rut
I struggle with finding inspiration on a regular basis. I think that we all feel this way at times; we want to create, but the flame of inspiration is just not burning. This article is an excerpt from my eBook, The Inspired Photographer, in which I share twenty ideas to help spark that flame of inspiration inside of you. One of the easiest ways to suppress creativity is to have too many options. When Im confronted with aisles and aisle of possibilities at the grocery store, Im often at a loss for what to cook. Frozen into indecision by too many … [Read more...] about Limiting Your Photography to Fuel Inspiration
Recently, I wrote a brief post on my blog that was titled, Create For Yourself, which serves as the impetus for this story. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my own growth as a photographer and, to a broader extent, as a creator. This introspection invariably led me to look at how others qualify growth for themselves. More specifically, I began analyzing what people are doing to grow and how they measure their success towards that. A lot of what I found felt troubling and resulted in me re-evaluating my own benchmarks. The … [Read more...] about I, Creator: Growing On Your Terms
Guest Post and Photos by Matthew Jordan Smith What impact will a photograph have in a hundred years? This question has been on my mind during the past few years. What if a photograph, created today, had the ability to impact lives and inspire people in the future? A little over a year ago I started on a journey to create a project that would do just that, inspire parents and children to dream big. I call the project Future Presidents. Ive been traveling the country, going state-by-state, photographing children and planting the idea that … [Read more...] about Future Presidents Photo Project by Matthew Jordan Smith