10 ways to find inspiration and stay inspired

I am a bit shy to share with you that I was less inspired for photographic creation during the last months…

I knew the reasons and wasn’t really worried, as I was sure that inspiration would soon come again. 🙂
But I have created so much pictures during the last years that I started to always see the same things in the same way and wasn’t inspired a lot anymore to produce pics…
Despite that I know that you can find an amazing photo anywhere and anytime, the things didn’t click, most of the time, for me, anymore.

But, now, after this pause, I am really feeling refreshed and ready to start shooting like crazy, as always!! 😉

I am so happy to feel inspired again!! 😀

That’s important to me to say that suffering from a lack of inspiration happens to all of us (yes yes, even me! Isn’t it disturbing?!! 😆 ) and that’s it’s not a big deal.

 

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Some things helps, however, to stay motivated to create.

So, here is my 10 tips and tricks to help you finding inspiration and keeping being inspired.

 

 

1 – Allow you to not always being inspired

This is the first thing. As I said, inspiration come and go, and come again. That’s normal.

When inspiration seems gone, don’t be however too passive, inactive, fatalist. If you don’t feel inspired, try nevertheless, to create, as the inspiration comes with the action (see point 3).

It’s sometimes necessary to make yourself do it, as the human mind is so lazy, as you already know. 😉

 

Try enough. But if it’s not working, let it go.
Wait for tomorrow. Or the next month. That’s not so much a problem! So be gentle with yourself.

Your creative mind and you inspiration need, from time to time, to rest. So don’t rush to create again. Don’t be too insistent with yourself.

Let is as a fallow land, not asking it anything but giving it a lot of things to feed it.
That’s the second point. 🙂

 

 

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2 – Nourish your inspiration

If you are not inspired, for now, you can spend more time to let you inspired by others.

Look at some photography, go to the exhibitions, read how famous or not famous photographers were or are used to create their pictures.
Save photos that inspire you and look at it when you feel your inspiration needs a little boost.

 

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Photography is a visual creative activity. So, look!

Look at the colors of nature, the lines of our urban surroundings, the light coming from your window, the shape of your crumbled eggs this morning! 😆

You can’t feel tired to look. It’s like meditation, it helps to be present and to enjoy life.
And it helps, too, to stay inspired. 🙂

 

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Look but also listen, feel, taste, smell… Use all your senses to enjoy the simple things.

Be interested not only by photos but also by paintings, sculptures, music, decorating, beauty of nature and so other things!
And, for these other things, your inspiration may not be so dry… So…

 

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3 – Practice another creative activity

Photography is boring, for you, for now?!

Then draw, paint, play some music, sing, create things with drift woods or wire, decorate you room, cook, make some pottery, create stamps, start an art journal, write some stories or poems or haikus, craft, try knitting or crochet, do some antistress coloring or draw mandalas, collect natural things like leaves, shells!…

There are so many ways to create!

 

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Create like a child! 😀

 

For me, the most important thing is being creative.

Producing pictures is a good way for me, to express my feelings and show my world in my own way but I like the other activity too.
During these last months, drawing, painting watercolors, crocheting, cooking, picking mushrooms ans so other things help me to stay inspired.

If I hadn’t have these other activity, I would have felt so bad! If you know…
I can’t live without a creative activity.

But I can live without photography during a few weeks and it’s great to because it gives me time for other things and I know a rest will be really refreshing for my photographic inspiration. 🙂

 

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4 – Look for the easy way out.

Yes, I allow you to do that, too.
Make the creative activity which suffer from a lack of inspiration really easy for you. 🙂
Use your familiar own littles tricks !

We often let us being less inspired thinking : “You already made this kind of photo yesterday… And so many other times!”, or “This is not good enough for a photo”…
What a shame to dry your creativity with these self talks!

 

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A admit that, during these past weeks, I was wandering in my town and I use again some subjects I already shot, some ideas I already tried. And what’s the problem?

We can’t always create something brand new. Today, the light is different and your inspiration too.
With the same subject, the same idea, you might create a very different picture. And if it’s not the case?! Not a big deal neither!

Compare your photo with the one you made a few months or years ago, just for fun. Is it exactly the same? What change between the pictures?

 

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Don’t be too self-concious with your pics.
Oh this is not good enough for you?! What a pretentious attitude!

What if you made really simple pictures, not masterpieces, but very simple shots?
It’s a good start after all. 😀

You might be surprised to really love the pics you made. Because simple things are the best.
And the subjects you always see, your own little tricks you have always in mind, they are a part of you. It’s your creative call. 🙂

Take time to enjoy your simple AND awesome pics. Don’t be too pretentious but don’t be too modest neither.
Yes, this picture is good. Tell it to yourself, it’s good to hear.

 

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5 – Always keep your camera with you

With hybrids, compact cameras, and even smartphones, it is so much easier, now, to always have a camera with us.

Put a camera in your bag and look at your surroundings, seeking subjects, when you go out to buy some bred, go shopping or groceries, when you have to post a letter or to pick your kids at school.

 

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Inspiration is there.
It can come anywhere, everywhere, so be ready!

You have not the fear of the “shooting walks” when you HAVE TO make pictures, so go for a most spontaneous approach!

 

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Remember, nevertheless, that it is not always easy to think of photography while you are doing other things so don’t freak out if your camera don’t go out of your bag.
Having it with you is the important thing.

 

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6 – Don’t let you the choice : You thought of it?? Shoot!

Our mind is often a party pooper and a lazy guy.
Always to say “Not interesting!” “Not the time!” “You have not the good camera!” “You must take it out of your bag… Is it really worth it?!” and the everlasting “Not good enough!” and “already shot!”!…

So, took the bull buy the horns and use my tested method that works (I can assure you!) ! 😀

Decide NOW that, when you think of a photo, when you envision a shot, if an idea cross you mind, you don’t have the choice. You have to take your camera and shot at least a picture.
No excuse is accepted! 😉

That’s how things work for me for more than 10 years. I think you should try.
You will, in this way, stop to miss a lot of good pictures!

 

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7 – Take advantage of the good situations

After a period of rest for my inspiration, I went, a few days ago, for a little shooting in the fog.

It’s true that, during winter, it’s not always easy to get good conditions and inspiring atmospheres. So, when the situation seems better, don’t wait, go!!

This past weeks, I enjoyed the fog, the sun, some frost in the morning, some puddles on the ground and so many other great situations! What a chance!
But you get the chance only if you make the effet to seize it.

Enjoy the colors of autumn, the frost of winter, the flowers of spring, the sun of the summer!

Don’t regret summer when you can make the most of snow! Don’t think of nature when you can explore urban lines and shapes. Don’t be sorry about not being alone to shot but having to watching them, as they are such a wonderful subject.

Take time to enjoy the good things that the situation can provide, for you and your creativity, now.

 

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8 – Use these photographical tips during your shootings

I would like to share some of my own tricks.
These are things that, in my opinion, help to produce great photos.

Why? Because the things I am going to list below are the things that make your pictures not look like boring real life (like reportage or documentary shot) but change them into dreamy photos, abstract art, timeless atmosphere.

Here are 3 ways to avoid producing boring descriptive pictures.

 

To help you to see the things in a more creative way :

Make a black and white shooting (screen view). Set you camera in RAW+JPEG and choose the bw rendering.
The JPEG file is the bw photo you saw in the screen. The RAW file is the raw view, with the colors and so on if you prefer to make your own monochrome conversion.
Black and white is time less and change the things you look at so you can discover it again, in a brand new way.

 

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Seek the most uncommon subject to shoot. A container, a trash can, a manhole, a water bottle, your toothbrush… Shoot things you never shot before!
Search too for the funny visual stories you can find around you.

 

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To enhance the graphical impact of your pics :

Choose the square format, if it’s possible with your camera and shot some frontal urban views. Square is more harmonious and geometric. Play with lines and shapes to create a sort of abstract piece of work.

 

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Shot colors and textures in an abstract way, too.

 

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Take advantage of diagonal compositions.
Use oblique lines or put the subject in a corner and another thing in the opposite corner.

 

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To show your subject in a cinematographic / dreamy / poetic way :

Use photographic blur to give some mystery to your photo, plus a dreamy poetic look.
A long shutter speed is good to galvanize your picture.
A shallow depth of field is perfect for dreamers! 🙂

 

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Shoot shadows, reflections… all these intangible things we can find in our down-to-earth surroundings.
Shoot it alone (and turn upside down some of your pictures!) or use it in your more classic pics.

 

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In doubt, choose backlighting.
The impact of your picture will be amazing!

 

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– Use photo editing to give a new like to your visions.
Cross processing and split toning are especially useful to change the aesthetic of a picture and bring a narrative feeling to it.

 

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9 – Set yourself a challenge, and share your pictures!

To keep being inspired, you have to stay motivated.

For some people, setting a challenge is a good way to keep going, to be motivated. Decide that you are going to make one photo a day or a week during a definite length of time and go for it!

Put it in your do to list!
What if you created a reminder to tell you each saturday at 2 PM you have to shoot this week end?!

Decide what you want to do, what you want to create and find a way to commit to it.

Setting a challenge can also help you to create triggers for shootings.
For example, if you decide to set a “red challenge”, seeing red things help you to think about photography and to stay inspired.

 

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Showing our pictures, sharing our work is a really good way, too, to stay motivated. Create a blog or and Instagram gallery! Some people will love and wait your photos so you won’t be able to slip away! 😉

Group creating is also a really great : do you know some people who would like to go for a shooting with you? Ask on Facebook if necessary!

Did you read my article about the collaborative project I just launched?!
Are you already a part of it?! 🙂

If not, please visit soon the Facebook page of the group or the FlickR one !
Or use our hashtags on Instagram !

This kind of project in all you need to stay inspired. 🙂

 

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10 – Once again, enjoy to create!

Even if you share your pictures, the important thing is not how many “likes” you will get or if your “friends” like this photo or not.

Remember why you like to create!
To express yourself, and to feel great!

So take time to feel great. 😀

 

What is worth it is enjoying what you do : being “in the zone”, following “the flow”, loosing track of time, being immersed in your creative activity, feeling the enthusiasm when you find a good subject and the good way to highlight it. This is important.

This is our creative drug 😉 and we need it.

 

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Here it is!
I guess that my “10 tips” article finally is a real monster!! 😮 😆

I hope that it will help you to stay inspired ! 🙂

 

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