Have you ever felt like shooting but didn’t see anything to shoot? Have you ever had the feeling you hadn’t shoot anything near your best in recent weeks? Have you ever believed your photography needs a reawakening? No, it’s not your photography that’s sick, it is you that’s down with an illness called ‘Photography Block’.
When a photographer seems to lack in subjects and ideas to photograph, such can be said to be a period of barrenness, a blockage of ideas. Every photographer suffers from this at some point in time, it’s frequency just varies due to several factors. In this post, the factors are not my concern but the solution.
What’s the main cause of photography block?
You don’t need to go far to know this, the lack of frequent jobs making you idle is the leading cause of photography block but is this supposed to be so? The camera is more than an equipment for your clients that pay, it’s an instrument of art. You should have two forms of photography, one that pays and one that feeds your artistic instincts. When you aren’t getting the paid jobs as frequently as usual then the artistic photography feeds you. Every form of photography is artistic but in this context, I’m referring to any form of photography that is driven by your passion to create art and not to be paid. I have a thing for conceptual photography as my artistic photography and a bit of love for street photography while I do portraits and lifestyle photography as my paid jobs.
5 things I do when I’m suffering from photography block.
1. Start a project
A project is group of work with a central theme. So far I’ve done three projects, The 50s – A Street Photography Project, 31 days of October and 21. It‘s funny they all have number titles but each of them have a unified theme still. I’ll do something non-number specific soon. Projects help to retrace your footsteps, they help take you back to art lane. For me, projects are an avenue to reassure my avid fans that I’m still creative and there is no cause for alarm. You can start a project. Let me list a few ideas I have been thinking on working on, feel free to work on any of you wish.
- Les Absurdities
- Documenting a certain individual
I want you to give your own meaning to these phrases and work on them.
2. Read a photography book.
Learning is living. It is totally impossible to be a living being if you are not learning on a daily basis. However, a vast majority of Africans are in the habit of finding it difficult to read books. One thing is sure, anything put down into writing will definitely be additional knowledge. No matter how good you might have gotten, reading a new book on photography will without doubt teach you something know or make you understand a phenomenon better. I download a lot of free photography ebooks and read them. Some on business, others on the artistic part of photography. You too should grow the habit of reading. You can easily get these ebooks from searching google. Better still, YouTube videos can be downloaded to teach you need techniques, try what you are being taught and you can treat yourself of photography block.
3. Work on previously taken images.
This is a quick fix to getting busy. You can go to your Lightroom catalogue and start afresh with a set of work you had done in the past but this time edit it with a different workflow. Try to see if you can achieve something new with it. It’s a great feeling creating something new form an old image.
4. Link up with a fellow photographer
There is great knowledge interchanged when you meet a fellow photographer. They bring something different to your flow, they contribute a part of them that you might have not discovered. That’s the beauty of linking up with a fellow photographer. It could be to just discuss or even to co-shoot an image. You would do yourself more good and there would be a revival of your photography instincts. You can link up with me if you wish. I’m free to share my time and knowledge.
5. Work on the non photography part of your business.
In the coming days, there would be visible difference to this blog. This is due to me working outside the photography part of my business. You should sit down and re-strategize your approach to business, your website feel, your pricing plans (if necessary) and a lot of background things. This can be healing to your photography if your photography block is caused by the lack of frequent jobs.
There can never be an ugly or irrelevant image so don’t ever think twice about shooting something or not.
Remember, this blog is open source