Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about my photography, what it means to me and where I’d like to go with it. I haven’t been out with the camera as much as I would have liked recently and have fallen foul to the ‘just not feeling it’ or ‘lack of inspiration’ feelings that so many of us encounter every now and then. I have had days where I have hated all of my previous images, every single one. Other days, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to create an image I am happy with. Even living in one of the most spectacular regions of the UK doesn’t seem to help!
I have witnessed others experience this feeling too, so I know I am not alone. Many people are often supported by fellow photographers with kind words and suggestions as to how to overcome these moods. (I think the photography community on Twitter is superb for this!!) Is this feeling a bad thing? No I don’t think so. Is it just part of the photography journey? Maybe. Could taking some time out be worthwhile? Sometimes. Taking a break can be good. Why try to force something that just doesn’t feel right? This can be extremely frustrating but a solution could be as simple as taking a week, a month, 6 months, maybe a year off of photography, who knows!? Only the individual will know. I think it is something to accept rather than fight.
This leads me onto inspiration. The quote above rings so true. Hard work, perseverance and a desire to constantly learn are all key attributes in order to improve. However, all of this starts with a spark of inspiration.
For me, my first ‘spark’ was viewing incredible images of mountainous regions from around the UK in books and glossy magazines. This kickstarted my desire to pick up a camera and to learn how to create these types of images. The more I learnt, the more I wanted to improve and be better than I was the last time I had ventured out.
I then began using social media. I discovered many great photographers through Twitter and the more images I viewed on there, the more I began researching and browsing the websites of individuals. I would spend long periods of time viewing their galleries and studying their images. Seeing these images gave me a huge amount of inspiration and the motivation to keep going out. I am hugely grateful to all of these photographers for unknowingly inspiring me and undoubtedly many others. They probably have no idea quite how big an influence they have been over the last couple of years!
Tying this in to the feelings I spoke about at the start; many people will have different ways of overcoming the ‘creative block’ - taking a break, working on a project - we all react differently. Whenever I find myself in that position, I revert back to looking through the work of photographers who I have great admiration for in the hope that it re-ignites that 1% of inspiration. With any luck, I can then get back to focussing on the other 99% of ‘perspiration’ and continue my photography journey.
Some of the photographers who consistently inspire me are below:
Over the last 18 months, many other great photographers have been added to this list - way too many to name on here.