The Creativity Series is a spicy selection of blog posts with lessons I’ve learned about all things creative–with a focus on photography, but with nuggets of gold that can be instantly applied to any creative process. Take comfort in knowing that these words come from a girl who spent hours painstakingly typing lists of made-up colors (Putrescent Purple, my favorite!), writing pointless novels in pencil, and crying when the cluttered closet had to be cleansed–aka your resident creativity expert. Enjoy!
Shoot something new.
And by new, I mean really new–like blow your comfort zone to smithereens new.
If you’re already crazy inspired by the things you’re getting paid to shoot, keep at it. Congratufreakinglations. You can click on out of this blog post right now and continue with your merry life.
But if you find yourself just a little bit stuck, doing the same things over and over, counting the minutes of your session times? Shooting something totally new will keep you fresh. It will remind you why you shoot what you shoot.
Today, I took my own advice and shot something new. Sometimes I shoot food, but I hardly ever style it. There was the zingy new ingredient for me–and I’m already thinking about how I could apply the same dramatic light to my lifestyle and wedding work, and how I could use a teensy bit of styling in lifestyle and wedding sessions to make the portraits all the more magical.
Utilize your secret passions and let the muse run wild in some personal work. You have to be way excited and a little scared to do this thing. It can’t be comfortable; if it’s comfortable, it doesn’t count. You’re a wedding photographer obsessed with dresses? Find a model and shoot a fashion piece. A portrait photographer in love with newborns? Try an interiors spread. You can link these things to elements you already love, like piles of soft blankets in your newborn-inspired interiors shoot, or go in a completely new direction. Build regular personal projects into your business model–you’ll stay hungry.
It’s helpful to have a list of guinea pigs you can turn to for these kinds of out-of-the-box projects. (Want to be on my list of adventurous, go-to peeps for special projects? Cool. I want you.)
It’s essential, so I’m gon’ tell again: you have to create these projects from your loves, not out of obligation or some roundabout effort to make your paid work better. It will make it better, but only if you approach it from a place of wild excitement.
So quick, grab a piece of paper or a Google Doc and jot down 5 things/projects you could shoot that would be totally new. Remember, they have to be bug-eyed thrilling with just a splash of scary. Go!
And there you have it! You, lovely, are on your way to more authentic, present creativity in your work.
Is there something you’d love to hear about in the Creativity Series? Lemme know in the comments or drop me a line.