So I had the typical thing happen to me when I took Photography as an A-level subject. I unfortunately completely fell out of love with it. The pressure, time constraints and being forced to do projects I honestly had no interest in crushed my inspiration. When starting a blog, I quickly learned that being successful in it would mean I’d have to have decent images to back up my writing. Around two months ago when receiving a new lens for my birthday, all the love for it came flooding back and I’ve been really excited to go full speed with getting back into it. I’ve had some requests for photography-related posts so to start it off, here are some of my tips for setting off that spark again!
I know this isn’t an option for a lot of people for a few reasons but this really helped me. I felt completely deflated and held back by my lack of equipment until I invested in my Olympus Pen. Even though my updated equipment has really helped me to progress and up my blogging game, I would still like to take it to the next level. It’s in my nature to always be striving for better. I’ve got my eye on a waterproof camera* from Panasonic at the moment as how incredible would it be to take such high quality underwater images!? Also I don’t know about you but being a clumsy person, I’d like to have the reassurance that my camera was waterproof…
I cannot stress this point enough. You’re not going to find inspiration looking in the same old places, shooting in the same old styles. You’re not going to find inspiration going to the same locations, working with the same people. It’d be like approaching a new relationship with all the actions that failed you in your last one. Think outside the box, find new models. You may have a certain niche you want to stick to and that’s fine but do some research and find new avenues to approach it.
If you haven’t got enough money for new equipment but want something to enhance images, you could always go for props instead. Some ideas would be anything from coloured lens filters, add-ons like fish eye effect or even just small bits like homemade reflectors to help with light redistribution. All of these things will help to enhance images. I’ve recently been trying out this lensball from Refractique and am absolutely loving the effects from it. I’m really into abstract images and I highly recommend trying to shoot some as they’re so interesting to look at aswell as edit!
When I say every way, I mean E V E R Y way. When re-finding my love for photography, I just went out and took photos of everything. Everything from exciting, detailed animals at the zoo to mundane every day things like lightbulbs and a plate of chips (you laugh but I’m not even joking). There are so many beautiful images of “boring” objects just waiting to be made. Also, editing can do a hell of a lot for a photograph.
I downloaded all the free apps and made my way through each one until I found my favourites for my own preferred editing style. And again with editing, experiment with lots of different styles. You don’t actually have to stick to one style and I certainly don’t. Sometimes I love high contrast and high saturation and other times I’m feeling the vintage, grainy look. It’s all dependent on the subject, the colours and the vibe of the image.
Straight on images that capture all the detail are great but trying out different angles and composition can add so much depth. This goes for literally every type of photography, too. You’ll find it especially with photographing people that everyone will have certain angles that they like better than others. Also with product photography, there’ll be certain angles or compositions that make the products look better than others due to shadows, focal points etc. Shadows and bokeh can do so much for an image and really affect the way its viewed.
Last but not least, check out some other peoples photographic websites, projects, Instagrams etc. Obviously I am not in any way saying to copy others but it’s perfectly okay to take inspiration. Taking little bits and pieces from your experiences, likes and dislikes of others work, own experimentations and general life is exactly how you come to create your own style. It’s the same with music genres, fashion lines and product names so it’s no different for creating images either! Just make sure it is just taking inspiration and not taking ideas as there’s nothing worse than copying someone elses original work.
Do you have any foolproof tips for getting back some photographic inspiration?