Photo by AleksandarNakic via iStock
We've all been there...
That feeling of panic as a photoshoot date draws near and you have absolutely no idea how you're going to approach it.
It's a terrible feeling, for sure. But it's just part of the ebb and flow of a photographer's creative juices.
You don't have to go into a photoshoot with zero ideas or inspiration, though...
As the folks at Mango Street discuss in the video above, sometimes all you need to get inspired is to look at other art forms. Specifically, they talk about how to draw inspiration from movies, TV, music, and books.
It's an interesting lesson in tapping into your creativity by getting inspired from genres outside of photography.
Of course, there are plenty of other sources of inspiration if you're not really feeling too creative...
See What Other Photographers are Doing
Photo by Urupong via iStock
It's perfectly fine to get inspired by the work of other photographers...
There needs to be a delicate balance, though, because you don't want to simply copy another photographer's style. That's why Mango Street wants you to look to other sources for your creativity - it might help you devise plans that are truly unique.
But, the work of our colleagues is everywhere, from Facebook to Instagram, LinkedIn to YouTube, so it's easy to peruse the work of people we admire and find a creative spark for our own work.
Consult the Classics
Photo by Luis Camarasa via iStock
When you're not feeling all that inspired, why not consult classic works from painters, sculptors, and other artists?
A quick visit to an art museum (in person or online) will present you with a wealth of inspiration for using colors, shapes, forms, and light.
If you're a landscape photographer, you might be inspired by the colors of a Monet painting. If you're a portrait photographer, you might find the lines of a Rodin sculpture to be what sparks a creative idea for a photoshoot.
Again, the point is that there is nothing wrong with using other people's work to inspire your own - so long as your work is yours and not simply a copy of what others have done.
Let the Scene or Subject Move You
Photo by FabrikaCr via iStock
I'm not advocating that you show up to a photoshoot and wing it, but sometimes you'll find that when you get to the location and see the subject or scene, you might find an instantaneous spark of creativity.
Maybe it's the fall colors or the light as it filters through the trees or the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. Perhaps you see an interesting building on your drive to the shoot or a passerby whose clothes give you an idea for a color palette for your photos.
Whatever the case, just have your eyes and ears open to the surroundings, because you never know when inspiration might strike.
It Isn't Just Portraits...
Photo by jk78 via iStock
Though most of the examples and photos in this article are oriented towards portraiture, it isn't the only genre in which you need to be inspired and creative in order to make the best shot.
Landscapes, street scenes, architectural photography, heck, even food photography all benefit from a creative approach to composition, framing, post-processing, and so forth.
So, no matter what subject you're photographing, open your mind to being inspired and use that as fuel for developing your own unique creative vision for your photoshoots.