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It’s not surprising that many digital photographers occasionally suffer from the shooting blahs. Either their inspiration or motivation has disappeared or they are consciously, or even unconsciously, shooting a very narrow range of subject matter. Eventually, some think that can’t find any more subjects in that category to excite them to shoot. Because photography is also an art form, photographers can have the equivalent of writer’s block. For whatever reason, nothing seems to attract them and their camera; they simply don’t know what to shoot.
PhotographyTalk.com wants you shooting, recording the world around you, and then sharing those images with others; so if you find yourself apathetic about photography, then try any of the 11 “cures” below for those shooting blahs.
Climb from your rut. You’ve become so comfortable shooting only flowers or weddings that you’ve forgotten what other photography opportunities exist. Spend some time with totally different subject matter and you’ll become a more accomplished digital photographer.
Find a photo buddy. Create a photography group of a few people, each with experience in different types of photography. Schedule an occasional photo walk or expedition, each with a different theme. Not only is this an excellent learning and sharing experience, but also a great source for inspiration and motivation by interacting with other photographers. Read this PhotographyTalk.com article for more information: Digital Photography—Make It More Enjoyable With the Buddy System.
Try a new lens. This is a tip for DSLR owners only. Plan a weekend shoot with a lens that is totally new to you; you should be able to rent it, locally. If you shoot with a telephoto most of the time, then spend the weekend with a fisheye or macro lens. You may discover a lens you must have or, at least, be jarred from your boredom by seeing and photographing the world with a startlingly different view.
Create a list of photography categories with which you are unfamiliar or subject matter you would like to capture for your portfolio. If you like to shoot nature, then formal portraits or urban scenes could be on your list. If you spend most of your time in the structured environment of weddings, then set your mind free with some time in the mountains or along the seashore. Then, learn the techniques that are required to shoot excellent images in those other genres.
Challenge yourself with a film-camera exercise. Rent a film camera and learn how to shoot good pictures without being able to check their quality until the film is processed. Plus, you’ll learn how to be more selective when you shoot digitally, after your experience with just a single roll of 36 (or less) exposures.
Spend a day, or a few hours, shooting one, very specific subject matter: red flowers, maple trees (or a species in your locale), blue walls and fences, commercial signs, etc.
Become a mentor. One of the best ways to open your mind and conquer your boredom is to introduce a child to photography. That interaction will likely re-ignite your inspiration.
Volunteer your photography skills/services. Local charitable groups and similar organizations can always use good pictures to help them promote themselves or important money-raising events.
Return to the schoolroom. Register for a photography class to learn more about your field of photography, or a totally different category, to expand your knowledge.
Create another challenge for yourself that requires you to shoot every day or three times a week for a number of months or an entire year. You could announce your challenge to your social media contacts and ask them for feedback of your images and to scold you if you forget to follow the rules of your challenge. You could also do this through a blog.
Study the results of other photographers. You may be motivated to surpass them or learn that there are still areas to explore within the narrow range of photos you’ve been taking.