Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things.
Growing as a photographer and improving your work takes effort and time. If you want to learn how to do something well you will find time and then ways to improve your work.
Here are some of my favourite ideas to challenge your skills, experiment and cultivate creativity.
1. Look for experts in a field of photography that interests you.
When you study their work, consider what attracts you to a particular image. What is it specifically about the photograph that you are responding to? Is it light, composition, subject matter, or an emotional response?
2. Be childlike.
Practise being adventurous, playful and curious in the way you view your surroundings no matter how familiar. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, experiment, and explore.
3. Open your eyes to the world around you.
Start looking and noticing textures, colours, shapes, lines and forms. Ask questions about what you see. Figure out how things are constructed.
4. Know your camera inside out.
The more familiar you are with the controls and how your camera functions, the more comfortable and creative you will be on the photoshoot. Confidence comes with skill. Skill comes with practice.
5. Redefine the meaning of mistakes.
Value them as feedback. Recognize that mistakes are part of the learning process, and that everybody makes them. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. In fact, aim to make more of them. Doing something leads to progress, because something can be changed. Identify what the problem is, and work out how to fix it.
6. Invest in yourself.
Even if photography is just a hobby, spend some money on classes, books, conferences and webinars. Make time. Say YES to your creative self.
7. Give yourself time to find your voice.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Enjoy the journey. Photograph what you feel, not what you see, and you will see the world in a totally different way.
8. Find others who love the things you do.
Image making can be a lonely endeavour. Find other people who “get” your love for the type of photography you do.
This Month Exercise
Think of a few problems that you are facing with your photography and write them down in your journal. Which of these eight ideas you can use to help you with your problems?
Think of small, simple solution that might help. If you are having trouble, imagine you were hired as a creative consultant; what recommendation would you give.