‘Art is not what you see but what you make others see.’
Creativity starts with the question, ‘What if?’ That is what separates great photographers from everyone else; the ability to doubt and challenge and then take one step further – to embrace possibility and potential.
Despite the popular belief, creativity isn’t the gift from the gods of art. It isn’t something that has to be learned. We all have it – because we were born with it. For many of us, though, creativity needs to be rediscovered.
As Pablo Picasso pointed out, though, ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.’ Somewhere along the way to becoming an adult, we lose this ability to play freely. We become self-conscious.
We are afraid to fail. We start to make decisions based on previous experiences, on what we know works.
When children sit down with crayons, they don’t have any concerns about how their ‘masterpieces’ will be received on Instagram, or if anybody is going to laugh at their efforts. They’re free to create and allow their minds to run wild.
Imagine how rewarding it would be if we as adults could once again tap into our childhood creative energies. So, what can we do to help? Is there a way to rediscover our creativity?
The first step, and perhaps the hardest to take, is to break free from all the conventions. To be truly creative with a camera you need to unlearn many of the ‘rules’ imposed on us by the Photography Police.
Switch off the rule of thirds grid on your live view screen! Stop believing that the only time to shoot landscapes is during the golden hour. Leave the tripod behind occasionally. The list goes on and on. It takes effort to think like an individual, to open your eyes and start seeing the world in your own unique way.
It is difficult, not only because we have had these ‘rules’ imposed upon us for so long but also because, when we start to share images that are different, our audience will not necessarily respond well, especially at first.
It is the brave photographers who are prepared to shoot for themselves and not for the others.
TIPS TO REMEMBER
♥ Imagine you are picking the camera up for the first time. Try not to be constrained by what you have been told you should do with it.
♥ Don’t fear failure. Be prepared to create poor work before good work emerges.
♥ Ask creative photographers you admire and respect for constructive criticism – and try to respond to it.
♥ Stop thinking about your equipment. Think about images and what they make you feel.
♥ Avoid thinking about the technical aspects of images and start thinking about what impact they have on you and other people.