It happens to everyone: getting stuck, not knowing what to do next. For photographers, that could mean there is a lack of inspiration or subjects. In this blog post, I'll tell you what I do when this happens to me.
I was in this situation a while ago. I had a free afternoon and wanted to pick up my beloved camera and... then what? I looked around and I didn't know what to do. Even my cats weren't interesting at that moment.
The first thing you can do is choosing a colour instead of a subject. Find objects with the same colour and create a series with that. You could go outside or stay indoors, make close-ups, use a studio or the same background as if it's a still life, whatever you want. Once you get started, the creativity will flow.
This could also be done with materials. Find anything made of wood for example and you have a series of materials.
I found this tip on a 500px article, and I've already used it once or twice. Of course I chose the colour red because of my name, and I made close ups so you can't really see what's on the picture.
Go oustide and find a part of town you haven't been to before. Walk around and everything you think looks nice will be your subject for a moment. When you're done, you go on to the next thing. You'll get some excercise and fresh air, and maybe even some wonderful pictures.
If you don't have books on photography, I recommend you getting some on a subject that interests you, or something completely different. Or subscribe to a photography magazine and you'll learn about many different genres.
I was given a book on creative nature photography. I started reading it and learned some interesting new things. Until then, the idea that the subject has to be in focus was a norm for a good picture. After seeing and reading about movement, zooming in or out while the shutter is open, I got outside and I tried those things, which resulted in some pretty interesting pictures.
I use websites like 500px and pinterest to find some inspiration. If that doesnt work, you can also imitate the picture you like. You will learn a lot from doing this, technique wise, but it also gets you back in the flow of creativity and inspiration. When you're busy taking the same picture as another photographer, you'll likely find something else to photograph and that'd be your very own creation.
Recreate your own work
Instead of imitation someone else's work, you can also improve some of your own. Remember that one picture that didn't quite turn out the way you wanted? Give it another shot!
I did this with the Buddha under the glass stolp. I noticed the refections on the stolp when the picture was already imported in my Lightroom catalogue. I just left it like that, but I gave it another try a few days later. I learned how to avoid the refections, but I'm not too sure which picture is better. I'll let the viewer be the Judge of that.
Come up with a project
The TARDIS project came to life when I wanted to take pictures but didn't know what of. My eye cought the TARDIS model and decided I wanted to do
something with it. That's not the only project in my head.
I'm a teacher and I was told I can't be a photographer and a teacher of English. I cursed this perdon in my head and thought about how I can combine the two. I can teach about photography in English, focussing on the language and photography at the same time. This could work as a listening and speaking excercise. Then I came up with the plan to create a series of 3 pictures: "Teacher's Dream" "Teacher's Reality" and "Teacher's Nightmare". When I have a class of my own, I really want to do something fun the last lesson of the year. Putting all of them in the same position, with a pencil on a piece of paper and smiling, attentive faces. The teachers reality would be a realistic situation in class. The teachers nightmare would be an image of pupils standing on tables, screaming at the teacher, playing cards, flying paper airplanes, no one paying attention at all.
I hope you got some ideas reading this blog post! Now grab your camera and happy photographing!