How To Stay Inspired

Inspiration is a powerful thing, it’s caused incredible pictures to be painted, buildings to be built, forms sculpted, sonnets written, and photographs taken.

No one was ever great without some portion of divine inspiration.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Finding inspiration can be as simple as listening to your favorite song, reading a Bible verse, looking at your favorite art, working in the garden, or perusing Pinterest.  What are some of the things you love?  You should surround yourself with these things.  Don’t limit yourself to photography even if that is your primary passion, look for inspiration in other types of art as well.

One of my favorite artists, Claude Monet, has been a huge inspiration in my photography.  Monet was so passionate about documenting the French countryside that he would revisit the same scene over and over again, painting it in changing light and different seasons.  I’ve found myself revisiting familiar places, places I love to photograph, at different times of the year as well as different times of the day to see the effects the changing light and angle of the sun have.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust because you photograph in the same area during different times of the day and year does not mean you have to photograph the exact same subject.  This is the same row of trees you see below but at a different time of the year (obviously) and a different angle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe row of trees on the right is the row shown in the Autumn photograph above.

What Inspires You?

If you aren’t sure what inspires you ask yourself these questions:

Do you have display the artwork and artifacts that inspire you?

Do you have a place close to home, maybe in your backyard, where you can visit to relax and photograph? Someplace where birds, insects, and flowers live.

Visit a museum, buy a coffee table book of paintings, visit an art gallery. Find the art that inspires you and determine why. Figure out how you can incorporate that into your own photography.

Which photographers do you admire? If you don’t know who then what type of photography do you admire? Incorporate that inspiration into your own photography without copying it.

Everyone’s inspiration comes from different places, yours may come from something as simple as a well written book about photography or a single image that speaks volumes to you.  The trick is to surround yourself with these things and revisit them regularly.  Ultimately you want to find those things that give you the same feeling you get when your behind your camera photographing a beautiful scene and lose track of time, not worrying about your next meal or returning your rental car before they jack up the price because you were an hour late…

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