Do you often find yourself wanting to make new photos for your portfolio or just for fun but are stuck for ideas on what to photograph? The creative process can be challenging at times, and even the most imaginative of us sometimes hit a roadblock. Following a recent podcast episode on the Photo Diaries Podcast here is a summary of ways to tap into the inspiration of everyday life.
- Visiting Galleries and Exhibitions: One of the best ways to find inspiration is by immersing yourself in the world of art. Museums, galleries, and exhibitions, event small shows at local galleries offer a bucket load of ideas and storylines to learn and be inspired by. From paintings to sculptures, installations to performances, these spaces are filled with diverse and thought-provoking works and open your mind to be inspired by other art forms outside of photography. When I visit the gallery I can be influenced by something as simple as the subject matter, the colour palette, or the theme of the show can inspire me to start thinking about how to incorporate it in my own work. I might even see a technique being used that I’d like to try out myself. Often If I see an exhibition of photography shot with film, I’ll want to go and pull out my old film camera too.
- Books and Magazines: Another excellent source of inspiration is the pages of books and magazines. Whether you’re reading fiction, non-fiction, or even poetry, words have a unique power to transport us to different worlds and spark our creativity. Pull out a character from the book and create a portrait from it, or a scene or theme from the book can be the start of your own creation. Magazines can also provide a wealth of inspiration, and a great place to start copying a lighting technique you’ve seen or a pose from one of the models.
- Photography Blogs: Photography blogs and websites showcase the work of talented photographers from around the world. These platforms allow you to explore diverse styles, subjects, and techniques. As you browse through captivating images, you can train your eye to learn from the diversity and gain a fresh perspective on the world around you. Blogs also help you research different photographers that you can dive deeper into. Some of my favourite photography blogs are British Journal of Photography, Photo Collective is an Aussie photo blog I love as well, and if you are looking for something a little street style read Erik Kim’s blog .
- Movies and Videos: Films, documentaries, and even short videos can transport us to different times, cultures, and experiences. Through the power of storytelling and visual aesthetics, movies can evoke a range of emotions and storylines. Pay attention to the cinematography, screenplay, costume, and colour palette to bring your own work down the track. When you start to notice if a movie had a cold tone throughout the picture think of a way you can do that with your images in either post-production or changing up the white balance in camera. In the past I’ve even been inspired by music videos and wanted to replicate an idea that has been used. Next time you watch a film or music clip purposly jot down ideas with trying yourself.
- Instagram and Social Media: While social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest offer a mixed bag of ever-changing content, they can also become overwhelming and distracting. It’s important to approach social media mindfully and curate your feed to focus on accounts that align with your interests and aspirations. Look for accounts that inspire rather than overwhelm you, and be cautious of falling into the comparison trap.
Finding inspiration is an ongoing journey that requires an open mind and a willingness to explore various sources. By seeking out experiences in galleries, diving into the written word, immersing yourself in captivating photography, and delving into the world of cinema, you can tap into the vast reservoir of creative potential that surrounds you. Remember, inspiration can be found in unexpected places, so keep your senses open and your creative juices flowing. Embrace the beauty and diversity of the world around you, and let it fuel your imagination.