Adam Barker: Five tips to help your creative drought
We’ve all been there. You know–that dark, lonely, nether-region of non-creativity called rutsville. Whether you make your living behind the lens, or just enjoy letting your creative juices flow through the click of a shutter button, no one enjoys going to the well of creativity and coming up dry. Read below for some of my favorite tips to help you crawl out of that creative rut.
1. Experiment with Something New
This could be a new activity, a new piece of equipment, a new location, a new genre of photography. Really—it could be anything under the sun that makes you think a bit harder than you did before and perhaps get those creative gears turning in a new direction. For me, buying an underwater housing for my DSLR opened up an amazing new world of possibilities. I get excited to shoot an image that looks so vastly different than anything above the water!
2. Take a Trip
Really. Do it. Book those plane tickets and get out of Dodge. There’s no better way to see in a new way than to simply see new things. It reinvigorates both the photographic senses and the motivation it takes to capture those once-in-a-lifetime images. Asia? Sure. Europe? Check. National Parks? Amen. It’s time to use up those skymiles that are burning a hole in your pocket! Don’t forget extra batteries!
3. Find New Angles on the Familiar
Don’t have the bucks or the time to jetset to the far corners of the globe? Worry not! Whether you’re surrounded by concrete jungle or engulfed in a little slice of landscape heaven, we all live in unique places, each and every one of them offering their own opportunities for capturing greatness. Sometimes, all we need is a kick in the pants to see things in a new way. Get low, get high, get fast, get slow. Get whatever it is you haven’t been getting to this point. Strive to find new and interesting angles on your typical subject matter or locations. Being familiar isn’t such a bad thing, it already gives you an edge on weather patterns, seasonal happenings, local culture, etc.
4. Be There
What’s the saying??? “You can’t win if you don’t play the game”. And so it goes with photography. You can’t capture something memorable if you aren’t there to witness it. Get out of bed and get up for that epic sunrise. Stay out late and see the stars like you’ve never seen before. Do a bit more finagling and get access to that one person or place that you’ve never been able to nail down before. Bottom line? Do it. Go. Now.
5. Get Lucky
Sometimes, we need a little help from Lady Luck. I know many of you would rather be lucky than good. I’d rather be both. Is that asking too much? Interestingly enough, this tip is directly tied to tip #4. The more we’re out and about, the greater our chances are of getting lucky with that ridiculously cool summer storm, special street moment or unforgettable facial expression.
We all go through our own periods of creative drought. Don’t let it own you. Implement some (or all!) of these tips, and get back on the horse. Good luck!