7 Different Ways to Get Inspiration in Photography
Updated: Sep 5
Sometimes, we hit a creative wall and get stuck in one place in our creative journey. In this blog post, I am going to list 7 different ways I use to find inspirations for my photography. Some methods might be new to you and hopefully they can help you expand your perspectives to find more inspirations.
Different ways to get more inspirations
"We must first let everything go in order to get everything back at a new level" - Wolfgang Kopp
Every manifestation starts with imagination. When you build a house, you have a plan it out in your head and imagine what it looks like. The car you drive, the computer you use, or the clothes you wear, they all started from an imagination. Imagination help expand your knowledge. The same applies to photography, you have to expand your imagination in order to get to a new level for your photography. More variety in imagination will lead to more inspirations in your photography.
7 Different ways to get inspired
1. Analyze the movie frame
Next time when you are watching a movie, watch it from the stand point of how the movie was shoot, including the lighting, angles and compositions of the frames. It might give you some insights and ideas for your personal photography.
2. Use your alternative hand to write
This method is intended to spark the other side of the brain. Sometimes, when we got stuck doing the same thing for a long time, it's good to change up a little bit. In this method, I use my left hand to write out some of my random thoughts today on certain topics. Sometimes it gives me some unexpected ideas randomly because it triggered the other side of my brain. (If you are a left handed person while writing, use your right hand instead, vise-versa. Don't worry about if the writing is pretty or not. Just keep writing for about 5 minutes and see if you have some fresh perspectives after that.
3. Read a book that is not about photography
Sometimes, we might have been reading lots of books on photography and getting too technical on photography analysis such as composition, lighting and angles. I would read some books that are not about photography, but can give me chances to expand my imagination perspectives.
For example, read a book on certain style of paintings, or read a book on the design of victorian houses. These are from different categories of art and designs that might give you some fresh ideas on color combination and artistic composition. If you are a portrait photographer, you can read some clothing designer stories and how certain outfits combinations are created, or reading some books on some photographer's successful journey. You might get some unexpected insights from other people's photography journey.
4. Attend a different category of photography workshop
In 2018, I attended some workshops in the Fujifilm festival that gave me more inspirations. If you are a portrait photography, attend a workshop that is about landscape photography. I got some different insights about compositions and colors combinations from a landscape photography workshop.
Also, B&H YouTube channel "Event Space" playlist has online workshop videos regularly. I like to watch those as well since it gives a fresh perspective from other photographers.
5. Hike a different nature walking trail
Try to hike a different trail and notice different perspectives from the nature. Many of the inspirations we can get from the nature. You might find some color inspiration or lighting discovery for your next photoshoot. For example, why does this butterfly have black and orange color combinations? Can I apply this color combination for the next clothing outfits? or you might discover that the lighting hits perfectly at certain hiking route at 6pm evening hour, which is perfect for your next portrait photoshoot.
6. Analyze the advertisement photos in a fashion magazine
This method is similar to the first method on movie frame, but this time is to analyze how the advertisement portraits were shot. I will browse through the ads on a fashion magazine since fashion magazine ads usually have portraits example. I will ask myself what is the lighting source of this photo. Is it natural light or studio light? Where was the cropping occurring? Was it cropping at certain part of the body all the time? Just browse through and ask yourself some questions. You might find out certain insights on the portraits.
7. Write down what happened in your dream
Lots of imagination happen in your dreaming state. When you first wake up in the morning, use your note app in your phone to write down some details in what you have dreamed. You don't have to remember everything. Just write down as much details as you remembered. What's the environment you were in? Was it day time or night time? Were you interacting with certain persons that you know? How were other people in your dream dressed like?
In summary, above are some of the unconventional ways for me to get inspiration. Hopefully it can give you some ideas or expand your perspectives on where to find your photography inspiration. Happy creating :)
Photo gear in this blog:
EOS R: https://amzn.to/385pOUY
RF 35mm F1.8: https://amzn.to/3zbrcRI
Thanks for reading :) More photos will be uploaded in my Instagram account: @caliallstaring.