Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography The worst photographer's block I have ever had

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  • #23474
    IHF
    Member

    Nothing is good enough.  Nothing.  So what do I do?  I sit and wait.  That isn’t a good strategy at all!  I’ve tried all my tricks to get out of my funk.  Photo walks full of shooting anything and everything…blah… Looking at and studying spectacular photography… UGH!  It’s killing me!  Picking a theme to shoot and sticking to it, UGH nope, nothing.  Trying to do something different than my usual…nope zip nadda, not feeling it.  Taking a class or using photography prompts to get myself going again… nope that didn’t do it either (although it’s fun during the process).  Nothing is worth sharing.  Even if I make myself share a photo anyway, all it does is make me cringe and get all uncomfortable.  Maybe I’m not cut out for this?  I feel like just taking everything offline, and off my walls, and saying “screw it!  I’m done, and shouldn’t have tried to take this on to begin with!”.  Meanwhile… I’m making sales, and receiving encouragement and complements, and while that SHOULD feel good and inspire me to keep going… it doesn’t.  This is going to make me sound like a jerk, but I just roll my eyes and groan each and every time .  I’m bored with my photography and feel like I’m at a stand still with any sort of creativity.  My photography sucks like never before!

    It’s always been my rule never to buy equipment to get out of a rut, (especially since I haven’t raised enough money with my photography to buy a new lens or anything worth while.  I’m about a hundred shy from anything on my list of wants)  but I’m thinking of doing it anyway,out of shear desperation.  I know all that will do is make me in the hole.  It’s not going to make me any better, or somehow spark some sort of magical creativity that’s been missing inside me.  I’ll still just be me.

    What do YOU do to feel good about your photography again and make yourself create and want to share what you make, even if you suck?  (and pros, none of that “I have to put food on the table” stuff.  Try to think of your personal projects, and what really gets you going, not just the money.  I need help)

    #23475
    nesgran
    Member

    Charity shops, hit them up and buy yourself a good old fashioned manual SLR. Pentax MX, KX, K1000, Canon AE-1, anything nikon. Then load up with something nice, I like Kodak CN400BW. Go out and take some photos of your friends. Send the film off and get it processed. It is a liberating experience from the instant gratification of digital and the looking for errors in it straight away. If you blow it with film it is gone forever but so what?

    If you haven’t, invest a little money in two flashes for off camera use and start playing. A pair of brollies and lightstands aren’t expensive

    #23477
    Don
    Member

    Buying gear isn’t the answer. Buying obsolete gear surely isn’t the answer.

    #23478

    Make popcorn, watch this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZYlQ4Wv8lE

    It only runs about 10 min, so make the popcorn first.

    I’m going to shoot a baby.  I have no idea what Grandma wants, so we’ll see how it goes, …

    More, later, perhaps, …

    #23479
    emf
    Member

    Ruts are difficult and I think all creative people have different ways to deal with them. Photography is my main creative outlet these days but when I painted and got into a rut I would go back to drawing, collating information, researching and writing in my sketchbooks. I’m not sure how helpful that is, if any help at all lol! Although, I do still keep ‘sketchbooks’ for photography, in which I write ideas, and self critique photos or shoots I have done (i.e. what I liked and went well and what I need to improve for next time), or sketch out thumbnails of compositions I think of or see. Or paste research and images from magazines that I like.

    At art school we were always told to not worry about creating ‘art’. Don’t worry if you’re puzzled as I didn’t understand it for years! Basically they meant don’t worry about coming up with something ground breaking or the next best thing, it’s too much pressure. Just make things that are important and meaningful to you, something you like and are proud of, basically don’t try to impress others. To try and create something that blows you and everyone else away, be it a painting, photograph or any other medium, is too much pressure to put yourself under, and becomes demoralising when it doesn’t happen immediately or maybe even after months or even years. These things take time, maybe a life time, and have to be taken in small increments, with 100’s of duds for every one that ‘works’.

    Every time I finished a painting I’d like it for the briefest of whiles, then, look at it and only see the glaring faults! Which would compel me to start again, in order to rectify things. I take the same approach to photography and make plenty of mistakes to keep me going! 🙂 So maybe try to pinpoint what it is you don’t like about your photos and shoot to rectify that.

    #23485

    Well, I’m back.  The shoot went off the rails immediately due to scheduling problems but no one seemed to mind.  We went to dinner and I came back with 168 frames.  There are several I like, several more that are acceptable, and lots that are ho hum or just plain bad.  That’s how it goes when working with kids, pets, or shooting candid photos.

     

    So, how to get your groove back?  Probably by fixing a bunch of stuff in your life that’s dragging you down.  How about cleaning your gear, putting it in your cases and on a shelf.  Then, vacuum your carpets, sweep your floors, clean your windows, dust your shelves and desk.  Organize your computer files.  Wash the car and clean the interior.  Clean the kitchen and washroom.  Wash, dry, iron and fold/hang all the laundry.  Have a nice dinner and good nights sleep, possibly enjoy extracurricular activities too.   Still not feeling it?  Put your feet up and relax.  Contemplate the possibilities, or catch up on correspondence with far away friends and family.  Visit a gallery, museum, or take in a movie.

    Sometimes I watch favourite movies, other times I go into the shop and cut big pieces of wood into little pieces with a power saw.  Neither occupation is productive, but my mood improves and thus, so does my perception and energy.

    We can suggest a lot of different things, but you have to find your own path.  Driving a car usually relaxes me, driving usually stresses my wife.  Our tolerance for some things is quite different and for other things it is quite similar.

    #23495
    IHF
    Member

    I’m really creeped out right about now CameraClicker.  Like WTH?!  Creeped out lol  Guess what I did directly after posting this sappy crap post?  I cleaned my kit, updated firmware, organized my files, cleaned out my computer desk, and cleaned house while listening to my music.  Then I got out my physical paper portfolio and thumbed through it.  Confirmed to myself that I’m not at a stand still and that I HAVE improved (Good lord!  There were some in there that just made me laugh), and then I turned it all off and enjoyed my day.

    Just checked my email this morning, and I received a comment on my online port, that was exactly what I needed to hear.  I have a suspicion it may have been one of you (or someone reading this) who left it, because the timing is just too coincidental.  If so, Thank you, it made me smile and giggle rather than eye roll and groan.

    While buying gear isn’t the best idea there was still something to nesgran’s suggestion that hit me.  I’ve decided to buy a couple rolls of film for my brownie for me to play with, and WAIT a few months until I have ALL the funds to buy anything else photography related.

    Pressure’s off… and the Zack Arias video was a great reminder.  “At art school we were always told to not worry about creating ‘art’”  Thank you emf I’ll remember that one.

    I’ll get out of this funk, but until then… I think I’ll take a break from even trying to get out of it (just saying that makes me feel better).  Happy Holidays everyone.  Thank you for helping me think this through.

    #23497

    LOL!   So, feeling a bit better?  That’s awesome!

     

    Happy Holidays!

    #23534

    Here is another video I just came across.  It’s about doing photography instead of taking pictures.  He touches many things we talk about here.

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