Staying Motivated in Photography: Overcoming Creative Ruts

Photography, like any creative pursuit, has its highs and lows. Whether you're a professional or an amateur, there will be times when you lack motivation, perhaps due to repetitive subjects or an uninspiring environment. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for maintaining creative growth and passion in photography.

Coming to you from Justin Mott, this enlightening video offers valuable tips for photographers struggling to find inspiration. Mott emphasizes the importance of looking at photography books and artworks, not just within one's preferred genre, but across various artistic disciplines, to spark creativity. He suggests assigning oneself weekly tasks or embarking on long-term projects, which can provide a sense of direction and purpose. For those with tight schedules, Mott recommends dedicating at least an hour each week to photography, preferably during optimal lighting conditions, to stay consistent and disciplined in practice.

Mott also advises joining photography clubs for a sense of community and accountability. Engaging with others can bring new perspectives and friendly competition, pushing one's limits in photography. Setting a personal goal, like organizing an exhibition or publishing a book, can also serve as a powerful motivator. Mott humorously dismisses the idea of buying new equipment as a quick fix for motivation, instead highlighting the importance of internal inspiration. He suggests attending workshops but urges careful selection to ensure quality teaching that aligns with one's goals.

Lastly, Mott recommends experimenting with different gear setups to refresh one's approach to photography. Limiting equipment can foster creativity and help focus on composition and subject matter. For professionals experiencing a creative block, Mott suggests focusing on backend tasks like managing archives or updating websites. For amateurs, he underscores the importance of using lulls constructively and not letting them prolong. Consistent practice is key to growth in photography. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Mott.

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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