Photographic equipment is becoming more and more “smart”, more advanced and more accessible. How did this saying sound from students of the journalism faculty of Moscow State University in the 70s? “Give me Nikon and will I turn the world upside down?” And here he is, Nikon - but will the world be turned upside down? Compared to the 70s, yes, but it's not Nikon.
In a word, professional, master equipment is far from always equal to professional, master photos. What does it take to go forward and develop as a photographer? To continue to work, faced with a creative block? To highlight your photos from billions taken per year? In the end, to find your niche and attract customers? That's right, creative.
For those who need to shake oneself, return inspiration and look at their work from a new angle - 15 tips on how to develop creativity.
1. Forget the rules
Forget about what makes up a genre, about the rules of composition, about color theory and the like. Imagine that there are no “but”, “impossible”, “but what about”. Imagine that anything is possible. And there are no such ideas or those that are not considered or discussed. Take the risk to go beyond, beyond, at least mentally.
2. Set the frames and borders
It may seem that this contradicts the first point. But in reality, the more borders, the more opportunities for creativity. Constraints force us to take a fresh look at the situation and think up new ways to achieve the desired result.
Think of your own framework. For example, for a whole month use only one lens and only a fix. Or take only black and white photos. Or work only with a vertical orientation.
This method is especially useful if it immediately provokes internal protest and resistance. Do not give in to this feeling and be persistent: creativity will follow.
3. Less equipment - more creativityIt would seem that the more opportunities, the richer the choice, the more diverse the result. But in fact, if you have a separate “ideal” lens for each scene and five different “ideal” cameras for any occasion, there is nowhere to develop. As there is no room for creativity.This does not mean that you need to throw out most of the equipment or use only the old “soap box”. This means - see point 2. Artificially limiting the available options, at least for a while, you will free up space for creativity.
4. Trust yourself
If the inner voice says that you need to take a picture - do it. This advice can often be heard from street photographers, where the “decisive moment" is the cornerstone. But the same applies to any genre and any form of photography. If you feel that you need to shoot, shoot. Even if you have to pull the camera from the bottom of the bag. Even if it seems that you can’t shoot. Even if you tell yourself that you can take this photo later.
“Then” usually does not occur. Photographs are frozen moments; moments that will not be repeated. There will not be the same scene, the same light, the same mood. Take off.
5. Do not forget about physical activity
Exercising, or even light physical activity will help to develop creativity, especially if you have a sedentary job. Walk, run, ride a bike - everything that your heart desires.
A. Firstly, it will give the brain a rest, and then you will begin the task with fresh strength. Secondly, photo walks will allow you to see new places, new characters for shooting.
A. Third, researchers at Stanford University have proven that the physical process of walking itself increases creativity - by an average of 60%, and this effect continues for some time after you stop.
6. Visit new placesOne of the secrets of creativity is diversity. Walking, go new routes and to new places. Travel to new cities and countries. Novelty gives impetus to creativity.
7. Surround yourself with creative people
Creative is contagious. In addition, communication will give a new look at things, will make it possible to voice, discuss and develop emerging ideas. And if you manage to work together with an experienced photographer - so much the better.
8. Tell storiesEveryone has their own stories. Tell me. It trains imaginative and creative thinking. Try to make sure that both you and your interlocutor mentally see what you are talking about. Visualization is an important aspect for the development of imagination. And we are talking not only about the image, but also about sounds, smells, tastes, sensations. Try to convey all this in your story and in your pictures.
9. Be curious
Learning something new kindles a creative spark and strengthens the imagination. Why do children have such a rich imagination? Because they are curious and open to everything new.
Ask questions, study and try something unfamiliar, expand the scope of your interests, look for what your soul will reach. Because fuel for creativity is passion.
10. Change and changeTry yourself in a new genre. Are you a studio photographer? Take weekend street photography (check out our guru’s tips for taking street photos). Are you shooting architecture? Switch to sports photography for the day.
11. Set your own custom tasks
Challenge yourself and try unusual exercises. For instance:
Take 10 different photos of the same scene.
Choose a place and make 24 completely different frames.
Not budging. Imagine that you are shooting on film and you only have 36 (24, 12) frames. And the film is only one per day.
Such tasks, constraints and conditions can lead to surprisingly creative solutions.
12. Not a day without a photoNot a day without a line. In our case, no photo. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if there is no inspiration. Even if there is no time. Because, firstly, it will give a start, start the process of creativity. Secondly, skill is honed only by practice.
13. Be inspired by others
There is nothing wrong with learning something and drawing inspiration from the masters. Remember the expression: “Good artists copy, great artists steal?” Do you know how Benjamin Franklin honed his writing style? Copying texts from Spectator magazine, where some of the best texts of his time were printed.14. Start a personal projectPersonal project - not only for documentary photographers or photojournalists. And not only for beginners who are just trying their hand. The process of working on it will benefit everyone, regardless of genre or work experience. This is a great opportunity to do something that ignites passion in the soul, and learn something new - about the world and about yourself. And both of these points, as we found out earlier, are indispensable conditions for unlocking creativity.
15. Do not be afraid of your fears.
Fear of criticism, fear of failure, and even fear of success - all this not only prevents a creative person from showing his work to the world, but also limits our creative self. In fact, fear is good; this is an indication that your business is really important to you. Are we going to worry about what doesn't bother us? So, this is exactly what is worth doing. You do not want to spend your life on what you are indifferent to?
Still not feeling the urge to create? Get up and go create anyway. Appetite comes with eating.