I have been thinking a lot lately about inspiration.
Inspiration is this illusive thing that I think all of us have a love/hate relationship with. When we have it, we’re on top of the world, but when we don’t, we might get grumpy or discouraged. It is something that is essential to us as photographers, but isn’t something that can be controlled.
Or can it?
While I’m not sure the giddy-on-top-of-the-world feeling that comes along with inspiration can be controlled, I’m starting to believe that attaining that feeling more often than we think we can is totally within the realm of possibility. With the cold winter months setting in, a lot of us tend to run out of creative steam this time of year, so now is a good time to check in with ourselves to find out what it is that inspires us to keep shooting.
One thing that has really helped me lately is thinking about, outside of photography, what interests me. I have a journal that is just for photography ideas, and any time I see something I like, or an idea comes to mind, I write it down. Then, I find ways of incorporating what interests me visually/emotionally into my photography.
One thing that always inspires me is a longing for the past, and for times gone by. I love history. I love old buildings, antique books, clothes and cameras. Anything that belonged to someone years ago sparks my imagination.
Anything that has stood the test of time is always interesting to me as a photographer.
And, like so many of my fellow photographers, I’m endlessly inspired by nature. I’m fascinated by how, as humans, our time here is so short, and while we may leave our imprints on nature, nature is constant, and our existence is fleeting.
I’m inspired by the often unpredictable nature of photography. I love the not-knowing that accompanies shooting with film, and embracing the happy accidents, such as accidentally double exposing my film, or not advancing my frame far enough.
So, while these are just a few of my own ideas and interests, they are, without a doubt, what fuels my creativity, and, I think having some idea of what inspires me has really helped me keep my momentum going as of late.
I’m curious to know, what inspires you, and how to you keep your creativity flowing?