Considering the digitized photographic industry, a lot of photographers get stuck in a stagnant black hole due to heavy competition, lack of opportunities and no motivation. The constant dilemma about how to create ideas and stay inspired can drive anyone into the darkness. It sounds depressive and believe me IT IS! I've been there done that and I am happy I got out in time.
I guess the key question remains HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED? There will be people saying "oh just keep shooting. Stay motivated. C'mon" But WAIT, the question is HOW isn't it?! How DO YOU keep generating ideas over and over again?
I guess there are plenty but I am gonna list down my 5 simple ways of generating ideas for my shoots. My advice, always carry an idea book. Yup, I do! You never know what hits you when and voila! An idea! So keep a book with you all the time. (It could be your notes app in your phone too!) So here we go, my big fat cat is coming out of the bag for you :)
1) What I see around me - It sounds lame but honestly, what do you see around you? Some sort of pattern or similarity or differences maybe? Be it people, things, actions, expressions, human behavior, daily utilities, in general could be anything, right. Shoot it! Here's a project I made out of what I saw while I was traveling in China.
2) Inspiring people - A great way to put Facebook stalking to use (yup. we all do it) For eg. I found my model Dorin Duca while going through someone's pictures and I instantly wanted to make photos of him. A small honest and humble message saying "I am a photographer. I'd love to make photos of you" isn't harmful at all. Try it!
3) Supermarket visit - Oh yea this one is my favorite. A simple walk doing your chores can lead you into a beautiful portrait series. I was wandering around when I found these sheets that students use to cover their notebooks. I decided to use it as an effect in my photos. Et voila! Don't forget to pick your inspiration tomorrow with your vegetables!
4) Childhood fantasies - Okay this one is a tough one. For eg. I always had this fascination for alien creatures, something bizarre, outer space beings but not in a loud way. More simplified subtle way. So I used that as an idea to create a story. But that's my fantasy world. I am sure you have one too. Use it!
5) What I feel - Last one is super simple. It may sound like a therapy session but what do you really feel? At any given point. Visualize it. Think of this feeling as person or an object. Spin a story around it. I converted some of my agitated feelings into this. Go pick a feeling!
Now these are just ways to bring the horse to the river, but I hope the walk makes you thirsty enough to drink the water. :)
How do you normally get ideas? Do you have any other ways to stay motivated? I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to write to me in the comments section. Cheers!