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Finding Inspiration for Photography

A photographer is like a painter. Has to constantly find inspiration to keep the soul of artistry in great shape. Here are a few ways to get inspired…

Surf online photo sites
Be it Getty Images, Flickr or even blogs and online magazines, there are pictures talking to you all the time. And when you keep them constantly in your company, you get inspired. Even in the middle of the night.

Offline too
Movies could be the biggest form of inspiration. Could be particular setting, atmosphere, close-ups, lighting… anything can inspire a photographer. Just be open to the idea and willing to execute on it.

Ditch the moolah
Sometimes, what you do for art is more valuable than what you do for money. Once in a while, take time off to help a cause with your photography. Like going into the suburbs to capture rural life. It will give you perspectives and all-new subjects you were never aware of. Not to mention, the magic of the great outdoors, architecture, nature and customs in a rustic setting. You could come back from the trip with more ideas than you can handle.

Sometimes, inspiration can come by when you are hard at work, too. And sometimes, it requires you to be disciplined about it. So instead of working only on assignments, it makes sense to work at least 200 days in a year by choosing a theme for a day/week/month. This way, not only will you keep yourself busy, but also end up with a wide body of work that could later end in a thematic exhibition.

Choosing the right company
Just the way you mine the internet for inspiration, it pays if you are not a recluse. Surround yourself with creativity by going to art and photography exhibitions that happen in your city, even if it’s by newcomers. When you explore art through the artist’s eyes, you get a different perspective on life itself. And that makes its presence felt in your photography that follows.

Find your muse
Finding your muse isn’t difficult if you narrow down your likes to a few things you are really passionate about. Once these are set, just run with the things that inspire you like no other. It could be nature, adventure sports, people, places, things or even abstract things like light, dark, black-and-white, color, and so on. Make these your photography template and you will never run out of ideas or work.

Find fellow travelers
Working alone might not suit everybody. Here is where you could be part of photography clubs and groups with similar interests. Taking part in group activities like photo walks and travel photography, to name a few, could give you all the inspiration you need. You could even help more seasoned photographers with their workshops or be part of one to gain further insight.

Get feedback
Any form of feedback is good. It will tell you what your viewers think. It’s a more unbiased, third eye view that will give you a new perspective on the stuff you do. Remember, the familiar you are with your craft, the more blind you become to it. It’s the others viewpoints that will shed more light on you, the artist. They will do the SWOT analysis you need from time to time – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Good luck!

~Zahid H Javali