Being a photographer is one of the best jobs in the world. But because we are in an industry where we’re expected to be creative all the time, we know that it can be hard to keep the juices flowing each and every single day. So here are some tips to keep your motivation up and creativity flowing.
GO BACK TO SHOOTING FOR PLEASURE
You got into photography because you are creative, you enjoy doing certain activities,you love creating images… But now you have to spend a lot of your time in the ‘business of photography’ rather than being a photographer. And it can easily be overwhelming, frustrating and you end up loosing your mojo a little bit (or a lot). Our advice? Get back to your roots and the reason you got into photography in the first place. Set aside X hours per week or X days per month to go out and shoot what you love to shoot most. The energy you will generate from doing this will help you in all other aspects of your work.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT GEAR… SHOOT ON ANYTHING!
These days clients are looking for ‘real’ rather than posed or staged images. And often ‘real’ doesn’t wait for a photographer to pull out his DSLR, tripod, lights etc. Bottom line is: you need to be prepared. You can submit on One Shot images from pretty much all cameras and devices provided they meet our submission guidelines and pass our technical quality check. So be sure to keep a small and versatile device handy to take images of “moments” as they happen. Even if you are on a ‘proper’ shoot, where things happen quickly, make sure you also take images of the candid moments.
GO OFFLINE AND SEEK INSPIRATION IN THE REAL WORLD
We’re all guilty of it – spending far too much time in front of the screen and not enough time outside or with ‘real’ rather than ‘virtual’ friends. Instead of wasting a couple of hours aimlessly looking for inspiration online or comparing your work to others (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and the likes…) on social media. Trust your instincts, take a walk around your neighbourhood and be open to meeting new people, having a chat, taking images, seizing new opportunities. And remember that “the only photographer you should compare yourself to is the one you used to be”.
CHECK OUT OUR SHOOTING IDEAS
Stuck for ideas? Good news! We’ve got a bunch of Shooting Ideas published on our blog and sent via our newsletter. Pick one or two topics, situations, demographics and start planning your next photo shoot. And guess what, these shooting ideas are based on clients requests, trends and seasonal themes which means that you can be confident that you won’t be wasting your time.
TALK TO US, WE’RE HERE TO HELP!
We’ve seen a ton of photographers go off and shoot reasonably complex shoots without checking with us first if the resulting images would be in demand and saleable. But… What is the point in producing something that no one needs or wants, no matter how great the images are? None, zero, nada, really.
If you have an idea and want to make sure that the images will have the potential to sell, send us your brief and some sample moodboard shots of what you’re planning to do. We’ll review your plans and will let you know if they are “on point” or could do with some adjustments in order to create more saleable and in-demand images.
SET REALISTIC AND ACHIEVABLE GOALS
Sometimes the goals we set ourselves are pretty grand. And having the feeling that you’re underachieving all the time can quickly become pretty frustrating. So why not try to set the bar at a level you can achieve first in order to get a good routine in place? For instance, instead of ‘Becoming world famous celebrity photographer and shoot the cover for Vogue within 12 months’ how about ‘Shoot the cover for NZ Woman’s magazine within 12 months’. Or instead of “I’m going to submit 1000 new images each week” how about starting with “50 images each week”?
CELEBRATE WHEN YOU ACHIEVE A GOAL
We Kiwis are champions of understatement and downplaying our achievements. That Anglo-Saxon modesty gene we seem to have inherited as a culture has a LOT to answer for. So here is our advice: when you’ve achieved one of the realistic goals you’ve set for yourself (see above), make sure you celebrate! Tell others and let them know it’s a big deal for you. If you downplay it, others will follow your lead. So treat yourself even if it’s only small – a good craft beer or chocolate are two of our weapon of choice. Do involve others as well – we all like to be part of someone’s successes and it can be infectious.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
You may get to a point where you realise that the people you’re hanging out with are all singing from the same song sheet… and the song may even be pretty morose. If you hang with people who lament the loss of ‘the old days’, you’ll probably get stuck with them. But if you want to move forward, make sure you surround yourself with like-minded, creative, forward-thinking people. Remember, energy breeds energy!
The One Shot Team