An Exercise to Help Get You Out of a Creative Rut

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer A Street Photographer's Notebook for iPad Review (1 of 9)ISO 4001-40 sec at f - 5.6

The next time that you’re in a creative rut of some sort, consider how to get out of it. One thing that we’ve tried involved free word association and then applying that to a scene that you can photograph through creating the scene yourself. Free word association helps you to get out of a creative rut by being as random as you can and by just creating without overthinking. Part of being creative isn’t thinking, it’s feeling.

So here’s an example.

We’re going to choose the word guitar. Now we’re going to choose a bunch of words associated with it:

Model: Colin Lucky

Model: Colin Lucky

– electric

– Acoustic

– Rock

– Subway performer

– Punk

– Stickers

– Strings

– Sound

– Amp

– Strap

– Spanish

– Front man

– Volume

– Wood

– Chord

– Concert

– String instrument

– Sound

Stop right there. Now try to make sense of everything there. The best way to realize this is to visualize a modern but edgy person playing the guitar or bass or some other string instrument. It would be cool for a portrait of a guitarist, but you’d need to include elements that include information about the person in the image besides that they just play the guitar.

So how do you do that? You’ll need to interview them, and by listening to them you get a better idea of who they are. Ask specific and poking questions. Ask them about their passions, and when something jives with you, take the photo after you’ve posed them accordingly.

And that’s how you get your creativity back one photo at a time.