5 Signs That You Need to Take a Break from Photography and Recharge

Sometimes, it’s best to put your camera down and take a step back from photography.

Whether you’re a die-hard hobbyist or a consummate professional, you likely practice photography a lot. But there comes a time in every photographer’s journey when things don’t go well. It can be a lack of enthusiasm, a struggle to find identity, or a general loss of love for the craft. When we hit lows in our journey, often the best solution is to take a break. And in this piece, we look at some signs that indicate you may need to put your camera down.

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5 Proven Tips for Regaining Confidence in Photography

Photographic confidence comes in ebbs and flows for many photographers. Not to be confused with a creative rut, photographic confidence relates more to not believing in yourself, even if you shoot consistently. It’s a horrible spot to be in and leads to many photographers giving up. But I don’t want that to happen to you. So, in this article, I’m sharing some tips on regaining and maintaining your photographic confidence.

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Fine Art Photographer Jennifer McClure on a Photographer’s Nightmare

“I had some big issues in my life that I needed to process, and photography was a way for me to do that,” explains fine art photographer Jennifer McClure. “I didn’t set out to work in fine art, but I am happy that I landed here.” Jennifer is based in NYC and has profound advice on getting out of a photographer’s worst nightmare: the creative rut. We’ve all spoken to photographers who hit this obstacle and don’t know where to go. Typically, we treat ourselves harshly and beat ourselves up. But Jennifer used a completely different approach. Her words and teachings are bound to get someone experiencing a rut very interested in her process.

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This Simple Photography Tip Will Help You Beat Your Creative Rut

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Not having the motivation to do something you love is demoralizing. And unfortunately, stagnation in photography is all too common. I’ve experienced crippling creative ruts, and been left wondering if I’ll ever pick up my camera again: that’s no exaggeration. I’ve also seen so many talented photographers not create for months, later sharing how they have zero motivation to go out and shoot. All this would suggest stagnation in photography is unavoidable. But there are ways to snap out of a creative rut sooner rather than later.

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How and Where to Look for Photography Inspiration Beyond Instagram

© 2020 Pauleth Ip / PI Creative

With Instagram increasingly becoming an echo chamber, consider these alternative sources of inspiration the next time you’re in a creative rut.

“To gain new perspectives, you have to be willing to change your surroundings.” Back when I was working in higher education, that’s what I used to tell my students whenever they were confronted with seemingly insurmountable problems. It’s helped them reframe the problems and to arrive at solutions on their own. This principle continues to hold true as I transitioned into a career in photography. Whenever I was faced with a creative rut, looking toward new sources of inspiration was often the spark I needed. Time and time again, it’s helped me see the world through a different lens (pun intended) and to approach my photography with fresh creative impulses. The next time you find yourself in a creative rut, consider these alternative sources of inspiration.

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4 Easy to Follow Tips on How to Get Yourself Out of a Creative Rut

There’s nothing harder than dealing with a creative rut when you’re a creator.

Being a photographer or a media creator can be challenging at the best of times, but when you find yourself slipping into a creative rut, what was once fun and uplifting can become a burden quite quickly. Like many others, I have been through several creative ruts, with my most recent rut being not too long ago. This time around I didn’t know what I was going to do to get myself out of it. Anita Sadowska, a popular YouTuber, recently posted a new video that deals with this issue. The video offers four very easy to follow tips on how you can break free of your own creative rut. Continue reading…

You Should Never Force Yourself Through a Creative Rut

Forcing yourself through a creative rut sometimes puts you right back into a spot you were in before.

The last time I suffered through a creative rut, I spent about a year trying to figure out who I was as a photographer. What I learned during that time is that it doesn’t make any sense to force it. During their creative ruts many photographers spend time trying new things over and over again. It’s fun. Sometimes things don’t end up in their portfolio and sometimes they learn new things that they can add to it. For some, that’s fine. It’s part of the process and they’re not forcing themselves through their rut.

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Omar Essam’s ‘Japan Street Opera’ Shows How Inspitation Helps to Overcome a Creative Rut

All images by Omar Essam. Used with permission.

“It encouraged me to discover what I actually did over the next 18 days – without limits.” These are the words of Omar Essam as he describes the impact Japan had on him and his street photography. Having found himself in a rut, the Italian born photographer planned a trip to the other side of the world. Once he arrived he was overcome with inspiration, giving him fresh eyes and a thirst to create. Over the course of 18 days, he was “in a trance”, centered and focused on street photography. An environment in which he came into his own, he created some of his best work to date. In a series he calls Street Opera, Omar shows us his view of Japan – the country that gave birth to his fresh creative groove.

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How to Get Out of a Rut with Street Photography and Continue Growing

Street Photography is as much about psychology as it is about skill and creativity.

There is a mental process that goes into making photographs of everyday people in the street. Confidence is a huge driving force in getting strong, compelling visual content. When confidence is high, so is your creative flair. However, there will be times when you’re not your best self, and a high level of creative productivity is not always sustainable. Almost unknowingly you fall deep into a rut and your photography suffers. You can all of sudden feel stuck, and find that you are asking yourself, “how do I get out of this?”

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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.

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