How to Get Past Photographer’s Block

You’ve probably heard of writer’s block: a period of time where a writer struggles to come up with ideas for the project(s) they are working on.  The same thing exists for photographers, aptly named “photographer’s block.” This can appear in a variety of forms, such as beginning to doubt your work or simply having no inspiration for new photos at all. In this post, I will share some tips for overcoming photographer’s block. If you are experiencing a block like this, hopefully these tips will encourage and inspire you to get through it.

Take more photos
Feeling like your photos aren’t good enough can often discourage you from taking photos at all. However, taking more photos is the best way to start to get around that feeling. Taking several photos in a certain place or of a certain subject can help you figure out what works best for you, and even inspire more photos to be taken in the future.

Try something new
Although trying new things can be intimidating, especially when it comes to photography, it can also be very helpful in getting through a block. Try photographing a different subject than you normally do, taking photos in a location you’ve never been to before, or using a different setting on your camera than the one you’re used to. It is likely that the photos won’t turn out at first, which will be frustrating, but the practice will pay off.

Look for inspiration online
This tip is not encouraging you to copy work already done by other photographers, but simply to get ideas from them. There are also lots of photo prompts and challenges found online, and at least one of them is bound to inspire you. Participating in a “30 day photography challenge,” for example, could help enhance your skills and give you new ideas to try out in the future.

Take a walk
Carry your camera (or other device you are using to take photos) with you often and keep your eye out for inspiration in your surroundings. In my experience, some of the best photos I’ve ever taken were unexpected and the subjects appeared in the spur of the moment (for example, a deer that came out of the tall grass and only stuck around for a few seconds). Walking outside during nice weather almost guarantees you will encounter something interesting to photograph, whether it be a person, wild animal, or plant.

Pick a theme
I do this even when I’m not experiencing photographer’s block, and it’s a fun way to come up with photos to take. For example, when the holiday season comes around, most of the photos I take end up consisting of twinkling lights and shades of red, green, and white. A theme doesn’t have to necessarily be seasonal; it could be a certain color, emotion, etc. Using a theme is a great way to expand the subject matter of your photos.

It’s difficult to stop doubting your work and continue creating, but photographer’s block can be managed. I hope these tips were helpful, and, even if you aren’t currently experiencing photographer’s block, these tips are also useful for finding inspiration for any creative work you might be doing.

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