How To Come Up with an Idea For a Photo Project, by Nicole D.Garrison
When you start out as a photographer, inspiration is hardly lacking: you immediately figure out that beautiful sights from your travels and everyday life can make for a great photo project.
As time goes on, it gets harder to find a unique and original idea for a photo project. All around the world, artists are talking about the issue of so-called ‘artist blocks’, but hardly anyone talks about the ‘photographer’s block’, which is very much so a real thing.
As you advance and perfect your craft, the criteria for a cool photo project becomes much higher: you want to achieve work that’s close to perfection – after all, you’ve been working for years now, right? Well, it’s not necessarily so.
In this overview, we’re bringing you some of the best sources of inspiration that will create dozens of new ideas for a photo project. Get ready for some fresh and unique ideas!
1. Check Social Media for Trends
For modern photographers, there is a precious and infinite source of inspiration called social media networks. If you’re looking for ideas for your next project, instead of browsing your feed passively, try to look at particular patterns and trends.
Open up a text document or get a notebook and collect your impressions and observations after browsing through different social media platforms. Pay special attention to Instagram, Behance, DesignHill and other platforms that feature photography work.
What types of photos inspire you? What is well received by the audience? Which photography social media profiles feature the work you would like to do?
“As writers and creators, we usually forget about the power of social media as a source of inspiration. When I’m going through a writer’s block, I peruse some of my favorite blogs, social media profiles and posts and find that new ideas crop up every second! It’s definitely something that’s recommendable to photographers, too”, says Melanie Lane, a writer at BestEssayEducation.
Some online services like Keyword Tool can show you which hashtags are trending right now on Instagram and other social media networks. You can use this insight to find out what other photographers are up to and check out some of their work.
2. Travel and Experience New Things
While explaining writer’s block and how to get over it, Ernest Hemingway said:
“…sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would..stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.”
This quote is a reminder that getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things, coupled with self-confidence and faith in your work will always get you out of the dreaded photographer’s block.
You can find inspiration and great sights in your everyday life, but nothing will trigger your imagination and creativity as strongly as visiting another city or trying out new things.
If you currently don’t have opportunities to travel to other countries, you can simply go to new places in your own city or try new activities. When you’re doing something for the first time, it’s much more visually stimulating than when it’s a part of your daily routine.
For example, someone who plays darts from time to time probably won’t see anything special in it. But if you, as a photographer, go out and play darts for the first time, you will be looking at it from a fresh perspective and notice aesthetically interesting components of this activity:
3. Browse Through Some of Your Old Work
It might seem counter-intuitive, but going back to some of your previous work might actually help you find ideas for new photo projects.
When you look at your old work, try not to be critical and observe which projects you particularly enjoyed and which projects turned out to be the most successful.
You can even take some of the outlines from your previous projects and expand it into a new one. Just remember to try a different angle and approach a theme differently and your next photo project will surely be a success.
4. Use Online Tools and Services
There are a lot of tools online that can help you get out of photographer’s block and come up with new, amazing ideas.
For example, you can use Photoshop to breathe new life into your previous work, finding inspiration for new projects along the way. You can also use Shutterfly (for recommendations on interesting photo projects), GrabMyEssay (for writing descriptions of photos and projects), visit Digital Photography School (for tips and lessons in photography) or Studicus (to verbalize your next photo project idea).
5. Relax and Make Mistakes!
The worst thing that an idea block can cause is stagnation and passiveness. If you try hard and go for a photo project that could be unsuccessful, at least you’re doing something and moving in a specific direction.
When you’re not doing any work – because of perfectionism, fear, or other reasons – the more you wait, the harder it’s going to be to begin at one point.
Don’t take your lack of inspiration too hard and just relax, go out there and try to take some cool photos, even if they don’t turn out to be a part of a bigger project or concept.
6. Find Inspiration in Nature
No matter if you’re an urban shutterbug depicting the everyday life of a metropolis, some time in nature will definitely do you good. Nature is an amazing inspiration, even for those photographers that don’t deal with it at all.
It doesn’t even mean that your photos should be of nature, but some time in greenery will give you a fresh perspective on color, lighting, composition and other structures, especially if you are from a large city.
Inspiration for a photo project can be found anywhere around you – you just need to go out and grab it!
Yes, we know, this is easier said than done. A photographer’s block is a tough situation and during your career, you will surely have periods like this. The important thing to remember is to keep moving and even produce lower-quality work just for the sake of dynamics. Keeping still and waiting for the perfect idea can immobilize you for a long time.
To illustrate this, Pablo Picasso said that “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”.
Nicole D.Garrison is a content strategist, writer, and contributor at WoWGrade and a number of platforms for marketing specialists like PickTheWriter and TopTal. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.
Additional images courtesy of Pixabay.com