How to get past the creative block
First let me apologise for a break in both updates to my blog, and to my photography. Things have been quite hectic, both at work, and at home....especially at home, where both Amy and myself have been preparing for the arrival of our new addition to the Hughes clan.
And I'm incredibly happy to announce that Elijah Stephen Hughes-Poulton arrived safe and well on Sunday 23rd February at 15.27 weighing a very respectable 7lb 7oz.
So say hello to Elijah guys.
As you can imagine, Amy has left me being one very proud husband and dad.
So what has this got to do with being stuck in that creative funk? (not the good disco kind, the kind that any creative comes up against be it writing, painting, drawing, jewelry making, photography etc etc, and will drive you to the point of insanity kind of funk)
Well read on and I will reveal.
Up until Elijah came into our lives I was in a rut, big time. Stresses of work, and the impending arrival of my son had left me tired and lacking any kind of creative spark. This coupled with the fairly terrible weather that the UK has endured over the last couple of months, and the fact that I don't really enjoy being cold and wet (yes, I admit I'm a fair weather photographer), I felt that my interest was slipping.
I thought to myself, this isn't good. Andy you need to give yourself a good kick up the ass and get yourself motivated. So I started looking at ways to get through this block, and this is what I found.
Step out of your comfort zone
I'm a creature of habit, and as such I tend to keep doing the same things over and over again, and it gets stale. So with a project that I have in mind (see I told you I'd get there) I started taking portraits of my son, which is completely out of my comfort zone, as it mixes two things I'm nervous of,
1: Taking portraits, I never had much practice to do it.
2: Babies. Even though I am now a dad, kids still petrify me.
By doing this I found I learnt new skills and techniques (after a bit of research, thanks KelbyOne!)
Set yourself a project
Again, for me this ties in to the arrival of my son, so he will be my photographic project focusing on the 1st year of his life. But it doesn't have to be of this magnitude. Try something small. For example try one week/month photographing the colour green, your local area, reflections etc. and take it from there.
Expand your knowledge
Be it photography books, magazines, webcasts, videos, seminars or spending the cash to go for a week(end) or day course. All the time spent learning techniques and methods will reflect in your work, and eventually you will get better.
The internet is a wonderful tool to be inspired by other photographers out there. 500px, Flickr, Facebook, Google+, Flipboard and Pinterest to name but a few of the websites that are out there which feature amazing photography talent out there. Or if you're lucky enough to have one near you, visit a gallery or exhibition, where you will not only gain inspiration, but will meet like minded individuals to talk to.
Just do it!
You aren't going to become a better photographer with your camera stuck in your bag all the time. Dust it off and get practicing. Get outside, be inspired by the countryside. If the weathers bad and you don't want to venture outside, try still life and lighting techniques in the comfort of your home. Get creative, try light painting or light refraction....anything, just keep those creative juices flowing.
So there's my 5 small tips for you to get you out of that rut. If you have any more hints and tips to keep you going, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.
That's it from me....another nappy change calls.