I think that most photographers go through slumps in their work. I know I do! Sometimes I am just stuck in a lack of creativity. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t make a good photo. When these times hit it can be frustrating, but it can also be a time to learn.
Here are some ideas for getting out of one of these funks:
What did you love about photography that made you pick up that first camera and start shooting? Sometimes creativity can just drop off completely when we are focusing on the wrong aspects of what we are doing. Get out of the details and try to have fun. Maybe you once loved film, but are now locked into digital and post-processing. Find that old film camera and give it a spin!
I’d guess the biggest cause for insecurity or doubt for photographers today is the ability to access a lot of other work and get critical of our own work. Social media makes it easy to see a lot of amazing photographs and if we just start trying to do what someone else is doing, or comparing our work to theirs it can lead to a rough outcome. Find inspiration, good work to admire, but don’t play the game of comparisons! Do you!
Do It For You
This is a pretty simple idea that can make a big difference. Take photographs to express yourself, not to impress others. Create photos that you like; with the camera you like; in places that you like. Don’t worry about what someone else is doing, how they are doing it or what they think of your photos. They are yours,for you, and that is a big factor in finding your own confidence!
Don’t Over Commit
Don’t take on jobs that are too big and cause too much pressure if you are not ready. While challenges are good and promote growth, pushing too far and too fast can cause trouble. Take on what you are ready to take on!
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you are feeling insecure about getting in front of people with a camera, practice in front of people you are comfortable around. A kind of “role-playing” can allow for practice in a low-pressure environment. Experiment with styles until you find the right vibe for yourself, then practice, practice, and practice some more!
Online or in real life find some people who share your interest and are willing to offer feedback. It helps to realize you have people on your side, and not everyone is a competitor. Be open to constructive criticism, too, as it can help you truly improve your photos. Also, know who NOT to listen to!
Most importantly, don’t quit. Work through the slumps! Just keep shooting and as you learn more and get more comfortable you’ll find yourself back in a confidence! Photography is a never-ending process of learning, so just keep learning, and you’ll keep improving. It’s a journey – enjoy it!