All of us get caught in a not-so-creative rut from time to time, which may be tricky to escape. It has happened to me plenty of times to the point that I started questioning my own abilities. And then when you’re under pressure to come up with something creative, it becomes even more difficult.
Today’s post is about what I do to get out of that rut; there are a couple of simple steps that I take that usually work for me.
1. Keep Shooting!
No matter what, do not stop and start over-analyzing! Analysis-paralysis has never gotten anything accomplished, but action does get things done!
2. Try Something New!
This is the step that usually gets me moving forward, as shiny new things are a lot of fun. Whether it’s a new lighting accessory that you haven’t unpacked yet, or something new that is around the office that you can use for a shoot (see below…)
3. Take On a Challenge.
There are lots of things that lie outside my comfort zone, which makes them a definite challenge for me. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to challenge a fellow-creative to a bit of friendly competition.
4. Reward Yourself
When you do that task that you have set for yourself, remember to reward yourself, as positive reinforcement keeps you going.
This shot came from an exercise that I did to come up with something completely new using a rather quotidian object: the lowly paperclip. Doing something creative with paperclips required me to think differently, to change my angle of approach from what I had been doing.
Literally, I tossed a handful of paperclips on a black surface, and looked at them for something inspiring. Playing around with light helped me uncover something of interest and worth shooting; it took about 20 or so attempts to really find an angle that worked well for me and provided some cool, harsh light and shadows.
As a reward, I printed this off on 17×22 paper to get the full effect! It made me smile!!
This one was all about the lighting, as I wound up using a single Canon Speedlite 580EX with some black cinema-foil to control the spillage of light. My lens choice was a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, so that I could get these paperclips nice and large.