On day 365 I asked people to comment on my photo and tell me what inspires them. I promised to put together a blog post with a lot of tips to be inspired and here we go . Please keep in mind that these things aren’t all my ideas but have been given to me by a lot of people. You may want to have a look at their original comments on my flickr.
1. Be inspired by other photos or paintings
Looking at other photographer’s work is really inspiring. By looking at work that you consider better than yours you keep yourself going and wanting to get better all the time (which I consider one of the most important things)! There are a lot of wonderful groups on flickr with nice people supporting you. Even if you are not highly interested in arts, looking at paintings is a great experience. Have a look at painters that create surreal images to stir your imagination.
Have a look at these wonderful artists someone pointed out to me:
2. Be inspired by light and colors
Keep your eyes open for beautiful light! It may be sun flares or the golden hour, you can also get magical light in the woods. You just have to keep your eyes open for this beauty nature offers you to use. Also colors can totally inspire you. Pick a dress in your favourite color or use a flower. You can also use colors you find in nature like the green grass in summer, fall colors are also very inspiring to me.
3. Be inspired by music, sounds and lyrics
I have only started really listening to music since I take photos. If you would like to capture emotions in your pictures music and especially lyrics may give you photo ideas. I very often take just one word I like from a song and interprete it with a photo. This is especially helpfull for me as English is not my mother tongue and it is hard for me to think of English image titles. But music not only helps you with words, music can also push your mood and help to create an inspirational atmosphere.
4. Be inspired by projects
I started my 365days project to get better by taking a picture every day. This really helped me to think about photography all day, keep myself inspired and look at everything from a different perspective. If you don’t have the time for a 365days you maybe could do a 52weeks project and take a photo per week at least. Therefor you can also use a different theme each week that you have to interprete. This may be especially fun doing with other people and then have a look how everyone made a different photo with this same topic.
You also gave me links to other projects:
100 things to do
7 photography projects to jumpstart your creativity
5. Be inspired by nature
Many of my images are inspired by nature. I love the colors and backgrounds it offers. A photo can be inspired by a beautiful flower or tree. Another great thing to get inspiration from are animals, take a closer look at their behaviour and “poses”. Just go out, don’t hurry, “take a walk, feel the air, touch the grass, watch the horizon” …
6. Be inspired by your imagination
One of the most wonderful comments on my work was “She doesn’t let reality stand in the way of her imagination”. Since then this is one of the main things I keep in mind everytime I shoot. And creating something dreamlike and unreal has always been very fascinating to me. I love to amaze people and want them to take a second look at my work and be stunned. So this is my very personal tip for you. Think before you shoot, don’t go for the obvious and easy picture but try the tricky one, the one people wouldn’t expect. Use your imagination and keep in mind that if you really want something, you can achieve it!
7. Be inspired by props
This is basically how I started my 365days. I wandered around in my house or garden and was searching for things that I could use in a photo. I did this every day, finding something new always. One day I took an old phone, the other day I found some tea cups or a window. Then I thought about how to use the prop in my photo and started shooting. This inspiration process helped me a lot in the beginning but it is still helpfull today. It happens that I walk past a potential prop several times just looking at it. Then some time later an idea pops up with one of the props I have seen the past days. Always keep your eyes open for things that would contribute to a good image (this may also be very small things like glitter or a plastic flower), collect them and put everything in a box. If you are totally frustrated and feel very uninspired take out your box full of props and use one of them!
8. Be inspired by your love for photography
Surround yourself by people that encourage and love you. This will help you to stay in a good mood and don’t get frustrated too easily. Create a wall with photos that you like and write down why you love photography or why you started. I tend to feel more inspired when I am relaxed and have my camera close. Don’t get stressed if ideas are not coming as usual, you will only pressurise yourself. Have a look at your wall and read your words about why you love photography again, breathe and relax!
9. Be inspired by books
Books can inspire you in many ways. Sometimes I am inspired by a feeling, mood or scenery that is described. But you can also be inspired by a sentence you love or simply by a word that is used. Also book covers are a source of inspiration. And above that, using books as props is also great.
One book that was recommended by you is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky.
10. Be inspired by life
Life offers you so much inspiration, you just have to take a closer look! “Theres so much to see if we just stop and take the time to look at it.” Be inspired by things and people you see as you are walking down the street or let memories inspire you! “Thinking back to my childhood inspires me. The fact that as a child your mind has no limit, it can picture anything that it wants, makes my mind soar with ideas.” Also think as a photographer all the time!! “I’ll sometimes will close one eye and try to move my head into the angle where I would think it makes a nice photo.”
Writing this made me realise how hard it must have been for you to describe this incredible feeling of inspiration. I really hope that these words will help you to enjoy what you are doing more and let you improve everytime you take a new image. There is a lot out there that can inspire you, you have to find out what works best for you yourself. But never forget that all you have to do is let go and be inspired …