Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Creativity Tips For Photographers

Picture of a man's head in profile filled with thoughts, ideas and creativity.
The creative process is vital for the success of photographers and is a skill that can be nurtured and strengthened.

Creativity Is Vital to our Success as Photographers
Creativity is vital to our success as photographers, whether we are shooting assignments, stock photos or weddings. It is creativity that allows us to make images that stand out, and our creativity that can take our marketing to the next level. But creativity can be elusive and fleeting as well. But there are some things we can do to recharge our creativity and get it flowing again.

Concrete Steps To Think Outside The Box
We often hear the phrases “think outside the box”, and “think different”. But the question is how do we think different or outside the box? What are some concrete steps we can take when we are in creative doldrums? There is no shortage of tips for being more creative, but here we will look at just a few techniques that work for me.

Think Like A Superhero
One simple but effective way to expand your ability to “think outside the box” is to think like someone else.  Are you in need of an idea for a portrait shoot…try thinking like a still life shooter, or ask yourself how Alfred Hitchcock would shoot it, or even a superhero like Batman. No kidding, trying to look at a problem from the perspective of another person really can trigger a new way of looking at things. You still want to put your own stamp on the image, you don’t want to copy someone else’s style, but you are letting the exercise stimulate a new way of looking at the given challenge.

Ask The Question Again
Another technique for stimulating creativity is to reformulate the problem, to ask the question again. In one study it was found that participants who were forced to re-conceptualize the problem numerous times came up with more creative solutions. If you are creating an image about teamwork play with the challenge. Can you create a teamwork image showing only one person? Can you portray teamwork with cats?
Believe In Your Own Creativity
Studies have also found that people who are told they are creative respond with more creativity. That also works when people tell themselves they are creative…so convince yourself, perhaps I should say remind yourself, that you are truly creative. Then get to work.

Creativity Is Work
Contrary to the belief of many, creativity is work. To make the above and other techniques more effective, keep these two simple tips in mind. First, intent is a powerful tool. I consider it to be the foundation of creativity. Set the intention to come up with ideas and then actively pursue them and you will be amazed at the results.  Secondly, write down every idea. Ideas are fleeting and no matter how much you think you will remember them, good or great ideas will disappear as quickly as they come. I almost always have a pen and notebook with me for those spontaneous, or not so spontaneous ideas. Secondly, Intent is a powerful tool. I consider it to be the foundation of creativity.

Intent, Effort And Results
Remember, we are all creative beings, and creativity tends to get crushed out of us when we are judged, judge ourselves and let fear take us over. But we can boost our creativity and use it to reach where we want to be in our lives and careers. It just takes intent and effort…effort that is well spent!


Diane Macdonald said...

Great post as usual John, and the image is extremely creative!

John Lund said...

Thanks Diane!