If I were to use the phrase 'photographers block', I'm certain I would neither be the first, nor maybe even using the right term to describe what happens when you hit that wall, and can't come up with a single thing to shoot.
But it happens, the same as all creatives run into mental blocks one time, a dozen, or every day of their careers until they get around it, maybe to only find the next obstacle. Photography may be unique from some art forms in that it's both internal and external. You can have the best idea ever, but no means to execute it. Or, you could have all the equipment your heart desires, but nothing to use it on. We rely on internal ideas, and our environments to create our work.
Shooting tabletop as often as I have been these past months has given me a new host of challenges every day, for which I'm grateful. But at the end of the day, feeling somewhat drained and uninspired by pictures of products on white sweeps, I was having trouble getting out to do something different.
There are thousands of photographers offering hundreds of thousands of ideas to get you out and moving, but underneath the inspirational messages, I saw the same words. "Just go DO something." But thats the hardest thing to do on occasion, to get up, grab the camera, and enjoy it.
It took a cross country road trip, and a return to the west coast to remind me that I do in fact enjoy my job, and that the whole world is out there waiting for someone, anyone, to try something interesting. I had to remember that if its all been done before, it can't hurt to do it again, and that eventually I might be the first to do that one cool thing that escaped under the radar.
So for those of us who experience photographers block, or maybe dark cloth? you can read inspirational quotes and posts all day and get a million ideas in your head, but getting out there to do them is where we can all fall apart. I stopped carrying my camera with me every day once I had to for work, feeling like it was more of a bother. That's the block talking. This shot, from inside the airport, wouldn't have been done if I had given in, said I was tired from shooting all week, and left my camera buried deep in the bag.
Instead, it opened me up to a whole world of photography that I want to continue exploring, unleashed a flood of ideas that I pulled into every other category of work I do, and got me excited to be out and about, camera in hand, finger on the shutter.
The block will bring you down and make you feel like it isn't worth doing anymore, you have to find what will make you enjoy it again, not cave your head in thinking of one specific thing to accomplish. Try a new subject, a new edit, or even browse through your own catalog, critique your work, and do it over again. Let ideas come organically from yourself, and then match it to your existing environment.
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