Finding inspiration has always been something I’ve found quite hard. Sometimes I know exactly what I want to shoot but often I’m at a complete loss as to what I want to do. This is probably something I’ll keep struggling with for a long time.
It was the same when I was writing short stories. I enjoy writing but the biggest hurdle was always to come up with a story that I thought was worth telling. Since I’m still new to photography I still have several ideas for shots I want to make but already I’m having trouble coming up with more ideas. Perhaps the biggest limitation is time, there just isn’t enough of it. Being a husband and father comes first and even if I do have time, sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do much with it. I’ve been think about ways to remedy this; one idea I have is to set myself an assignment, a concept for a shoot. It could be a business portrait or a cover for an album or a product shot for a magazine. Of course, the shots will most likely feature myself as the business man/singer/artist/whatever, but the point is that the added directions and restrictions would help my creativity.
Do you remember the times in school when the teacher gave you free reins to write about any subject you wanted? How annoying was that? How are you supposed to come up with a topic when you have so much to choose from? I’ve often noticed that I tend to be the most creative when I’ve had fairly limited choices concerning the overall subject or concept – it makes you stress the details more and forces you to be creative to stand out from the crowd. There are also the times when you have an idea that grabs hold of you and won’t let go until you let it out, but those are few and far between for me.
With that out of the way, I would like to ask everyone (not very many, I know) who reads this blog to give me suggestions for assignments. Be creative, give me a background story to the assignment to give me some context. I will then do my best to set aside some time and take the assignment seriously (time is a constant issue, as noted).
Since this is, after all, a photo blog, let’s discuss the photo I included at the top, a quick portrait I took last weekend. It was shot with a single lp160, straight from the front and below. I got the inspiration from another shot I saw somewhere, can’t remember where but certainly by a far better photographer than myself. I’m not happy with it though, it just didn’t turn out the way I hoped. I don’t know exactly what it is that didn’t turn out the way I hoped either, and that annoys me since it makes it difficult to correct and improve for next time. The main idea was to make the shadow tower behind the subject to produce a somewhat menacing look, especially when combined with a shooting angle from slightly below. Maybe it’s the post work (which needs, eh…work), maybe it’s the empty space to the sides (would a square crop be better?), maybe it’s the angle…on some level I do like it though, there’s just something that stops it from going all the way.
Enough of my rambling, hopefully I’ll have some more shots to show you and talk about after the weekend. We’re also getting a new computer, which will be pretty awesome since the one I’m using now tends to die when I’m in the middle of editing my photos. So from now on it might actually be more of a pleasure and less of a chore to do my editing.