On Christmas Eve I was all set to tether myself to my external hard drive (the one that I would save in a disaster right after Noah & Chloe) and start pulling off files to use in a digital photo frame. What I got was “0 files to display”. Zero??? No.
Fortunately, I work for/with some pretty amazing photo people and on Christmas morning, when my cry for help was sent out in desperation it was answered with a glimmer of hope. Since I am writing this and not weeping and gnashing it is safe to assume my photos were recovered. All *ehem* 94,000 of them. I had approximately 94,000 personal images that I had taken in the last 6 years. Mostly of Noah & Chloe and many that I sell as stock photography images.
Several lessons come from this experience. Lessons of backing up files, of using a good organized workflow, developing friendships with good tech people…but in true hoarder fashion it made me realize that since getting my new and amazing job(and new amazing camera!) I rarely take photos just for me anymore.
So I’ve been thinking of what I do to inspire myself to pick up my camera and start shooting.
Hop in the car with one of my favorite friends/models/husband and drive! We can drive 20 minutes out of town in practically any direction and be out in the middle of nowhere. Where I photograph as many trees and birds (my cliché go-to subjects) as my little heart desires.
Thrift a new prop. Sometimes I will find a dress or shoes or some obscure discarded something. Seriously…I once found a buttercup yellow dress and it has inspired so many images. There was a time that I couldn’t afford to buy the things I found and my friend and I would take pictures of things in the thrift store dressing room.
Play with my kids! This could have been listed first but I did take pictures before I had children…just not as many
Take a walk. I like to start by going out my backdoor. And I like to do this one both with company and without. You can be looking for something like a color, a certain item (clouds, flowers, leaves), anything really. Would it surprise you if I chose birds?
Collaborate with someone. Do you have amazing friends? Brainstorm and feel free to mix in the aforementioned ideas.
There are many online sources to help you out of a rut. I like to do “A Day in the Life” where I shoot everything to do with my day and share it with an online community. There are project communities that require a daily self-portrait, offer weekly themed contests, and lots more. Even places to share your “phonetography”.
I love to look at other artists work too. We have tons of photo magazines here at the studio…I don’t suggest copying what other photogs have done but they can be a great source of inspiration.
Finally, when in doubt…self-portraits. Because the world can never have too many pictures of your face