5 Ways to Maintain Your Photographic Enthusiasm (Guest Post)

Chess board
Get it? Board… like getting BORED with photography? Okay… that was kinda lame. Photo by Daryl Clark.

Have you ever had one of those days when you thought, “I just don’t want to take any photos today?”  Then, that one day becomes another and then another.  I know that does not happen to anyone out there, right?

Good, now that we have established that I am the only one with this problem, I can talk to just myself.  I had a little bit of a slump the other day and that got me thinking about ways to keep me excited and enthusiastic about photography.  I had not lost my passion for photography, just the consistent desire to get out and do it.

I am horrible about self-motivation and maintaining focus.  I get really excited, it wears off shortly and I am onto something else that gets me really excited…like writing this.

I have found that the following five tips have helped me to maintain my focus and enthusiasm for photography.

5.  Take at least one photo every day.  It does not have to be an expeditionary trip to find something to take a photograph.  Just “find the small things” when conditions are not right for the sweeping landscape vistas.

4.  Decide to make a series of photos.  I have begun one called “finding the small things”.  My favorite style of photography is landscape, but conditions are not always conducive to that style, so I chose to make a series called “finding the small things” to occupy my photographic skills when landscape photography is not on the list of photographic skills for the day.  I focus on close-up and medium range photos.

3.  Post photos to social media websites.  Whether it is Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, etc., post photos on a regular basis.  But don’t just post photos…comment on other photos.  I have found this to keep me energized.  I think it is because I believe if I am going to comment on another photo, I begin to criticize my own that much more.

2.  Make a website / blog.  After starting my own website ( justshootingmemories.com ), I made a commitment to post one photo per day.  I have done my best to keep that commitment and have for the most part.  It is a challenge, but it keeps me looking at the world for new and exciting photographic opportunities.

1.  Last, and I believe most important, keep a camera with you at all times.  You don’t have to keep your primary camera with you but at least have something with which to take a photo.  A small point and shoot or cellphone will suffice.  Your brain captures memories all the time, but you can’t share them.  A camera captures memories sometimes, but everyone gets to enjoy them.

Passion for photography is always there, but sometimes you just hit a slump.  Keep thinking of ways to keep the fire going and keep shooting those memories.  What are your ideas to keep the passion flowing?  Leave a comment below to share your idea!

17 thoughts on “5 Ways to Maintain Your Photographic Enthusiasm (Guest Post)”

  1. This is a great list of tips! I think as a professional especially, it is easy to lose sight of your personal photography when you are so busy with other people’s photography. I just read about this new iphone app called Photo 365 that allows you to take and organize a calendar of one image a day to document your life. I loved the idea because it’s so simple.

  2. Great ideas. I, too, have trouble staying committed to taking pictures daily, but recently I have gotten in that habit and it not only increases my interest in photography but in the world aroundd me.

  3. Thank you for this Post …. Im in this stage now and I don’t like it But thanks to you I will follow your tips I know they will help me.

  4. Those lulls in your creativity aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Rather than trying to fight it by shooting every day, I just put the camera away until my brain starts thinking of a good subject again. And that usually doesn’t take long. What’s more, the ideas just kind of get going on their own. It’s ok to not shoot for awhile. You can’t have the mountains without the valleys.

  5. Thanks for all the feedback. I am glad that I may have given some of you that little “Umpf” for some creativity.

    @Rick, I agree that a little down time is good. That is where #1 comes in. You never know when the creative brain is going to kick in.

  6. WOW! This is just what I needed! I have been in a major slump! I actually thought about quiting and closing my website. Yes, I am man enough to admit that! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this kick in the butt!

  7. I totally agree and can happily say I’ve done all those things.

    Starting a 365 project can be intimidating so I found friends to do it with me and we share a theme every week. It helps focus your efforts that week and you see how others tackle the same theme. You’re also sure to have an audience to critique your posts instead of 365 unseen photos.

    I’m finding a lot of inspiration at the 500px photo site given the quality of its members. People there really do comment on your submissions. See http://500px.com

    My blog is http://LearningDSLR.com and the Group 365 Project is at http://LearningDSLR.com/365 – we welcome everyone’s feedback!

  8. @Daryl: Maybe. I guess it’s all about how you approach photography. I see the majority of my images before I actually take them. I’ll drive by a scene, contemplate how I want it to look, then wait for the right conditions. Having my camera with me 100% of the time isn’t necessary. Just when I’m ready for it.

    I realize, however, that other people take a more shoot-from-the-hip kind of approach.

  9. @Rick: I agree, I have a good idea of the final outcome of my images before I get the camera out. Whenever it is something I see frequently, I would advocate waiting for the right conditions. However, I would not call having your camera 100% of the time a “shoot-from-the-hip” approach.

    Example: I have had the good fortune to travel a lot over the last few years. Most of the time, I don’t have the luxury of waiting for the right conditions.

    Not to mention, the right conditions may be right then.

  10. i totally agree with you. one of my problem is that sometimes i found a good scenery and want to take picture of it but either i don’t bring any camera or i don’t have time to stop and take picture of it, so i just pass it by and think i will go back tomorrow… and when tomorrow comes i already forget about it. so thank you for your tips.

  11. I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!

  12. These are great ideas but I wonder about the “Photo A Day ” one. Am I the only one that thinks this sound a little daunting? I am an “enthusiast” at best because of other obligations and hobbies. Is changing the frequency to “A shot Each Weekend Day” being lazy? 52 weeks X 2 weekend days is at least 104 more pictures than previously planned. This would give a person the entire work week to think of a subject and conditions for shooting, IMHO.
    I would love to take a shot-a-day but I just fear that if I failed to take one for a few days in a row, I might bail totally out of frustration.
    No matter what: I’m glad I came across your wonderful site. Great tips! I am looking forward to your newsletters now!

  13. yous ok gerry if your still hanging around here is the web address filling address , they have a wealth of knowledge ,say fetonsy
    said you would get him sorted

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