Need a new idea because you are you in a photographic rut?
Look around you for something different and unusual. Something beyond your normal skills or studies. Start a new project with a theme. Join one of the online groups, such as Focus52, where each member must shoot at least one new image a week and submit those images each weekend.
It’ll force your mind to discover new ideas as your deadline looms. I know it did for me. I managed it for a whole year and only missed two submissions. One of which was simply, I lost track of what day it was. Pretty good for someone with my “lack of memory capabilities”.
I’m sometimes known for shooting toys when I get in a rut. I’ve got these little guys all around my studio/office. You can see a few of them here. I’ve been collecting ’em for years. Some of the more unusual ones are on display, the others are in boxes stashed around my room, just waiting for inspiration to strike.
Toys of all sizes make for fun subjects to study lighting techniques too. So put a couple around a table and play with some lights. Any kind of lights will work, you don’t always need expensive studio lights. Though I do have a couple of nice studio lamps, I’ve been known to use simple desk lamps in a pinch too. Follow and study the shadows. As you move the light around, how do the shadows change in shape, size, distance from subject, softness of their edges?
Look around different photography groups online for project ideas. Pick one that seems fun, interesting or maybe just a good challenge. Ask other photographers what they’ve done or heard of.
I mentioned once to an an online photography group, about a friend of mine that travels with a little toy Mexican Duck, complete with poncho and sombrero, he’s named it “Senior Pontos.” He inserts him into hilarious scenes during his trips around the world. It’s part for fun memories, part challenge to find something new and different for Senior Pontos to explore.
Long story, short… Somehow from there, we’ve decided to do something similar and spun-off a new Facebook group project. As we’re from all parts of the world, this sounded like a unique challenge. At first we were going to each have our own toy, shoot it, then mail it to the next person on the list. International logistics became too much. So, we decided to all pick the same toy, something universal — How ’bout Gumby. And thus started “Gumby’s Adventures.”
We’ve now all got our own Gumby, some of us have Pokey too, that we’re shooting and sharing — All for fun!
Go ahead, find a new project, a new subject and a new challenge to get out of your photographer’s rut.
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