Are you an unmotivated photographer?
Are you looking for tips to motivate you as a photographer?
Do you find that you’re often unmotivated? Is that hurting your photography?
From time to time, we all hit a wall with our motivation.
You may even feel a pang of guilt about this when you do so. You have this lovely camera that you pined over for such a long time before buying, and now you’ve pushed it to the side like the box it came in.
Not to fear though, here’s how you can kick the habits of an unmotivated photographer and become motivated again…
Print Your Photos
Photography lives in the print, and there’s nothing more rewarding after spending a great deal of time taking and editing a photo, than to see it printed and on the wall.
It makes you proud of your work, and encourages you to go out and take more.
Remind yourself everyday why you like taking photos.
These photos make for great presents, as I’ve demonstrated in the photo below, which I had printed for my brother at Christmas.
Find Something Exciting to Shoot
In the past, I’ve recommended that amateur photographers carry their camera everywhere, in an effort to help them to think more like a photographer.
While this is great advice, it can start to weigh on your mind. You spend all too long looking at the ordinary, and not enough time shooting something exciting.
My favourite exciting style of photography is urban exploration photography. You basically just get to explore old abandoned buildings with friends, while taking photos.
This is in the same vein as the point above, only instead of experimenting with locations or subjects, you experiment with your camera. Try your hand at the likes of night photography and trick / special effect photography.
It’s good fun, and will help you to learn your way around the camera.
Stay Away from Assignments/Projects
I often see people recommend photography projects as a way for photographers to find motivation, but I have to disagree. Inspiration, yes. Motivation, no.
If you had a twisted ankle, you wouldn’t run on it to make it better, would you?
You need to find something that you enjoy doing, not just take photos for the sake of taking photos.
Use the Buddy System
Lets face it, going out on your own can be a little bit boring, and if you take a lot of time over your photography, then you may end up feeling a little bit lonely.
This isn’t really news to anyone, but it’s part of the problem behind trying to find motivation as a photographer.
Instead of going out and taking photos, we often let opportunities go by because we don’t want to go on our own.
All of my friends know that if they ever want to go out and take photos, I’m always interested in coming along. All they have to do is pick up the phone and ask.
Because I have a good group of friends who are into photography (who doesn’t these days?), I’ve always got someone talking me into coming out and taking photos with them.
Join a Photography Community
There are countless photography communities on the internet, whether they’re forums, or groups on Facebook. We even have our own Facebook page for this very site that I would encourage you to get involved in.
Communities are a great place to get feedback on your photos, find inspiration, pick up techniques, and much more.
Visit Photography Galleries
About a year ago, I went though a phase of going to every photography gallery in town, ranging from small amateur evenings, to the works of greats like Irving Penn and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
When you start to see what’s possible with just some effort and a camera, you will feel much more motivation to go out and make it happen for yourself.
You can’t take amazing photos that other people will admire, if you’re not taking photos.
Hell’s Angels – Irving Penn
Sometimes it’s nice to give yourself a reminder that you’re actually quite good at photography, and you’ve come a long way with it since you started.
The best way to do this is to produce a portfolio and share it with your friends and family.
Positive feedback and reflection on the photos you’ve already taken is a great motivator to get out and start taking more photos like them.
We can all get a little bit bored of taking photos in our back gardens, so get out there and explore a bit.
Sometimes it’s hard to see beauty in the ordinary, so from time to time, and when I can afford to, I like to get away and take photos of the beautiful.
Take a deep breath, and remember why you started photography in the first place.
Photography doesn’t have to be impressive, it just has to be fun for you. If you’re not enjoying it, take a break and come back to it when you miss it.
Stop setting yourself impossible tasks with your photography, because it’s not going to be fun anymore, and no one cares how hard it was for you to take a photo, they only care about the result.
A note from Josh, ExpertPhotography's Photographer-In-Chief:
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