6 Ideas to Boost Your Creativity in Photography
One of the best ways to take your photos to the next level is to work on increasing your creativity in photography. All photographers find themselves in a creative slump at some point, but we’ve got some great tips that will get you shooting again.
Struggling for fresh ideas can be incredibly frustrating. But all photographers find themselves in that headspace someday, and it can be a blessing in disguise. It forces you to break free from your usual pattern of attack, and start shooting something new.
Let’s look at some ways you can get your photo mojo back!
1. Shoot the same things in different light
It doesn’t matter whether you’re taking photos of wildlife or of people, light is the key to any great image. Harnessing different types of light can create entirely different images.
So if you’re finding yourself struggling to express creativity through your photography, working with light could be the easiest fix for that artist’s block.
Backlighting is my favourite type of light to work with. Honestly, it’s just really fun to work with. It’s possible in a studio environment or out in the wild – just think about the sun’s position for the latter.
Look through your portfolio and find your favourite images that you’ve taken so far. Then, make a conscious decision to go out and shoot them again but in an entirely different light.
Read more: Backlighting in Wildlife Photography – Creative Use of Light
2. Set up a mini-studio and try close-ups
On the theme of backlighting, why not set up your own mini-studio and try some backlit autumn leaves?
This isn’t as complicated as it might sound. All you need is a small flash unit and some diffused perspex.
All sorts of translucent objects can be great for this, but leaves are the perfect subject to start with. The flash brings out all of the veins and tiny details in the leaf, making for intricate close-ups.
Read more: How to Photograph Backlit Autumn Leaves with Flash
3. Shoot abstracts in nature
There’s nothing that helps your creativity in photography like shooting an abstract. It changes the way you view things and forces you to look for something new.
The natural world provides ample opportunities for this. Switch to a macro photography lens for your best chance at isolating your subject and creating something different.
You can find abstracts everywhere. It might be a frozen puddle in a woodland path, or a low angle looking across rippling water in the morning.
Read more: How to Photograph Abstracts in Nature
4. Change your perspective
We can often find ourselves stuck shooting with the same lens most of the time. There is nothing wrong with having a favourite lens, especially if you’re consistently getting good results.
But why not try shake things up? After all, boosting your creativity in photography is all about forcing yourself to think outside the box.
If you shoot with a telephoto, then try a wide-angle; if you shoot with a wide-angle, try a telephoto!
Forcing yourself to change the perspective of your image will pave the way to a new type of photo. Try shooting the same subjects you usually favour but with this new viewpoint.
5. Try creative blur for something different
You probably fight motion blur all the time. Keeping images sharp without camera shake and without a blurred subject is the hallmark of a great image. But that’s not always the case. Try purposefully introducing blur into your image and see what dynamic that brings to your frame.
Motion blur describes a subject that is blurred from its movement. Camera blur describes blur introduced from the movement of the camera itself.
Intentional camera movement is where you move the camera itself whilst using a slow shutter speed. This is best done on a tripod, moving the camera on one axis. It works particularly well with trees and can bring about fantastic results.
You can also try motion blur. The wind is one of the best ways to do this, as it can shake the branches of a tree and bring a scene to life.
Read more: How to Take Creative Photos of Autumn Trees
6. Learn about composition
There are plenty of “rules” when it comes to photography. But to quote a famous pirate: “they’re more like guidelines than actual rules.”
Following different rules of composition can completely change the “feel” of an image and how it draws the viewer’s eye. It’s also a great way to be creative, too.
Some compositions are seen more often than others. For example, the rule of thirds is probably the most popular compositional guide that is followed. That’s for good reason: it makes an image more “comfortable” to view and it feels like it has been composed correctly.
But some of the more advanced composition techniques can change that feeling to something more dramatic. A person or animal at the edge of frame, looking “out” of the picture can feel uncomfortable. It gives a sense of unease, and when used properly can make for a strong image.
There are plenty of rules to learn about, so I suggest a couple of great guides:
- Composition in Wildlife Photography: Getting Creative
- Composition in Landscape Photography: The Essential Guide
Creativity in photography comes from forcing yourself to think outside the box. Give yourself no other choice but to try something new.
A different lens, lighting condition, or perspective can be the first step toward this goal.
So get out there, shake things up, and get that creative spark back!