Tips to recover your creative voice

Julie G Photography Blog Header imageRecently, I had a nasty case of laryngitis, which left me unable to speak for four days. Although I was glad to be a source of entertainment for my husband and sister, who found our phone conversations amusing, what struck me most was just how little I could do without a voice.

Losing creative voice can be equally, if not more devastating. I have to admit I’ve had a number of creative crises, where I’ve lost connection with what I was doing, and why on earth I was doing it! Perhaps you have too?

If so, here are a few tips which may help you regain a sense of meaning in your photography:

Rekindle your passion

Think about what first inspired you to get into photography. Perhaps it was a desire to take beautiful photos of your kids or a desire to capture amazing travel photos.

My original passion for portrait photography came from a fascination with people.  I also had a desire to capture portraits which showed something about a person’s character, and would create a connection with the viewer.

In my early days, I started out using my husband’s old film SLR, and the photos I took, although imperfect, still have a certain raw quality, which speaks of how inspired I felt about photography. I didn’t think twice about taking creative risks, even though I had next to no technical skills.

Develop your creativity

Try visiting photographic or at exhibitions, a museum a gallery, or simply take a walk or drive to somewhere you love.

As children, we didn’t think (or judge) our creative decisions or ideas, but as adults we can be so harsh with ourselves that we are often terrified to even try.

When I was studying photography, a teacher set us an assignment of finding 50 potential photos on your way to work (without a camera). I must admit, I thought it sounded ridiculous, considering all that I saw on my way to the city was an ugly train line.

I understood later that he was teaching us to find photos, even when we think there are none.  This exercise if a great way to develop your brain’s creative muscles, and can help us to spend time doing the hard work of pre-visualizing, instead of taking lots of photos, in the hope of getting a good one.

Improve your skills

Are there some aspects of photography that you struggle with? If so, it can be worth dedicating some regular time to focus on those areas.

It’s easy, with every second person owning an SLR, to feel like you have to have the latest equipment or know everything. Instead, try learning one new thing each time you go out to photography, so that you’ll not only enjoy the process, but learn more as well.

Be yourself

Because you’re the only person on earth who sees the world like you do, try not to compare yourself to others too much at first. Instead, be inspired by others, and enjoy the process of discovering your unique voice and creating photos that you would take if noone was going to view them.