A creative rut is a place (non physical) where you just can’t seem to create anything. Your mind is blank and every time you take a picture, you’re just not happy with. It is a mental hole that is often hard to climb out of. However, I am here with a stepladder.
Many may ask if these are the only ways to do this, and the answer is obviously no. These are the 3 ways that have worked for me and I’d thought I’d share them.
1. The first way that helps me climb out of this rut is looking at my past photographs. After searching around my computer, I pull up the pictures in Adobe Bridge and start scrolling. The reason I look at my past photos is to see where I came from. Nothing motives someone than seeing his or her progress. That’s what everyone wants to see in life, progress. Looking at past photographs also can show yourself what you need to work on. You can decide, “hey maybe I still need to work on my flash work, it’s still not where I want it to be.” Finally, looking at your past photographs you can get ideas. You may have a photo-shoot years ago that you really liked. Recreate it, make it better. For me, these things not only get me out of the creative rut but also help me improve my photography.
2. Just go and shoot. I read an article the other week that talked about this (This isn't the exact article). Don’t plan and visualize but just go and create photographs. I think that’s a reason why people get into the creative rut. They try to copy other photographers (which is fine) but they just don’t get the results they were looking for. Which in turn, discourages them and they start digging that rut. What you need to do is just grab your camera and just go shoot. Don’t think about it, don’t visualize the shot, create it right there and then.
3. The last way to get out of the creative rut is to look at other photographer’s work. I know from reading numerous photography articles, is to look at other photographer’s work. I do this daily whether it is from Instagram or Twitter; I am always exposing myself to other photographer’s work. This lets my analyze their and try and figure out how they got the shot. Did they use flash or a reflector? Was this shot on film or digital? Looking at other photographer’s work also just makes me want to go out and shoot. Every time I’m on the VSCO iPhone app and scrolling away, I just get that urge to go and create the shots I saw or even create better photos.
Again, these are just 3 steps that help me get out of the creative rut. I hope you took something away from this article.