What is the greatest challenge any photographer faces in maintaining creative juices? Keeping it fresh. Ensuring the composition of your images is interesting, unique, and most importantly, stimulating to the eye. This is so much easier said than done. Every photographer goes through a stage of “creative block” at some point. It is just a matter of time before it hits you. So how does a photographer get out of the photographic funk? Everyone has a different remedy. Here is a solution on how I recently found my way out.
As a photographer who enjoys capturing various aspects of nature and the outdoors traveling to a new location is always a sure fire way of jump starting my composition. I recently had the opportunity to travel to the island of Puerto Rico on an adventure with my wife and son. I know what you are thinking. Puerto Rico? I was thinking the same thing prior to booking the trip. I have travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean and have always used Puerto Rico as a connecting point and not a destination. However I wanted to be opened minded and agreed to give the “Isle of Enchantment” a chance. I chose the location of Dorado Beach on the north coast of the island, just west of San Juan. After my arrival at Dorado, I could quickly feel my creative block melt away. The natural beauty and lighting were things that I could never dream of creating in a studio. The flowers, the ocean, the trees, all had a crisp colorful newness to them. My perspective seemed alive again. I am not suggesting that the only way to cure the creative blues is by hopping on a plane and flying to the Caribbean. The point is this. Being trapped inside the box causes creative blocks. To get out of the box you need to challenge yourself to find your secret passage out of the box. For me it was a willingness to travel to a place I had always considered unappealing. Sure there are many other means of escaping “the box”. Others may find that a simple change in the focal length of your lens will do the trick. For others, finding new subject matter may do the trick.
The most important thing for the photographer to realize is when you have entered into the dead zone and knowing that your survival as a photographer depends upon finding a way out. For a photographer the old saying, “Complacency is devastating” is the most important thing to keep in mind when looking to restore your creative edge.