How do you push yourself to keep shooting?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by code3studio, May 21, 2010.

  1. code3studio

    code3studio TPF Noob!

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    I've been working hard at learning, but lately I just let my everyday life (job, wife, 4 kids, church, etc.) hinder me from moving ahead.

    I took a course on betterphoto.com where every week we focused on a different genre. Having that motivation, I produced images each week that I though was good enough to post on my site. I produced more shots in that 8 weeks than I have since!

    Unfortunately, I can't afford to keep doing online classes. I thought about starting a blog to post photos to force me to shoot, but wanted to see how everyone else keeps themselves shooting consistently.

    I want to keep moving my skills forward.

    Thanks everyone!
    Brent
     
  2. plentygood

    plentygood TPF Noob!

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    In my opinion, blogs have fallen by the wayside now that there are so many popular social networks. There's so many blogs now that if you aren't established or have a fresh show-stopping idea, you probably won't get many readers, much less critiques and relationships. I'm not saying blogs are absolutely to be avoided, but I would suggest finding a different means to hopefully have more inspiration, exposure, critiques, and community.

    Have you considered Flickr? There's groups on Flickr that post weekly themes, daily themes, etc. and members of the groups shoot that assignment, post photos, and share with each other. Some of them really are like photographer communities online.

    Whatever you decide to pursue, good luck! There's nothing like being inspired to create something you enjoy.
     
  3. JAFO28

    JAFO28 TPF Noob!

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    I agree with what the others said about flickr, but also check out the themes on this forum, there is some great stuff down there. I think it gets overlooked by a lot of members, but I personally love it.
     
  4. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Interesting discussion. I was just thinking about this, and have the same things competing with my photography time, except I only have two kids. Certainly, those times can include photography, and they do for me. But I think I understand what you mean, you are after some special time for just photography.

    I have been considering Flikr too. My entire gallery is on Zenfolio though, so I am trying to decide if maintaining two galleries makes sense. I have a Flikr ID, and have made it obvious to find me at Zenfolio, but it seems silly to be part of Flikr and expect everyone to leave it and go to Zenfolio to see my collection. Do any others run both Flikr and another gallery? Just curious.

    Sorry, back to original question. Photography books or magazines motivate me. Also browsing galleries online of folks whose work you like. Now that warmer weather is here, I think I'll find it easier to get out more myself.

    I have seriously considered using some composition books I have, and creating an assignment list for myself.

    I also have thought about asking my family if there is any images they want. Maybe ask my kids (or others) what are some of their favorite things to see pictures of, then ask them if they want me to gather some pics and make a picture book. It might even be fun to head out with the kids (one on one time probably) and make it a project for both of us together. Although, my daughter is 4 and son is 7 with ADHD, so not sure bringing them with will be all I hope it to be, LOL!

    EDIT TO ADD: Just saw your post count. Welcome to the forum! :)
     
  5. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I have the opposite problem sometimes actually. I'm ill and in bed a lot, long story, and I have way too much time on my hands. I often want to grab my cameras and go for it but some days I simply don't have that much energy and/or the body just isn't into letting me do much. Motivation is tough sometimes. There are plenty of places and things I could be shooting here, but I just never get to it 99% of the time. I simply don't really have the capacity to go anywhere much lately.

    I've found the only thing that keeps me going on that score is to keep the camera at the ready and with me at all times so even if it's just a trip to the local library or a drug store I'm covered in case I do see something interesting. Also, I've started doing a lot more light box work simply because even if I am really feeling awful I can sit that on the bed next to me and I can still work out some little scenarios in there and photograph that. I also often use the little things I collect as subject matter because that also gets me going. The resulting pics aren't always great. A lot of what I am doing lately is pretty boring stuff that I wouldn't show to other people, but I'm still shooting and that's something.

    Even when it's busy we all still need some downtime. It's nice to be able to go somewhere to shoot, but you don't have to make it someplace out of your way to do that. Take the camera with you. Be ready. Get a light box if you don't have one and start photographing the obvious, the things you love, the people around you, whatever is in range, whenever you can.

    Every shot may not be a gem, but some will be, and at least you're motivating yourself to shoot regardless of the other stuff in your way.

    If you really love something? Then you have to make time to do it. Fact, you only have so much time on this earth for everything you'd like to do, and when you get down to it what's more important really? All those day to day things that can take up precious time? Or doing what you love and leaving something behind you that matters to you.

    At this point I really tend to feel the mundane can wait or go undone. Somethings are more important than the daily grind. If it's a choice between me doing something like the laundry and being too tired to shoot after or not doing that laundry that day and having the energy to shoot for half an hour? Then the laundry waits.

    It's a no brainer scenario. The photography is ultimately just more important to me so I make it the priority. That often means I don't get a lot of things done sometimes otherwise, sure, but I'm happier for it and ultimately that's what's more valuable to me, gives meaning to life.

    I used to be a lot more anal about getting everything done, often to the detriment of my photography. There were always so many things to do and excuses for why I had to do something else. But lately I have begun to realize that photography is just more important to me than doing a lot of other things. Even if I wasn't in a situation where I had a lot of time on my hands, and sometimes that still doesn't matter because with me lately it's also a case of feeling good enough to actually do anything productive, I would still just put off some things and make the time and find something to shoot, even if the only things that I could get to were the simple objects all around me, like the cocoa in the mug in my hand.

    Use it or lose it as the saying goes.

    In this case it's mental focus and the more I "use" it, the more focus I tend to actually have.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You do exactly the same thing.

    The trouble is you have no vision to persue. Of the genre's focused on in the 8 weeks, which of them appealed to you the most. Keep developing theme's with those you liked.

    I have way more ideas than I can possibly persue.

    A week ago I followed a guy that has a perfectly restored, tangarine painted, 1952 Chevrolet pickup.

    Gave him my card, and introduced myself. Tomorrow he and I are going location scouting for a place I can make images of his pickup. I'm liking the idea of his tangarine, '52 Chevy on a wet paved hill top, all nicely strobe lit about 10 minutes after the Sun has set behind it.

    He might know the guy that has the lime green AMC I've glimpsed a couple of times I also want to shoot. I need to find a black background for that one.

    Engine bay shots, in the cab shots, high shots, low shots, I'll scramble around and get those in the hour before the Sun sets and then we'll get the money shots after the Sun sets.

    Then there's fine art stuff in upstairs home studio. I have an inexhaustable list for that genre and I'm starting a shot idea list for next winter too.

    The whole point is, just like any ongoing endeavor, you really need to sit down and make some plans.
     
  7. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Unless photography is your life, you need simply to do what you can and want to do.

    I shoot 4x5 film. I have to process the negs and the time seldom presents itself. That doesn't mean I stop. I just don't go out and shoot as much as I used to. Probably six to ten exposures a month. Now a lot of thought go into those photographs and everyone is a dead ringer on how I want them to be. I process them the way I want. I contact print and have those and the negs filed. I enlarge my smaller format negatives.

    If I had no children and was not married and had more room and time . . . I would not be the man I am today. So just take it as you get it. Carry the camera with you IF YOU WANT. Don't feel obligated to make a photograph a minute to justify being able to call yourself a photographer. Just do what you can and don't sweat it. It's not worth it. Only makes it worse.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Tell your SO that you are going out for milk (whatever) and on your way stop by a book store and look at the photo books. Keep them in the back of your mind and look around your area for a theme that you could do a book on (you don't necessarily need to be published, a gallery showing would do. or a coffee shop. or a gas station if needs be. ;)).

    While you are actually getting the milk you might keep this in mind (it's not mine btw)
    photoSIG » Autumn Apples

    Good luck and keep clicking!
     
  9. code3studio

    code3studio TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback so far.

    I have tried Flickr and other sites, but got tired of the useless "great shot!" comments. Seems like this site people provide a little more constructive feedback, so maybe I'll try again here.
     
  10. AnaBo

    AnaBo TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what kind of photography you do, but I love doing set up shots with a more theatrical feel. I get inspiration from movies, even If my shot looks nothing like what inspired it, I know how it got from A to Z.

    Looking at other photographers is not always the clue, because you tend to have specific images in your head that you might unconsciously mimic.. look at other things that you are interested for inspiration. And well finding the time to shoot is another story.
     
  11. TylerF

    TylerF TPF Noob!

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    I have never had to push myself to shoot. I just love having a camera in my hands. If anything, I have to tell myself to put the camera down and partake in the fun if I'm out and about haha.

    Just keep shooting. even if you don't have a camera, still look for photos or something that makes you say "that would make an awesome picture"
     
  12. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    From my prospective if this is a hobby instead of your lively hood and you have to push yourself, you should quit. Not photography, but pushing yourself. A good hobby is one that you want to do, not something that should become a chore. That's what work usually is for most people.

    Take a few days off, or weeks even, pursue something else. If you don't have another hobby, look into something else that interests you and can balance you time. For me the two relaxations I have are photography and woodworking. If I don't feel like shooting, I work in the shop. The time off may well be enough to rekindle your interest as well as give you new ideas.

    Also being project oriented can be very helpful. I currently am working on a project of recreating on film/digital, Art Frahm's Ladies in Distress series. Not just similar in a modern vain, but with the true flavor of the Frahm series, down to the vintage automobiles, locations, clothing etc. The aspects of finding the necessary props and locations along with the shooting has made this a very fun project. Good luck.
     

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