I am so sick of what I do (cookie cutter portraits). My photos are crap. My post work is crap. My artistic thinking has went to hell. I spend my "off" time reading and re-reading books on lighting ratios, poses, technical books, etc. During a portrait session I am thinking about lighting ratios and technical stuff, not how to make the photo more artistic. I feel that I am held prisoner in my studio and the rules of portrait photography are the guards. My technique has not improved in the last 2 years. Almost all of the photos I have posted on here are test shots that I have thought about keeping because who wants to see another portrait studio portrait? They are BORING!!! I haven't picked up my camera in 3 weeks out of fear that I will just churn out another boring, lifeless, portrait. I have tried different things in the studio. Using one light, different lighting angles, etc. All still boring. I see photos from some of my fav photogs on here like: Abraxas, Craig, Michael Law, Rick Waldroup, Tempra, just to name a few, and I think "why can't I do something like that?". I live in a small town of about 50,000. Our city is known for it's architecture, but I can't bring myself to photograph a building. It just doesn't appeal to me. I like photographing people, they are strange animals but I can't capture them in their true form in the studio. My photos don't stand out from the pack. They are the usual stuff you can get at any portrait studio. No one will see a portrait, that I have done, and know that I did it. They have to ask "who did your portrait?" and the response is "Um, I don't know. That one guy". I know this post is rambling and I probably didn't get my feelings out the way I wanted to but I am in a sort of meltdown stage right now. I need to break out of the box or sell my stuff (not kidding).