Loosing Interest.


TPF Noob!
Nov 25, 2007
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Manchester, England.
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I've recently started going through phases of loosing interest in photography. I am sure it's studying it at college that is doing the damage, many of my friends feel the same.

What do you do when you lack the motivation, inspiration or passion for photorgaphy?
take more pictures! :D
Do something fun involving photography. Go on a trip, get a few models to work with...
order new stuff...
How about college? My teacher is great but he had a stroke and so everything happens so slow. We all get more done at home but that stops us using the studio.
Yeah the best advice i can give is go do something with photography that you want to do, not that is involved with college or an assignment at all, just take the day and photograph something you enjoy.
I haven't ever taken any photography classes in any college or school or whatever, so I don't know what it feels like to do assignments and more assignments.

All I know is that the more I take photos for others to sell them, the less I sometimes LIKE to take photos, so it might be somewhat similar.

Usually I leave the camera alone.
I have tried to go and sort of force myself to take photos and that is what they looked like in the end. Forced. Uninspired. Not speaking. I could have and should have left them un-taken.

What I am feeling more and more is that if photography is a real passion, the drive will come back. Suddenly you see some wonderful light. And see the photo that hides in there. And you go and try to capture just that. For you. Because you have seen it. And know how to frame it.

Other than waiting ... which might not be the thing you want to do, I feel that going through old unedited files to try out this or that with older pics is fun and helps to stay "with the subject" at least, or to study other people's photos ... but then you might need to do all that for your studies, anyway?
Well i don't really know if it's the class well maybe I'm just weird or maybe its the fact that I'm only a freshman in high school but my photography class has gotten me more enthused in photography than ever. I've never tried this but I'm dying to the second i find someone willing enough (one of my friends) to try out some special effects on them and then take a shoot. Like a band or something. Also it's pretty inspiring to look at portfolios of better photographers. It kinda inspires me to get better. I don't know just kinda babbling on, maybe it'll help you a bit.
I've definately improved by taking on assignments but they all seem half hearted to me but by myself I lack focus.

My other teacher which I should have this year is really great but we missed out on him because the year he teaches switched this year. :(

Edit: And your not wierd, I'm the odd one. I act wierd and suffer from massive mood swings, however I'm medicated which makes me a much more "productive" person, I'm not sure there's any better word to describe it. I know that's the reason I lack the passion I used to have but I'm not sure I'd give up my pills for it.
There is a reason people take sabbaticals from things that they do a lot of.

If school is like work to you and you do a lot of photography, perhaps the bst thing to do is step away from recreational photography for a while. Do it while at school and only for school but pack it away when you leave there.

When you get the yen to return, you will get back the enjoyment again.

One thing... never forget WHY you started school and WHY you have photography there. Write down the reasons... if one of them is not the pleasure and enjoyment of doing it, you may want to go as drastic as rethinking why you are even there in the first place.
I get where you're coming from. Sometimes it is hard to stay focused. I, for example, am not looking forward to a shoot that I have this weekend. I am photographing a concert and I need to take close-ups tomorrow night during dress rehearsal, and then shoot live on Saturday and Sunday. The reason I don't want to do it is because of the level of dissatisfaction and disdain that I have for the quality of the production from purely a musical and performance standpoint (I am a theater geek, actor/singer/playwright). I joked around with my daughters that I will just listen to my ipod while I shoot and I won't have to listen to it!

But seriously, I feel that's it's best to walk away for a bit (except for the school work - as to not effect your grades). As it's been said in other posts, if you love it... the passion will find it's way back to you.

A quick personal experience: I decided about 6 months ago to go and practice some night time photography (I wanted one of those blurry, 30 second car lights, highway shots - you've seen them, where you see light trails driving down the interstate). I put the camera in the car, got the tripod out and drove around for 2 hours and I didn't take a single photo. I totally crapped out. No inspiration at all and it wasn't for lack of potential locations, I just tried to force it. So, I think it's just like everything else; you go through stages. You eat a lot of Italian for for a few weeks and "poof", all of the sudden you don't want any more and you go for Mexican food. Not that Italian is bad... you'll eat it later, it's just not the food you crave today.
I didn;t decide to *stop* taking photos around 10ish years ago..... It just happened. I used to take my gear EVERYWHERE. Always. Driving along and WHO BACK UP PULL OVER - grab the suitcase and tripod and out I'd jump.. I dunno, I just stopped. Somewhere around a year ago, I started taking my camera around more places when I went out, and started having fun again. Now I have been obsessing with photography, gear, improving, re-learning what I forgot..... obsessing! I can;t believe it, but here I am taking a backpack full of heavy gear everywhere.....

OK enough about me..... I highly advise you take some time off - finish your current coursework and don;t take any photog classes next semester... Do some other stuff. YA gotta have PASSION for art, or anything for that matter. If you stop feelin it, it is time to stop doin it.... for a short time or long time.... I am an old guy now and have had MANY different passions / hobbies / interests / sports etc... I stay with it long enough to learn it, enjoy it and either keep with it or move on to the next thing that catches my eye.

Good luck with your decision - remember just because you hang up your gear now doesn;t mean forever.............
Try looking into different types of photography or different formats. I have yet to lose interest in photography since I picked it up, I just become even more enthused when experimenting with different types. Plus, the thrill of a new camera/toy is a good way to keep up the interest. I think it's fun to try different types (landscape, architecture, urban, macro, etc.) and watch yourself get better. No doubt this is a very expensive way to enjoy photography, but you'll always have something to do. I plan to get into landscape soon enough so I'll have the extra incentive to backpack into those beautiful places that make awesome pictures, or revisit some of the places I've been.

Or you could take a small break. No one says you have to take a photography course your first term at the university.
I'm the kind of person that gets really into something and then quits I do it a lot. What gets me back into a subject or thing is having someone to share it with. Talk about it with them and actually shoot with them or make beer with them then the passion ends up coming back to me.
Craig ... think again about your answer, will you?

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