Motivation. There’s a big word! And we’ve all needed it at some point or other. I wonder how you find your photographic motivation when it has packed its bags and taken to the hills?
I am recently back with my camera after a six week break. During that six week break, I have had a very intensive period of training for a new, part time job. The job will only be 12 hours per week but the training was full time. Since it’s over four years since I worked full time, I felt it! Not only full time but changing shifts too! But then, the job I will be doing is telephone triaging people for urgent medical conditions and signposting them to the correct medical facility so I accept that some intensive training is a must. But all that aside, that has meant six weeks away from my camera – and at a time when the gardens are bursting into life with colourful blooms everywhere. However, my poor head is filled with more medical knowledge than I thought I would ever need and a slight reluctance to enumerate the practice of clocking in and out.
After a few years of being able to take off with my camera pretty much whenever, six weeks away has made a serious dent in my photographic flow and motivation. It’s amazing how quickly human beings adapt to, and accept a different way of life. I got into a steady routine of making a packed launch, heading out to work and coming back in the early hours feeling wiped out before waking the next day, a few quick chores and then off again. No worries, I thought. I can put my photography on hold and slip back into it when I have completed the training.
It’s not quite that easy. Time away from anything dulls the sense for it a little bit and I find myself trying to work out where I was in terms of creative exploration – and I am damned if I can remember 😳
So – I find myself wondering what other togs do when their inspiration has run dry? A lot of my photography involves just me and a garden so I don’t have a group of tog friends to bounce off (although I hasten to add there that I do get a lot of inspiration from my awesome Twitter friend list). In my case, I usually buy an online class – and there is a wealth of them out there. Okay, maybe some are poor but there are a lot of very good ones out there too. Perhaps ideally, I would sign up for one of the many workshop holidays that are out there but the clue is above – ‘part time job’. I don’t have the multiple hundreds of pounds available for that kind of motivational experience – although if I did, I’m sure I’d be happy to take that route. But instead, I use Creative Live (other providers are available 🙂) for classes and have yet to buy a dud. Indeed, I can highly recommend Kathleen Clemons classes on flower photography and I have gained plenty of tips and tricks from them. They do tend to have flash sales so if you watch and wait, you can often pick up a great class for little money.
So, that’s me for the next short while. I have purchased John Greengo’s ‘Nature and Landscape Photography’ this time round and will see if that offers some motivation and some creative ideas so I can get back out there. In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you keep your motivation going so please leave a comment below. I’d be interested to know whether you use classes, books, magazines or just the practise of getting out there and doing it until it returns. Meanwhile, I will be watching my class and seeing what can fire me up to take a camera off into The Peak District and create. Heck, I may even drag out the filters I paid good money for and then didn’t use 😕
Until next time . . . . .