Have you lost your motivation for photography? Has the camera not left the camera bag in months? Do you look at your camera sitting there and immediately feel guilty?
I get it, we creatives, heck, I mean us humans; collectively experience burnout at some time. I’ve been burned out on photography, burned out on blogging, and just burned out on life.
Finding motivation and inspiration in photography can be tough. Once you’re in the rut, it’s relentless. Each day that passes, you end up feeling more useless than the last.
So what do you do? You plop yourself down on the couch, consume another bag of Doritos, and watch Game of Thrones for the 100th time. All the while, you hope tomorrow will be the day a miracle arrives.
Well, today is that day! I’m going to help you get out of this rut. I’ve discovered things that work for me and I know they can work for you too.
If you want to find out how you can get excited about photography all over again then this post is for you.
Books for Motivation – Read towards a New Tomorrow!
|The Confidence Gap: A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt |
Low Self Esteem, Shy, Insecure, No Confidence? This book will help you better understand your relationship with fear and how utilizing mindfulness can help control negative thoughts and feelings.
|A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom, and Courage |
Easy to read. One Day at a time, 365 days of positive thinking. Reading is a great way to start your day, especially when it gives us inspiration, courage, and the wisdom to transform your life.
|Let That Sh*t Go (Zen as F*ck Journals) |
A journal for those looking for some playful witty prompts. Warning: Not for everyone, lots of swearing.
|The Self Confidence Workbook: A Guide to Overcoming Self-Doubt and Improving Self-Esteem |
Great workbook/journal with interactive exercises and relatable character scenarios to help you overcome self-doubt and achieve your goals.
10 Tips for Staying Motivated in Photography
1 ) Improve Your State of Being
I’m giving you the hardest challenge right of the bat. Don’t worry, the rest of the tips are more actionable and will help you do just that, change your state of being.
In fact, if you stay with me up until tip 10, you and me are going to become friends. I’m going to be keeping tabs on you!
But for now, I want to tell you about this great article by Tony Robbins that covers 3 basic principles to achieving success in any area of your life.Change your Strategy, Change your Story, Change your State. - Tony Robbins Click To Tweet
The Three Principles are State, Story, and Strategy
State – You start with state; this is your foundation to the house you are going to live in. Your state of being is going to heavily influence who you are, and what you believe you are capable of achieving.
If you don’t have a good state you’re going to tell yourself awful stories.
Story – What are the stories? I’m not good enough. I can’t charge money. Nobody likes my photography. I’m not as good as Rick or Sally. I live in a boring place with nothing to photograph. I’m never going to get better? I can’t blog!
Strategy – If these are your stories, predicated on a bad state, then no strategy in the world is going to make you better. It’s hard to implement a good strategy if your house is burning down around you!
So how do we fix the state? Tips 2-10 are about that very thing, fixing your state so your story becomes “I’m going out to take photos today and they are going to be amazing!”
Or, “I’m going to create a successful photography business starting today!”
Or, “I’m going to book a new client today no matter what it takes!”
You see, when you tell yourself the right story you give yourself the opportunity to live that story.
2.) Eat Better
According to the Harvard Health Blog, the Mediterranean diet has shown to reduce the risk of depression by 25% to 35% compared to those consuming a typical “Western” diet.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, fish, seafood, and only a modest amount of lean meat and dairy.
Oh boy, I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t getting easier, this is getting harder!
But honestly, your state of being is a direct consequence of the things you are putting into your body. If your habit is to consume a bag of chips every night while binge-watching Netflix you are creating a chaotic state.
Think about your car, when it’s messy inside you tend to feel less organized yourself. You begin to absorb your surroundings. You feel unsettled.
Clean it up and just like magic, you feel like it’s a new day! Even the car seems to ride better.
Now, of course, you might not see the mess you’ve been putting in your body right. Not as a whole anyway, you only identify with the latest thing your shoveling into your mouth.
But your body knows, and mentally, you know because you’ve been keeping track. You’ve been telling yourself day after day, as you wait in line at taco bell, “I need to eat better.”
The mental anguish adds up my friend. Constantly telling yourself, what you need to do and never living up to those expectations is a sure way to living a bad story in your head.
Eat well and not only will your body reward you, but the story of who you are will also start to change.
OK, I know what you’re thinking. This guy doesn’t want to help me with my photography, he wants to change my life!
Again, it goes back to your state of being. It’s hard to tell yourself a good story if you feel like crap, are overweight and every bone in your body aches.
We all know exercise is fundamentally good for you. It’s good for your cardiovascular system, joints, muscles, and body as a whole. But it’s also great for relieving stress and just your overall mood.
Accept you probably know all this. There are a million reasons and benefits to make exercise part of your daily routine but only you know why you won’t do that.
It’s not because nobody told you exercise can help. There’s also no lack of people telling you how to exercise or which specific exercises could help someone like you.
That stuff is all over the internet. You just have to start.
4.) Listen to Podcasts about Photography
OK, let’s get onto the fun stuff, the easy stuff. Let’s listen to some podcasts about photography.
Whenever I find myself feeling unmotivated or uninspired, I listen to a podcast as I drive around in my car. Lunchtime is another great time to listen in on the voices of other photographers.
You just want to infuse your day with photography and listen to other people talking photography. This has been an incredible pick me up for me. It has literally lifted me out of long draughts on inaction.
I remember this one period, I had become pretty stagnate in my journey through photography. I wasn’t picking up the camera at all. It felt like I had tried many genres and really just didn’t know what I wanted out of photography.
I had not listened to a podcast on photography in months either. Then one day I decided. I’m going to play this photography podcast even though I don’t feel like it.
I listened to the whole thing on my lunch break. The next day, I did the same thing. By the end of the week, I was back. I felt alive again.
Sometimes you just need to immerse yourself in the culture and lean on the enthusiasm of others. For the first time in months, I too was excited about photography.
If you’ve never listened to a photography podcast here are the ones on my phone.
5.) Meetup with a Photographer Friend
Surely, you have some photographer friends right. Great, it’s time for coffee, a beer, or even better, go shoot some photos together!
This really goes hand in hand with the podcast idea. You want to surround yourself with people and voices that share the same enthusiasm for photography as you do.
It can be discouraging if you’re constantly trying to bounce your ideas off the ears of someone who is disinterested. Find like-minded people and go have that conversation.
6.) Attend a Meetup
OK, maybe none of your friends really enjoys photography on the same level as you. I mean sure, they like to take photos on their phone but you like talking about camera settings, long exposures, and portrait tips.
It’s time to extend the friend base! One of the best ways to meet like-minded people is to attend a Meetup. Meetup is a website where people create groups around a central interest.
The creator of the group then hosts events from within the group. Members of the group simply signup to attend each specific event.
Sometimes the event is free. Sometimes the event costs money, it just depends on how much planning and what is included in the event.
One of my first events within a group on Meetup involved paid models. So in this case, there was an event fee to attend but sometimes the event is much simpler.
Maybe you’re all just going to meet up, go on a hike, and take photos. No fee, just friends, and some new faces with a common interest.
Finally, I just want to add, even if you have friends that are into photography, a Meetup group can still be a great place to reawaken your passion for photography.
The combination of new people and possibly, new genres of photography is going to challenge you. If you always do landscape photography by yourself, join a portrait photography group.
Challenge yourself! You will be a better photographer for it.
7.) Make Prints of your Previous Photos
I am guilty of this, really, really, guilty. I don’t print my stuff enough, especially the stuff I do for myself. I’m often sending away for prints but they are usually for clients, meaning I don’t get to keep them.
I would love to print some of my landscape work. I keep telling myself I’m going to do it and one of these days I will. You should too!
Holding a physical representation of your photography in your hands is a completely different experience than viewing it online.
Once you have an image in your hands you can do all kinds of things with it. You can frame it and hang it on your wall. You can give them away to your friends. Heck, you can even offer it up as a giveaway on your blog.
8.) Travel Some Place New
Before you go use your hard-earned money to go buy a new piece of gear may I suggest a new experience instead?
You probably don’t need a new piece of equipment to jump start your photography ambitions. It’s likely you just need a change of scenery.
If you have the money, go somewhere amazing. Start planning that trip you always wanted to take. A new location, a new adventure, can be just the thing that brings photography back into your life.
Don’t have that much money? No problem, I understand, you don’t need to go someplace exotic to have a new adventure.
I know for me personally, there are tons of places within a few hours of me that I’ve never been to. I bet there are for you too! Even an hour’s drive probably holds a new location and a new photographic experience.
9.) Try my 2-Minute Black and White Photo Challenge
Stop everything! We need some serious intervention! This is like pulling the jumper cables out and jumping the dead car on the side of the road.
Granted, we might not be fixing the problem. We still need to fix the underlying condition, see tip number one.
Here is the thing though, this challenge is going to get the car moving, it’s going to get you moving. If you do this challenge you will be starting something.
You won’t be sitting around thinking about starting something. Instead, you will be actively putting in the work. That’s where the magic is, it’s in the process of doing, not thinking!
I’m going to share another quote because it’s one of my favorite quotes from American painter, artist, and photographer, Chuck Close.“If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” ― Chuck… Click To Tweet
Essentially, Chuck Close is telling you that you need to do my 2 Minute Black and White Photo Challenge. Here is how you do it, it’s super easy!
2 Minute Black and White Photo Challenge
First, grab your camera, it can be any camera at all, even your phone will do.
Second, set a timer for 2 minutes, that’s all the time you get and that’s all the time this photo challenge will take.
Third, start the timer and run around your house taking as many photos as possible. Important: Stay inside your house, don’t even go outside.
Your environment needs to be the same boring one you live in on a day to day basis. This is going to force you to look for art in places you never considered.
Fourth, once the timer is up, that’s it. Process your favorite photos from the challenge in black and white and share them to the private Facebook group. Please share them under this Facebook thread. Wait, you didn’t know we had a group? See the next tip.
10.) Join NFT Photography Community
Join us on Facebook. My goal here on See Imagery is to share my experience in photography, NFTs, blogging, and just staying motivated. Still, I can only do so much and the conversation is sort of one-sided.
That’s what the private Facebook group is for, so we can get to know each other better. In the group, we can interact with each other and you can share what you’ve been doing. Bring your questions! Not just for me, but for the group.
So go join the Facebook Group and remember, share your favorite photo from the challenge under this Facebook Group Thread.
Books for Motivation – Stop Doubting your Greatness!
|You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life |
Feisty, some swearing, and more humorous than academic. Change your stories, change your life thinking. Great for those trying to start a business, make money but filled with self-doubt.
|Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones |
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” Proven strategies that are both, actionable and practical to help you build positive habits. Myself, huge fan of habits that encourage success!
|The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) |
A code of conduct/roadmap for life based on ancient Toltec wisdom that aims to set you free of your self-limiting beliefs.
|The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level |
Discover and learn the pattern of self-limiting beliefs that live within you and go beyond them to liberate your greatness.
Join the Tribe
Want to join an amazing tribe of photographers, artists, and other creatives? Want more NFT Tips? Check out our Facebook group, NFT Photography Community. The Goal: Let’s just all help each other out!
Also, don’t forget to jump on the email list to get some free Photoshop Overlays and my “very occasional” email. I want to talk with you about inspiration, photography, blogging and just staying motivated.