The title is equal parts question and statement this week for #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am going to attempt to tackle the title and open some conversations around what inspires us as photographers.
As creative human beings. What is it that inspires that creativity? We can be inspired by many things at various times, perhaps before we’re anywhere near our shutter button. Social media is an almost endless source of inspiration and it often hits us subconsciously, bestowing inspiration upon us without us even realising it or perhaps hitting us in a way that the inspiration locks into our memory only to come back out when we need it later on. Image-centric social media, in particular, can be packed full of amazing ideas and inspiration, ranging from subject matter to locations, and the images we see are often accompanied by detailed instructions about how a particular image was created. In summary, social media is a killer source of inspiration.
When we’re freezing a moment in time, it’s important that we utilise any inspiration we have available to help us explore our limits or creativity. Perhaps we take it from the way the light falls on the subject at a particular time of day, or maybe it’s rooted in something technical, like a lens choice. Maybe the inspiration is more challenging and it’s, in fact, something that’s missing from our scene.
Our love of photography often shines through and encourages us to seek out inspiration—finding it when it’s well hidden. To truly love our photography it helps to be shooting the style or genre of photography that we really engage well with. Put it this way: – if someone really enjoys shooting food but is shooting real estate simply to pay the bills, their inspiration can be lacking. If food photography is our passion, we need to find a way to make that our primary style.
The reason we love our particular style of photography is another great source of inspiration. Perhaps it’s the bold colours, or the complexity of the subjects, or even the romance of the models. Whatever the source of the inspiration is, if we remember why and how it inspires, we know we can actively seek it out to rekindle that inspiration.
Personally, I love to explore the world and shoot in such a way that makes people want to explore as well. I try to find angles and compositions that balance an explanation with an inquisitiveness to make people want to be there in that place. Remembering this when I have my finger on the trigger is crucial to achieving my aim and keeping me inspired whilst simultaneously engaging my audience.
Everyone has a different inspiration and a different reason for being a photographer. Whatever your reason, keep it at the forefront of your mind and don’t allow yourself to forget. At times when creativity may be lacking, seek out the inspiration that is particular to yourself and push forward with it active in your mind. If you need it, don’t forget that we have an amazing community.