As a photographer, coming up with ideas and visualizing what you imagined in an image, is an essential part of your progress. Coming up with those (hopefully) great ideas isn’t an easy task though because of the sheer flood of pictures that everyone sees every day.
Here are my strategies for coming up with ideas that help you stand out from the masses. According to inc.,creativity isn’t a skill that you either have or haven’t- it can be learned just like every other skill.
Create A Mindmap
A technique that always helps me a lot is brainstorming. Just writing everything down you want to say with an image can often help you get more creative. You can create so-called mind-maps with numerous online services or apps like Text 2 MindMap. However if you prefer the old school option, you can just grab a sheet of paper and a pen and plan what you want to do.
Go For A Run (Or do some other sport, it doesn’t matter)
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Trust me, it isn’t. Running is scientifically proven to improve creativity. This is what David Hindley from “The Guardian” says about running:
Drawing upon my own personal experience, running for me helps to create a productive space for “mind wandering”, where creative thoughts crystallize and ideas incubate.
I can absolutely relate to what David says, in my experience running is great for coming up with ideas.
Create A Creative Environment
Creativity is often only restricted by you feeling uncomfortable or insecure. If you want to use your full creative potential, make sure to create an environment that allows you to do so.
Write Everything Down That You Connect With The Topic Of Your Shoot
By writing everything down that you associate with a certain topic, you can develop ideas more creatively. One of the biggest enemies when it comes to coming up with ideas is actually the judgmental voice in the back of your head. By writing everything down that you think, you can successfully eliminate that voice.
Separate Coming Up With Ideas And Evaluating Them
My recommendation would be to separate coming up with ideas and evaluating them since many good ideas might never even be properly thought out because you thought they aren’t good enough anyway. First, you can use one of the techniques that I describe at the beginning of the post and after you have compiled every single idea you had in a single place, you can start to evaluate them. This way, you don’t restrict your creativity by throwing good ideas away.
Get Inspired By Doing Something You Have Done Before Or Going Somewhere You Have Never Been Before
Although it can also be great to have a dedicated space for “creative stuff”, it can also help to get out of whatever you usually do and try something completely new. Why not visit a place in your city that you have never been to before? Or try to learn something completely new like Mandarin perhaps? By doing something you’ve never done before, you force your brain to think differently and that can help you tremendously when developing ideas.
Do It. Then Do It Again. And Then Again.
As I mentioned before, creativity isn’t a skill that anyone is born with, it is a skill that has to be practiced over and over again to become perfect. Just like with anything else in life, you’ll have to train your “creative muscles” and they will eventually grow, making you stronger.
Meet New People
In my opinion there’s hardly anything as inspiring as meeting new people. Try to get out of your comfort zone, get out there and meet new people. Don’t know how? There are numerous ways to get in touch with inspiring people. Email a blogger that lives in your area or attend photography meetings (there are a lot of Facebook and Flickr groups that meet periodically). Heck, if you live in Berlin, just shoot me an email at paulfaecks[at]gmail.com!First of all, you have to acknowledge that creativity is not dependent upon talent but it rather is a skill that can be learned and improved by practice. Also, separating the process of coming up with ideas and evaluating them, can allow you to be more creative. Breaking out of your everyday life or meeting new, inspiring people is perhaps the best inspiration there is. But even with all those techniques, you’ll have to practice over and over again just like you’d train your muscles in the gym.
First of all, you have to acknowledge that creativity is not dependent upon talent but it rather is a skill that can be learned and improved by practice. Also, separating the process of coming up with ideas and evaluating them, can allow you to be more creative. Breaking out of your everyday life or meeting new, inspiring people is perhaps the best inspiration there is. But even with all those techniques, you’ll have to practice over and over again just like you’d train your muscles in the gym.