Have you ever tried loosing your passion for photography?
Have you ever tried feeling uninspired and in a creative rut?
And do you sometimes feel blah about your work?
From time to time photographers turn to me for help when they find themselves in this situation. I personally know how it feels and if you do too – read on…
I want to tell you: being in a creative rut is a dangerous state of mind for a photographer—it often results in a big wave of negative, self-critical thoughts, and feelings of anger, frustration and resentment.
I want you to reframe these feelings. When they pop up, take them as a red flag that perhaps you’re on the wrong track.
The truth is: these negative feelings are a sign that you haven’t been taking care of yourself—which means it’s time for a change.
When you feel like this, it’s often because you feel stressed or burnt out.
Perhaps you are:
• making too many compromises in relation to your work
• saying yes too many times to too many people
• working your butt off but don’t feel valued
• feeling under appreciated
Creative passion ebbs and flows, and sometimes it can feel like it disappeared and won’t return. The dangerous part comes from giving up when you do lose passion —calling it quits and accepting the fact that you just don’t have it in you is dangerous territory.
You need to know that even the BEST photographers in the world, have at one point in their lives, felt this way. ALL creative people have. If they haven’t yet, then they will at some point during their creative careers. It’s 100% normal!
“Creativity is not a talent, it´s a way of operating!” – John Cleese
It’s time to admit that something isn’t working anymore. It’s time to take action!
Here are 3 ways to get you out of a creative rut and back behind the lens more inspired than ever
1. Know your priorities and focus on your goals
Knowing your priorities and values helps you put the brakes on your creative rut.
Ask yourself this
Is what I’m working on a part of my larger goal? (aka your dream)
Avoid doing any creative work that doesn’t help you move towards your larger life goals. And say no to everything that doesn’t make you excited.
If photographing aunt Sally or the children next door isn’t a part of your future dream then learn to say no. Respectfully say no and refer them to someone else. Your time is worth investing in YOUR dream—not someone else’s!
2. Don´t be afraid of change
Look at the way you work: your workflow, your client contact, your photography style, your pricing structure and so on. Point out everything that makes your stomach hurt with resentment. Listen to your gut feelings, and make those difficult decisions that you believe are the right way to go.
Change is a positive thing and it’s your life—do what you have to do to make it amazing!
Is this the type of creative work I want to be known for?
Is this the type of work that makes me happy and excited?
If not, start making small changes right now to get your focus back on track.
If you’re afraid of change, consider:
What’s the worst that can happen if I make this change and it turns out to be wrong?
How will I benefit from this change if it turns out great?
Often, the potential positive outcome will outweigh the negative. And often the change will turn out to be exactly what you needed!
3. Take a break
This is crucial.
Taking a break is neurologically proven to help spark creativity. Take a holiday. Travel. Get away from your photography or creative projects for a few days or weeks.
A holiday doesn’t have to be an expensive vacation. For example I often just drive a few hours away, check in to a hotel/Inn/Cottage and stay one or two nights alone (or with a friend) without my husband or kids. It’s my time, just for me to restore.
Do activities that you know will boost your energy and your mood. Remember that losing your creative passion often comes from stress, so knowing that, choose to take it slow and restore yourself.
If you can’t take a long break, take as many small breaks you can during your day, or work less hours than you usual do. Perhaps you need to turn down some projects or clients to create more time for yourself.
“Without rest, a creative mind can’t function at its best!” – Christina Greve
Most important is to be gentle with yourself, and be delighted that you always have a choice. You can do much more than you think you can and you have all the power inside of you to create the most amazing life for yourself.
If money issues is stopping you from taking time of: Raise your prices TODAY!
If money issues is causing you to take on jobs that you don´t really want: Raise your prices TODAY!
Remember: When you take care of yourself, your creativity will blossom!