20 Tips to Help You to Find Inspiration in Nature Photography
Have you ever lacked inspiration during a photo session?
How do you create collections that reflect your emotions and feelings?
This lack of inspiration has occurred to me on the field and/or when composing and framing my wildlife, landscape, or underwater photographs.
In this article, I will give you the recipes that I use when I face this problem.
Table of Contents
- The Little Story of This Article
- Creating Photos That Make Sense Is a Real Challenge
- The Definition of Inspiration
- Why One Should Seek Inspiration in Nature Photography
- How: Finding Inspiration in Nature Photography
- Tip # 1: Creating for Another Person
- Tip # 2: Practicing Humility
- Tip # 3: Bringing Your Emotions Alive in Your Photographs
- Tip # 4: Creating Unusual Photographs
- Tip # 5: Learning to Manage the Cycles of Creativity
- Tip #6: Searching for Inspiration Is Not a Mystery
- Tip #7: Cultivating Inspiration
- Tip # 8: Finding Inspiration Requires Fullness
- Tip # 9: Finding Inspiration Is an Active Process
- Tip # 10: Enjoying the Effects of Inspiration
- Tip # 11: Finding Inspiration Requires Methodology
- Tip # 12: Finding Inspiration in Nature Photography Requires Organization
- Tip # 13: Finding Inspiration Requires to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
- Tip # 14: Inspiration Is the Opposite of Manufacturing
- Tip # 15: Managing a Lack of Inspiration
- Tip # 16: Photographing Even When You Are Not Inspired
- Tip # 17: Rearranging the Foundations of Your Photographic Approach
- Tip # 18: Reconnecting to Your Motto
- Tip # 19: Analyzing Your Failures
- Tip # 20: Comparing Your Work to Others Is Not Always the Right Solution
The Little Story of This Article
I started professional photography career by taking photos for online agencies and for magazines.
At the time, for this type of activity, creativity was not particularly appropriate.
The important thing I focused on was capturing pictures in relation to the news. They had to be perfect on every technical level. The goal was to deliver photos as quickly as possible to illustrate articles in a publication.
During all those years, I was not asked to be an inspired photographer but to create impactful photos that illustrated travel articles or reports on social events.
Once immersed in the field, I did not ask myself many existential questions. My only goal was to produce high-quality photos. I did not encounter a need to translate my feelings, because these photos would not be presented alone as a piece of art, but rather, a lovely companion to another’s work in the form of a written article or report.
When in 2010 I chose artistic photography, the challenge became completely different.
Things changed when I switched to artistic photography. Each photo, even if it emotionally translated what I feel, must also be worthy of purchase by customers. These photos would decorate houses, offices, or animate exhibitions, each as a stand-alone masterpiece.
It was when I made this essential shift in my life that I perceived all the subtleties of the word "inspiration".
It took me a long time to make this transition from stock photography to artistic photography.
These are two completely different universes that demand different skills and distinctive visions.
It was during a trip where I was close to nature that I understood why I had to be inspired to create artistic photographs. During the several days of the trip, I had to forget the news or illustrative photo register. When I returned from that trip, my life had changed.
Creating Photos That Make Sense Is a Real Challenge
In artistic photography, the creation of each photograph becomes a challenge.
Since that famous year of transition, I quickly experienced despair in moments when I did not encounter inspiration.
Since then, there have been many times where I did not make the collections interesting for customers, whether technically or artistically. I am not perfect. But I continue to strive for perfection.
Nature art photography is a complex universe. It is hard to put everything in place when delivering personal reflections of emotion while trying to please an audience. It can be hard to transcribe these feelings into art.
I must never forget that I depend on clients who will buy my artworks. I must respect my artistic approach because this is what my customers buy my fine art prints. However, I must also respect certain criteria so that my photographs can be shared in different places. It is a fine line of balance.
The Definition of Inspiration
In two different dictionaries, I have found two definitions of inspiration:
- It is an internal movement that carries out, suggests, or advises a particular action.
- - It is the enthusiasm or the creative breath that animates an artist.
These two definitions of “summarize” or “generalize”, make it difficult for a photographer of nature to easily find answers to the quest for inspiration.
Why One Should Seek Inspiration in Nature Photography
I think that for you, finding inspiration in nature photography is sometimes difficult.
You may find yourself like the writer who stares at a blank page, at a loss for words.
For example, when faced with an animal or a landscape, you may not know how to account for the emotions that you feel.
The main reason you need to look for inspiration is to try to find elements that allow you to solve this creativity problem once you are on the field.
Inspiration is an important and essential question that torments most nature photographers who devote their work to the creation of art photographs. ressentez.
How: Finding Inspiration in Nature Photography
Sometimes I struggle to find inspiration. Even when I do find some, I am not satisfied with the photos that I capture. I feel as if I am failing.
When I am faced with this problem as a photographer artist, I adopt another attitude. I search deep within myself for new ways to find inspiration. I refocus my attention.
In general, there is no miracle recipe for inspiration.
I have come to believe that inspiration is a state of absolute well-being in which I am free from any material contingency, far from the media noise and the hubbub of large cities where 90% of people are busy slaving at nothing worthwhile.
As I will detail in a later section, only the contemplation of nature in its truest and most raw form allows me to achieve this state of grace. I can then think and define the collections that I truly desire.
For example, it is impossible for me to find inspiration in a public garden that has been landscaped by human beings.
When I seek nature areas, I go to the mountains or in remote areas where the hand of man has not modeled the forms in front of me.
I always strive to be humble when facing inspiration. When I am inspired, I create in a flurry of energy. When it is not present, I wait. I work to utilize all my assets so that a beautiful work manifests in front of me.
One thing is certain: when I am selling my artworks or when I meet customers or while I am doing billing or accounting or even communication or marketing, I am sure that I will not find inspiration.
I do not waste time trying to create during these periods. However, I do not ignore these periods, as they are necessary for the smooth growth of my commercial company.
I do not photograph until I have completed these tasks. Once I have set mundane tasks aside, I can enter the peculiar state of inspiration where I feel as if I have stepped into a new body. It is as if I have two persons, one for work and one for creativity. When I am creatively producing photographs, I feel as if two spirits reside inside of me, one that is technical and focused on details, and one which wanders in another world made of lights, colors, and forms.
These words may seem bizarre or strange, but this is my experience of reality.
To find inspiration, I recommend that you seek to enter that special state where tranquility and serenity reign.
In the next few paragraphs, I will explain how I have accomplished this.
Tip # 1: Creating for Another Person
Finding inspiration is a mysterious and fascinating act. Why are we so creative at certain times in our lives and yet not at all in others? It is a real enigma.
Inspiration cannot be decreed. It cannot be controlled. It cannot be appropriated.
These are facts of which I am certain. Some photographers that I follow regularly have tried to find a muse as if they are painters. These people may think that “If only I could find my muse, I would always have inspiration”. However, this idea is not a perfect and inexhaustible source of creativity. However, I have also known them to be just as desperate as I am for new inspiration. The muse is a method that sometimes works, but is it the source of a great period of inspiration? I find this difficult to prove.
Certainly, thinking about someone to create for can be a great catalyst for creativity. It is a method I use sometimes.
Creating for someone will give you a good reason to do so.
Tip # 2: Practicing Humility