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Every photographer hits a wall at one point or another. Here are a few tips to keep things fresh and new.
1. Try something new, get out of your comfort zone. You’ve been photographing nature for years? Try some street photography!
2. Meet other photographers and go on photo walks. It doesn’t have to be a large group. Get together with two or three other people who share the same passion and experiment with different photography genres. Meet regularly and choose a different theme each time: Street photography one week, landscape photography the next! You will learn something new from fellow photographers and getting together will help keep the passion for photography alive.
3. If you own a DSLR, try renting a new lens for a weekend to experiment with something totally different. It can be a fisheye or a macro lens, a special effect lens or a super telephoto. They are big investments and renting for a weekend or a few days is quite affordable and the best way to know if you are ready to make the investment. Try your local camera store or any reputable online rental services such as borrowlenses.com. Check for special deals.
4. Write a list of things you’ve never photographed before and make it a point to learn the techniques to achieve those shots. I’ve been doing this for a while and my list still includes a lot of interesting things to discover such as panoramic photography or time lapse. I recently discovered macro photography and it opened a whole new world of possibilities in my own backyard. I discover something new every time I put the macro lens on my camera! There are many techniques you can learn that don’t require any new equipment and such as light trails, light painting, etc. Just be open to trying new things.
5. Get you hands on a film camera and a roll of film and limit yourself to 36 exposures for a day. You will learn the importance of getting it right in camera. If nothing else, you will realize how incredibly flexible digital really is!
6. Pick a theme and get out on your own. You can pick to only shoot things that are yellow, just feet, people with hats, dogs… The sky is the limit. This exercise will help you see things differently and the results may surprise you.
7. Mentor someone. Give a camera to a child. Take them out to shoot. You may spark a life-long passion and you may learn a thing or two about yourself in the process.
8. Give back to your community, volunteer to photograph a local event for a charity for example.
9. If you can afford it, sign up for a photography workshop in a field you are passionate about or to learn something completely new.
10. Start a project that will force you to shoot more, such as a 365 day project. Share your project through social media or a blog. The more you shoot, the more you are going to want to shoot. Push yourself and set a goal to put all those images in a book when you are done. Pat yourself in the back, it’s a big accomplishment!
11. Look at the work of others. They may be famous or unknown, the goal is not to copy their work but to draw inspiration from it.
This list is non exhaustive, please add some suggestions in the comments. Happy shooting!