Facebook Pixel Blocked - Identifying and Remedying Shooter's Block

Blocked – Identifying and Remedying Shooter’s Block

I don’t know about you, but I go through phases in my affair with photography. Some weeks (or months) I’m surgically attached to my camera and others, I can’t be bothered to get it out from under the desk. But when you take photographs for a living, there is never room for apathy and shooter’s block can be a damaging situation.

shooters block


Don’t worry – you haven’t lost your passion! My first big time slump was depressing to say the least. I actually wanted to cry at my lack of motivation but I’ve discovered that I hadn’t lost my passion, I was just in a rut and experiencing shooter’s block. My first huge downer came after a steady two years of passionate photography, establishing my business and having a baby. I felt that I’d photographed every possible moment with my children (our local playground has been sufficiently photographed should the police ever need detailed macro photos of any apparatus for investigation). One day, I woke up and just didn’t pick up my camera. I noticed that I had more free time and my computer was actually put away under the sofa at times. What was going on?! Could it be that I’d fallen out of love with photography? Say it isn’t so!


So when you think there couldn’t possibly be any more moments in your children’s lives or locations to photograph (and c’mon how many ways can you find to photograph yourself) what then?

{LOOK} Other than taking photos, my favourite thing to do is look at others’ photography or even my favourite shots from the past. Viewing photography and reading about the lives of the greats (try Diane Arbus or Henri Cartier-Bresson) can inspire you. I try not to use them just as inspiration, though, because I think that’s disrespectful. Don’t use and abuse – just bask in their works and soak a bit.

{TALK} Are you part of a local photography club? Unbeknownst to you, there are probably tons in your area who meet in places like the library. Even when I don’t have the motivation to take photos, I ALWAYS have the ability to talk about photography with passion. There are even discussions going on right under your nose here at DPS. Get involved!

{DO-OVERS} Sometimes when I don’t have anything fresh to play with, I go back to my original RAW files and re-edit old photos. I’m constantly learning so I find that even a few months later, re-editing my photos can make entirely new creations.

{ASK THE KIDS} Funny, the kids always know what to photograph. When I’m not feeling inspired, I can ask them what they think I should photograph and they always have an answer. Even if it’s something seemingly dumb like their snotty nose. Hey, I’m sure you could even sell that as a stock image!

{RIDE THE BUS} Go somewhere you’ve never been before. The nearest city or park. Take pubic transport. Take photos of strangers. Talk to strangers! Get inspired not just for taking photos of life, but for living it.

{TAKE A BREAK} Lastly, I would recommend that you even entertain the opportunity to embrace the slump and just take a break. I know that my husband and kids appreciate it when I take a breather and re-focus my life (pun intended) This doesn’t mean that I stop working, though. And I’ve never stopped wanting to work because taking photographs (and writing about photography) is my full-time job. I never ever stop wanting to create beautiful images for other people and as with any job, I’d suggest that the day you wake up and have truly fallen out of love with photography, you put down your camera and try something new. Photography shouldn’t be a drain, it should add to your life and not take away.

How do you get out of your slump?

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Elizabeth Halford
Elizabeth Halford

is a photographer and advertising creative producer in Orlando, FL. She wrote her first article for dPS in 2010. Her most popular one racked up over 100k shares!

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