5 Ways to Stay Motivated in the Midst of a Photography Project

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In search of ways to broaden their creative horizons or recapture that slippery beast known as inspiration, many photographers take on a long term project — something like a 365 project. These things typically get off to a roaring start, but before long, the motivation to keep the project alive fizzles.

If this describes you and your efforts to follow through on a long term photography project, the strategies offered below should provide some motivational sustenance and help you stay the course with your next — or currently unfinished — project.

Find Inspiration

If one of your primary struggles is simply finding something, anything to shoot, then all you have to do is look to others for ideas. Search out top rated images on sites like 500px and Flickr; seeing the brilliant work that other photographers are producing will likely spark a creative light within you.

Don’t limit yourself to online sources, though. There is inspiration to be found all around you. Photography books can be a valuable resource; to save money, buy them used or check them out from a library. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery; go outside, take a walk, and immerse yourself in the environment.

Ideas are waiting around every corner.

Use the Buddy System

One thing is for sure: you’re not the first nor will you be the last to struggle with a photography project. Seek out the support of others who have been down the same road that you are currently staggering along. Sometimes all you need is a reminder to take a photo or to upload the day’s image; other times, you’ll need to look to a friend for ideas or encouragement. Regardless of whatever your particular needs might be, having someone in your corner to simply cheer you on could be the difference between completing and abandoning your 365 project.

Get a Flickr Account

Not because Flickr is the end-all-be-all of online photo sharing services, but it does provide a few features (such as the 200MB max image size) that might make using Flickr a bit more desirable than just uploading images to your personal blog or favorite photography forum. The most compelling feature in this context, however, is Flickr’s groups. There are groups for just about anything you can imaging, including several dedicated to those doing 365 projects. Flickr groups are great places to get feedback, pick up a few ideas, and make a friend or two.

Get Some New Gear

There’s no need to spend a fortune; you can pick up 50mm lens or an off-camera lighting kit for reasonable prices, giving yourself the opportunity to expand your creative reach. Opening up possibilities should make it a little easier to stay on track with your project.

Don’t Limit Yourself

A 365 project is a relatively long term commitment; you shouldn’t expect that taking a photo everyday for an entire year is going to be easy. So don’t make things harder on yourself by following too many rules. Trying to stick to a strict 11:59p.m. deadline, for example, may not mesh with your personality and the type of photographer you are; work within the realm of what suits you best and you will likely feel less anxiety about the whole process.

Photography projects can be a challenge, but that is, in part, what makes them so worthwhile — you come out the other end a better photographer. Apply as many of the above suggestions as you deem worthy to help see you through.

What We Recommend to Improve Your Photography Fast

It's possible to get some pretty large improvements in your photography skills very fast be learning some fundamentals. Consider this the 80:20 rule of photography where 80% of the improvements will come from 20% of the learnable skills. Those fundamentals include camera craft, composition, understanding light and mastering post-production. Here are the premium guides we recommend.

  1. html cleaner  Easy DSLR –  Friend of Light Stalking, Ken Schultz has developed this course over several years and it still remains the single best source for mastering your camera by identifying the main things that are holding you back.
  2. Word to html  Understanding Composition – As one of the core elements of a good photograph, getting your head around composition is essential. Photzy's guide to the subject is an excellent introduction. Their follow-up on Advanced Composition is also well worth a read.
  3. Word to html  Understanding Light – Also by Photzy, the other essential part of photography is covered in this epic guide and followed up in Understanding Light, Part 2. This is fundamental stuff that every photographer should aim to master.
  4. Word to html  5 Minute Magic Lightroom Workflow – Understanding post production is one of the keys to photographs that you will be proud of. This short course by one of the best in the business will show you how an award-winning photographer does it.

About Author

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Jason Little is a photographer, author and stock shooter. You can see Jason’s photography on his Website or his Instagram feed.

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