Am I in a Photographic Rut?

Sometimes it’s instructive to periodically look at your photography and ask the question “Am I in a Photographic Rut?”

Have I been shooting the same subject over and over again? Sometimes from a different perspective but pretty much the same subject matter.

Maybe it’s time for a change. You might objectively look at your images and evaluate where you are in your photography.  Some of those questions might include:

  • “What types of images have I been shooting?”
  • “Is there any variety in my images?”
  • “Should I expand my subject matter?”
  • “Am I growing and improving?”
  • “What do I need to do to take my photography to the next level?”
  • “Is there a different perspective I should look at that I am missing?”
  • “Could I shoot some other subjects that would help me improve my primary photographic focus?”
  • “Would evaluating other photographer’s images of the same or similar subjects give me some ideas and inspiration?”  (Note: Don’t just copy other photographer’s work. Be creative. Take a different approach.)

You might try another completely different genre of photography for a time to freshen up your perspective. For example: If you have been shooting landscapes, try shooting people or macro photography.

Or if you want to improve your images within a given field of photography you might try other aspects to challenge you.  For example: If you have been shooting senior portraits, try shooting people expressing certain emotions.  You could create a project to capture images of adults and/or children showing such emotions as sad, happy, contemplative, angry, surprised, anxious, spiritual, fear, disgust, anticipation, friendship, kindness, pity, indignation, envy, or love etc.

Considering learning how to use some different types of equipment such as flash, reflectors, a different lens, a tripod, or some light modification equipment. Or use existing equipment in a different way.

Your evaluation might turn up some other areas of interest. Or you may decide that a review of certain photographic principles is order. When we review the same lesson material at different points in our life, we often come away with different perspectives each time we review the material.  This is because we have gained experience and learning since we last reviewed that information.  We often find that there are some small but very important points that we overlooked in our earlier studies that we can now incorporate into our photography that will make a big difference. So taking a class again may uncover some golden nuggets you missed the first time around.

Talking with another experienced photographer may also be a source of inspiration and encouragement.  You might try our Premium Program for a period of time to get a review of your images, to get some “outside” ideas of help you determine where you want to go with your photography, and some photo assignments to help you get there.

Consider taking a class on a subject completely unrelated to what your “present” interests are. Or take a class on subjects you are familiar with to fine tune your skills or to be reminded of something you forgot.

Regardless of where you are in your photographic journey, a periodic review and evaluation of your images is usually a good idea.  From that review you can chart a new course to improve your art and find more joy in the journey.

If you want to improve you must change what you are doing.  “There is no change, improvement or Growth in the Comfort zone. There is no Comfort in the Growth zone.”


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