Who doesn't know the high phases of enthusiasm, when you're constantly itching under your fingernails and you only want one thing: to photograph, photograph and photograph some more. But what do you do when the euphoria wears off, when you lose motivation, when you feel like you're not getting anywhere and when you lack inspiration?
Back to the beginning
There are many possible reasons for the depressing lack of inspiration. Maybe you're going through a bad phase, you feel down and out and you don't have any zest for life. Or maybe, on the contrary, you have so much on your plate that you just can't find the time to take pictures. Or maybe it's the feeling that you've been taking the same photos for a long time and simply haven't progressed that robs you of your enthusiasm. Or maybe you have such high demands on your own performance and your own images that you spoil your own joy in creative work. No matter what the reason, there is always a way out of the creative crisis!
A good starting point for this can be to first look at what attracted you to photography in the beginning. By looking at your own images, especially from the initial phase of your photographic work, you can see how far you have come and where you have developed further. But perhaps you can also discover aspects that interested you at the time but have since been neglected. It is very important to always remember that your own photographs, as long as they are not used to earn a living, only have to meet your own requirements and ideas. Photography as a hobby is primarily about taking photos for yourself.
Sometimes, however, this is exactly where the worm gets stuck. Because many a hobby photographer takes great photos that no one is ever allowed to marvel at. In order to get out of a slump in photographic creativity, it can therefore also help to make one's own work visible and thus gain recognition and, above all, feedback. This can be achieved through photo competitions, a website or a self-designed photo book. In the process, you can also take a completely different look at your own oeuvre and experience what you have known for a long time in a completely new way.
Inspiring role models
Role models are important, and this also applies to photography. To find new inspiration and develop yourself further, it can help to look at the works of other photographers, for example. You can do this from the comfort of your own home on Instagram, Pinterest, or the websites of individual photographers whose work you appreciate, or even on the websites of photo competitions, etc. Of course, photos have a completely different effect in galleries, exhibitions and museums. Engaging with the work and lives of famous photography trailblazers can be moving and fuel a new creative phase. And, of course, there are many good films about photographers whose images have a whole new impact on a big screen.
But it doesn't have to be the big names that you can learn from and be inspired by when it comes to photography. In workshops and courses on photography topics, you can discover new things and develop yourself further, thus creating new incentives to pick up the camera again. Exchanging ideas with others, whether on joint photographic excursions or even online on photo forums can provide one with community and important contacts that support and fuel one's own work. Shooting together with others is not everyone's cup of tea, but it can greatly enrich one's own work. Photo trips are also offered especially for this purpose. A welcome change from traveling with family and friends, where someone is always nagging because you are standing in front of a motif for so long...
Whether with others or alone new settings and unknown equipment can be exciting and inspiring. So don't let everything run on automatic, but play with the different settings and possibilities. Of course, unfamiliar photographic equipment is especially suitable for this. If your wallet doesn't allow for such an investment in times of little inspiration, you can also borrow or rent cameras and accessories.
Dare to try something new
When was the last time you felt really challenged when taking photos? When did you feel like you were entering new, unfamiliar territory and trying something truly new? This feeling of the unknown can be scary, and the tendency of humans is to retreat in the familiar, in what they already know well and have mastered. But we all know that you not only grow from your challenges outside your comfort zone, but that it can also be liberating to dare to try something new naively and without thinking. And to be wrong sometimes. If your own photography has become routine over time and there is a lack of challenges, you should simply try something new.
There are no limits to your imagination. For example, you can learn new techniques, be it in the photography itself or in the post-processing. Or perhaps a new genre in photography can offer welcome variety and new inspiration? Or perhaps it is the analog form of photography and the associated developing of photos that invites new discoveries with its vintage charm and craft character? And finally, there remains the ultimate way to catapult yourself out of your comfort zone: Travel. On a trip, you can get to know yourself and your work in a new way and question your own ideas about the world.
And this brings us to the last important point: to get out of a creative crisis, it helps to break new ground, and not just in photography. If you're looking for inspiration for your own photos, you should also try new things outside of photography. In addition to new places to explore while traveling, this can also be a new hobby or new friends at home. You can explore a new genre of music or try your hand at cooking in a little-known country. The main thing is to be new and exciting. After all, isn't photography a constant search for the world and a way of making visible to others what it is that fascinates you about it? Those who lack inspiration for photography may also lack things they are passionate about and want to capture and share in their own personal way. This spark of individual fascination needs to be rediscovered in order to take really great photos again soon!