Motivating Yourself to Shoot When There Seems to Be Nothing to Shoot

We've all had times where we are constantly out shooting, coming up with new ideas, and going out to create them. There are also times where we struggle with new ideas and lose our motivation to create. Over the past few months I feel like I've been going through some stages like this but I always try to stay positive and create when I can.

I think my biggest problem started with the change in season. Here in New Jersey we have summer, fall, winter, and spring. The jump from summer to fall was absolutely beautiful because of all the trees changing colors. As nice as that was, there was a little problem that came along with it and that was how fast the light was beginning to set.

Over the summer the sun would go down at about 9 p.m. Slowly, that 9 p.m. turned to 8 p.m., to 7 p.m. where it stayed for a while. Time flew faster than I had ever thought it would and now all of a sudden it was daylight savings and we lost an hour of light. Just what I wanted so I could have a lot less time to get out there and shoot.

At this point, the sun was setting between 3 and 4 p.m., and after about a month of this, the pain to get out in shoot before the light was gone settled in. I realized I was usually still working around that time and that it was going to get a lot harder to get out there to create some of the photos I wanted. This whole adjustment to the change in time was not meant to be an excuse, but it was certainly something to get used to if I wanted to shoot for the next few months.

When all of the trees are dead and there are patches and clumps of snow all over the place from the last snowfall, it doesn't make aerial photography easy. I hit a pretty big point where I began to struggle creating new images, but then I realized I needed to just slow things down a bit. I didn't need to be out every single day like I was over the summer and fall; it just wasn't reasonable. Instead, I put some of that time into my other work and also began finding new locations to go fly when I had the time to get out and do so. This was one of the most beneficial things to me because I didn't have to stress myself out about creating more.

The one thing that helped me motivate myself was to simply find places to shoot in the conditions that were at hand. I essentially challenged myself to find things I wouldn't typically shoot and tried to make them look interesting. I also revisited places I had shot over the summer in hopes that they would be very different in the winter.

I have to say that my favorite thing this winter was shooting frozen water. The textures of the ice always seemed to blow my mind. From this little let down, I happened to learn a lot about being motivated to shoot when there really didn't seem to be anything new out there.

Instead of giving up and waiting for a new season, keep your head up and come up with ideas and themes that may work for the season and conditions you are in. If that means not creating as much, then so be it. Just remember that there is always something to shoot.

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Stas F's picture

This is how pros do it

Travis Pacheco's picture

I checked out your website, fantastic work. I'm brand new to drones and have a lot to learn. Is your interior video shot with a drone?

Ken Flanagan's picture

Great article. I photograph a lot of the same industrial stuff over and over, and sometimes get lax about shooting. Pushing to discover new ways of seeing the same scenes becomes the journey.

Deleted Account's picture

Story of my life living in Minnesota

Tdotpics photography's picture

i feel like i need to use my drone more