Struggling to Find Inspiration for Your Next Shoot? This New Series Might Just Help You

If you're trying to gain an edge in a competitive market, getting inspiration from places you might not normally look could really help. This new documentary series will expose you to some of the world's most creative minds in fields you may have never considered. As an added bonus, one of the episodes features famous photographer, Platon, and is worth a watch just for that alone.

“Abstract: The Art of Design” is a new Netflix original series that introduces the work and creative processes of eight of today's most imaginative thinkers in the world of art and design.

The series features the likes of Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield, illustrator Christoph Niemann, and architect Bjarke Ingels — all pioneers in their respected fields. The viewer gains access to these creative worlds and hears their stories in a very personal and inspiring way.

If you're short on time or just here for the photography, then episode seven is the one to watch, as it features world-renowned portrait photographer, Platon, and provides a fascinating look into his thought process and workflow.

As each program focuses on a different individual, you wont have spoiled anything by watching them out of order. This isn't Game of Thrones! I would, however, encourage you to watch at least a few, if not all of them.

The real reason I wanted to write about this documentary series was because I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about inspiration from places within which you might not usually look. In many ways, we are exposed to the same influences from an early age. At school, we all pretty much learned the same subjects, read the same books, and watched the same movies. For many, this continues into adulthood; and while there is nothing wrong with this, if you're a creative, it can make standing out from the crowd a lot harder when everyone has the same reference points. This is why a series such as "Abstract: The Art of Design" is a great watch, as you will see and hear from creative fields such as architecture, illustration and even automobile design.

Now you might think, "What does dreaming up the look of a car have to do with being a photographer?" But it could be a comment about aerodynamics that plants a seed of the idea for your next shoot. It's these random tangents which make creating interesting work a lot easier and might just be what you need if you've been struggling to come up with something different.

This documentary series is currently only on Netflix, but if you don't have a subscription, don't let that stop you from looking for inspiration in places you normally wouldn't.

I'd love to hear in the comments about some of the obscure documentaries, exhibitions, books, blogs, etc., that have inspired you to create new work. Also, if anyone has been inspired by the aerodynamics in cars, please get in touch!

Paul Parker's picture

Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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Just watched episode 1. Christopher Nieman is genius. His thought processes can be used for creative photography. This is a must watch. Can't wait to watch the other episodes.

Glad you agree Tom! It's so inspiring to look at other creatives like that.