Enhance Your Photographic Creativity by Restricting It

It might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes, when you're in a creative rut, the best way to get out of it is to actually limit your options. This great video will show you how some creative restrictions can get you to see the world in a different way and knock you out of that stoppage in no time.

Coming to you from Mango Street, this awesome video explores my favorite way to invigorate creativity. When you're stuck, the endless options at your disposal can almost be paralyzing instead of enabling, and instead of trying to pick the right route to follow and pull ideas out of thin air, it can be more beneficial to use problem-solving to work around restrictions, which will illuminate methods you might not have come up with otherwise. As contrived as some of the restrictions in the video may seem, that's actually kind of the point: you want to make it so that the problem isn't something you've seen before and you have to devise new ways to work with or around it. And you don't have to follow those in the video either; feel free to make your own, whether it's only shooting at narrow apertures or shooting everything in a square crop. Make one without thinking too much about it and go create!

Log in or register to post comments

4 Comments

Matt Pluz's picture

There should be a photography tv show where they have challenges like this. Love it.

Anonymous's picture

The idea sounds good. Their implementation, not so much. :-/

David Moore's picture

I need to find photographers around here to do silly shit like the with.

Cathleen Shea's picture

Cool! I use writing constraints to get past stuck points on paper. Dunno why I never considered such things with my photography. Thanks, Alex. :)