Photographers have an insatiable appetite for new gear. The excitement of unboxing a new camera, lens, or accessory provides a rush of inspiration that compels us to get out and shoot. But why does acquiring the latest and greatest equipment motivate us so much?
In the latest video on his YouTube channel, photographer Pat Kay digs into the psychology behind what he calls “new gear inspiration.” He argues this phenomenon all comes down to novelty. When we expose ourselves to something new that energizes us, it sparks creativity by allowing us to make connections we couldn't before. New gear gives us a novel experience that generates this surge of motivation and flow.
While new equipment can provide a short-term creative boost, Kay cautions buying gear constantly is unrealistic for most. And we can’t rely on new purchases to repeatedly inspire us forever. So, how do you keep finding novelty to feed your photography on an ongoing basis?
Kay offers strategies like exploring new places, doing photo challenges, and introducing constraints into your usual style. Changing your process, even in small ways, creates the novel experiences that drive creativity. Consistency over the long haul still matters, but regularly trying new things keeps your mind flexible.
If you find your photography motivation waning, this video offers insight into how novelty and new gear inspiration work. Kay shares ideas to kick-start your creativity without emptying your bank account. In the end, new gear isn’t the only way to spark inspiration through novelty, nor should it be the main way to do. Check out the video above for the full rundown.