Bored With Photography: Tips From Peter McKinnon

Usually for me it starts after the peak of fall foliage. After a busy year of spring portraits, wedding season, fall shoots, and some photographic trips sprinkled in, by the end of fall I find that it's easy to get a little bored with photography. Typically the inspiration needle on my gauge is in the red. While taking a break is never a bad idea, sometimes all you really need to do is challenge yourself. Presenting yourself with new opportunities to create photos and videos that may not normally be in your wheelhouse. Giving yourself some time to experiment can help you get back to why you started shooting in the first place.

Ontario-based YouTuber Peter McKinnon has a massive social media following with over one million followers on YouTube. In a recent vlog, he shares some tips to help fellow photographers get out of any creative rut they may be facing.

One tip McKinnon mentions is to have a portrait session utilizing neon lights found around your city. I plan on trying this out in the coming week to see what I can come up with, and I'll make sure to share my images. This is definitely outside of my comfort zone where you can typically find me lighting people with Profoto B2s or Goddox AD200s. Neon lights only? Challenge accepted.

Another cool trick that he mentions is using a second lens to shoot through which creates a unique look that has been a big trend on social media in the past year. I can honestly say I haven’t tried this, but just to mix things up, I may also give this a shot in hopes of getting my creative mojo back.

Lastly, McKinnon mentions getting inspired by visiting your local home improvement store. Home Depot and Lowes might have just the ticket to help you rethink your next shoot. I’ve always gone to these stores looking for specific items to assist with shoots (clamps, tile, sand), but I never visited the store with the mindset of looking for inspiration on a project.  

Whether you've been shooting for a year or 10, at some point you will likely find yourself in a creative rut, but you needn't worry. With the right mindset, you'll be able to work through it and keep shooting.

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the former lacky's picture

totally been there and still there, I work for a wedding photographer and when i go home i dont want to be bothered reotuching or designing . But i broke through and do what i want on the weekends and its great , Im not making money by doing what i am doing but thats what the 9-5 is for and my weekends are now for me and it makes the world of difference and i love it again

I find myself bored mid summer. Winter I'm out as often as possible. Here in Calgary we have so many hours of great light, the sun always coming in low and the shadows are perfect almost the whole day. I don't have to get up early for sunrise and don't have to stay out late for sunset. Winter is just beautiful. Peter get out of grey Toronto and visit Calgary for a few winter weeks, there are so many opportunities you can't get in the summer, plus here we can get +10 to 20c days in the middle of the cold snaps.

I've never visited Calgary, but the photographers from the area have great photos. Looks like there are beautiful unique locations.

This is great. I always get so busy as the year goes on, so by the time December rolls around I need a break and I'm bored of my work. Come January, I'm trying to find a way to reinvent myself, when really I just need to add some personal work in so I can reignite the love in my work.