Sometimes, we photographers can be a solitary bunch at times but maybe it's also what keeps us back. Have you considered collaborating with a creative from another field to expand your vision?
2020 hasn't been the best year for creativity for most of us. Sure, we may have picked up a few personal projects or shot a few sessions for fun to keep ourselves occupied during the stricter lockdown periods. However, most of us have had to forego creativity and focus on how to pay the bills when all of the postponement and cancellation e-mails started pouring into our inbox. I know that many did not feel like picking up their camera because it was almost as painful as the realization of how hard hit the industry was and still is for many.
As the year comes to a close, it's time to start thinking about how we can bring the positive aspects of our industry back into our lives. Even if you have paused or completely stopped your photography business and picked up a job elsewhere, if photography has been a deep-rooted passion for you, there is no reason why you can't return to enjoying it and the positivity it can bring in your life, even if it's a few hours every month.
What I realized this year was that many photographers and models don't actually feed on the positive creative energy that photography can bring — it's simply a job that pays their bills and doesn't necessarily fulfill their creative urges. As with every other industry, that's completely normal because there is no requirement that the minute we send off the client's gallery, we must return back to photography to fill the time that is devoted to our hobbies or passions. However, if that's not the case for you and you do enjoy photography as something to bring you joy and satisfaction, you may want to consider collaborating with another creative from a different field to bring something new and fresh to your creativity in 2021.
The beauty of working with a creative from a different field, such as, a musician, a painter, a burlesque dancer, or anyone else who sees themselves as a creative individual, is that it will bring a different view of the world and art into your shoot or project. Art is such an open world and is full of people who see things differently and they may not feel (figuratively) shackled to any rules or common traditions as laid out by the photography industry, which we may not even realize we adhere to. We may feel that we already are open-minded but there's always something we can learn from people who are creatively gifted or simply work hard to improve their creative craft.
I consider myself as someone who does not follow any rules except those I set for myself but even I have found that collaborating with someone who is a creative from another field brings different energy into my work. It's a well-needed escape from the world that I have become so used to without even noticing. I think the thing that I notice the most is these people's ability to open up and feel free in who they are as they stand in front of my camera, the same way they bare their emotions in their poetry, paintings, or dance routines. Sure, some people may be shy but that's why we need to use our gift of building rapport and letting our subjects relax. Once that happens, don't feel like you need to stick to a laid-out plan and be open to experimenting, instead. You may be surprised where it takes you.
If you want to feel some of that freedom of creativity yourself, I strongly suggest experimenting with another artist. It may not always work because personalities can clash but when it works, it works well. If you enjoy the rush of endorphins after a creative collaboration, allow yourself to feel that more in 2021 because we definitely deserve it and we certainly need more of that.
How are your creative 2021 plans looking like?