This question has been on my mind for quite sometime now. I have found that there is this constant ongoing pressure to always create… but more importantly, create something better than your last. I am going on my 5th season of being a full time wedding photographer and I am having the battle of can I shoot weddings and not be inspired?
I am finding more and more that my inspiration doesn’t always stem from photography and more specifically, wedding photography. I find my inspiration comes more from my clients these days. Having a desire to work hard for them and create a story that is true and honest to their experience. A year or two ago I would have been looking for the hero shots and the next photo to bring me to the next level of comments, likes or affirmation. But now I could care less and that scares me. It scares me that I don’t care to look at other work or take workshops or go to conferences to be inspired. I question myself and how I feel about all of this and I don’t like it…
But I am slowly allowing myself to be happy with my work and myself. When I reflect on the past, I always wanted more and I always wanted to be “better” but I think what I wanted were the wrong things. Inspiration to me was looking at people getting tons of attention and me wanting it, so I would go for it. I was looking to be inspired in the wrong ways. It is not all negative! That drive I had got me to places all around the world and allowed me to do some pretty awesome things. I think because I am not as active anymore, I feel I’m not as successful. That thought is bullshit and I know it.
I feel it’s ok to not feel inspired but you have to keep producing work to slowly change the way you feel. Inspiration and drive to me are my life goals and working towards them. I am expecting my first child in a few months and my focus is not on going out and creating beautiful things, my focus is going beyond just photography. Instead of feeling inspired to create the perfect image, I work to create 500 images that tell the story of their day. Yeah, there might not be a hero shot in there but it’s a true representation of their wedding and a set of images that they will love for years and years to come. This love for the images they have turns into ongoing business through referrals.
So I think without being long winded it’s okay to not feel inspired to create beautiful photos all the time. We are humans and we are artists so we are going to have ups and downs. When you feel uninspired, change your focus onto the client rather than yourself and watch your perspective and priorities change!