Recovering your Photographic Mojo

Recovering your Photographic Mojo

19 posts
28 March 2017
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
I'm sure I am not the only one ot have been there in the past. Thankfully I have always managed to find some online source of inspiration to jolt me back into my passion.
One such site that helped reboot my photographic enthusiasm in the past was creative live and their policy of running courses live and free prior to putting on sale. SO. what site or resource have you found that gave fresh inspiration when the spirit was starting to sag a little?

A list of the current photography courses coming up on creative live
Posted 28 March 2017
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
My mojo's almost always been affected by external influences such as bad health, finances, having a crap time at work etc. For the past 3/4 years I don't seem to have had a break from one thing or another which is irritating to say the least, as past experience has taught me never to shoot when you're not in a good way and especially stressed.

Other than that, simply wanting to reverse engineer some technique/lighting style works for me, or simply buying some new piece of equipment that I'm keen to try out. I've only ever attended courses when in the swing of shooting in the first place, as I'd feel I won't pick anything up if my 'photography head' isn't screwed on properly for the course.

Posted 29 March 2017
HowardJ
Photographer
HowardJ
Moving house is a killer.

Posted 31 March 2017
Paul_Jones
Photographer
Paul_Jones
redbaron

what site or resource have you found that gave fresh inspiration when the spirit was starting to sag a little?


I watch a lot of photography-related films on Youtube and Vimeo.

Damien's blog always inspires me - https://www.prophotonut.com/
Plus I've bought most of his DVDs/videos.

Here are a couple of photographers that I also admire:

Simon Bolz - http://www.simonbolz.com/portfolio/

Martin Wieland - http://www.martinwieland.at/pages/photos.php


Best regards
Paul





Posted 31 March 2017
AndyGStudios
Photographer
AndyGStudios
Sux when you're stuck in a rut.

Hi, welcome to the rut...

Posted 31 March 2017
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
AndyGStudios

Sux when you're stuck in a rut. Hi, welcome to the rut...


Been there got bored. The views not great either and the company terrible. Well worth the climb back out.
Posted 31 March 2017
AndyGStudios
Photographer
AndyGStudios
Here, bored...

agreed...

The sides are slippy, and the hope is but a glimmer, but I keep dropping people messages... yet to hear back from anyone mind. Got an expensive 10mm lens here, yet to use it for anything. Bought it for the mojo-boosting climb out.

Still in the pit... playing with filters on old images. I guess im gonna be here for some time, at least till I get some real disposable cash flowing again. Seems to be all about paying exorbitant sums these days, comply or sod off. Hope the scene one day returns to the vibrant creative community it once was - I miss that.

Posted 31 March 2017
Edited by AndyGStudios 31 March 2017
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
AndyGStudios

Here, bored... agreed... The sides are slippy, and the hope is but a glimmer, but I keep dropping people messages... yet to hear back from anyone mind. Got an expensive 10mm lens here, yet to use it for anything. Bought it for the mojo-boosting climb out. Still in the pit... playing with filters on old images. I guess im gonna be here for some time, at least till I get some real disposable cash flowing again. Seems to be all about paying exorbitant sums these days, comply or sod off. Hope the scene one day returns to the vibrant creative community it once was - I miss that.


While I seem to find the female nude as agreable as most photographers perhaps its time to look at other areas too. I can find models and MUA's to collaborate when needed but I find they much prefer fashion and conceptual ideas with a clear shoot plan. I have over seventy inquiries on a simple headshot casting to sort on a site few think about for modelling. Thats the great thing about cameras. You can point them at about anything and something learned in one area can usually be used in another.

What about Photigy for example. Still got to be better than the crap on TV most evenings surely. I've sold shots of empty bottles and wine glasses on Alamy more than once!

Another site I like to visit every now and then is Phlearn. Again they some great free tutorials that may kick off ideas

The hardest part is learning to ignore George, as Julia Kelleher called that voice in her head. You know the one, its been on here a few times of late. The one that is alwasy saying you are not good enough. This or that will never work. People will never buy your work, models won't work with you. blah blah blah. Like I said the company is terrible down there.
Posted 1 April 2017
AndyGStudios
Photographer
AndyGStudios
I hear ya, and ya, i'm always on phlearn lol, despite being a photoshop user since the mid 90's - there's always something fresh to practice. Re: Other areas, I do, in fact, find nudes a bit boring now, it's been done to death, nice till you learn how to light a body, after that, there's not much challenge to be had. At the same time, I don't think it's wise to pay to get a headshot you can't actually do anything with, it should really have a purpose. Once you have a portfolio, it should be selling your time and skills in showing what you can do; continuously overtreading the same ground is pointless, as is continually showing your work to the wrong audience - and I think that's what's going on here. I think the next step for me, is in ditching these sites and selling what I have through sites such as alamy as you mentioned, and to go learn marketing. They say shoot what you love, then sell that in places that buy it. Models aren't biting, so maybe im a bit wasted here. The hard bit is figuring out what to do next, and I think the marketing angle might well be it. Reviving the mojo could well be a red herring, especially if there's nothing left to revive, i've done what I set out to do. Also you look at the environment, sites are quiet, Mansion Studios closes today and is selling off props (not by any means the first in the last 12 months). We've got Jan Cotterill accusing Purpleport of hacking and taking down her competing website (Source: Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/jan.everton.1?fref=ts&ref=br_tf ) with accusations of porn involved (unless it's an April 1st thing.) It's an environment not condusive of the creative work together mindset. What happened to it all? People used to seek out good photographers, now photographers have to do all the chasing, begging to work for free just to practice. There's no end result without photographers and their skills, where did it all go wrong. Take group shoots that involve fashion houses. Studio gets paid, model gets paid, might even get to keep the outfit or jewelery. The fashion house gets the pics as part of the deal in bringing the dress. So... everyone is paid in some form, just, not the photographer - they do all the paying out to attend. You're essentially paying, to work. Who does that ??? What happened to the fashion house (in this example) having to buy (at a reduced rate) the resulting pics, so that the photographer has some money to come back another day and do it again, or invest in better kit. There's no encouragement, its all an uphill crawl with no apparent reward at the end other than the satisfaction of saying "ya, I did that" With weddings, everything has set prices, till it comes to the photographer, then they go with the cheapest available unless you'll do it for less. It's just not the coveted and appreciated skill as it once was. Very disheartening and no incentive to keep going. No wonder it's all gone quiet. Kudos to those who can make it work.
Posted 1 April 2017
Edited by AndyGStudios 1 April 2017
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
I'm keeping clear of spats between sites. I don't need them to run my business. As you say the point of the model sites was to build portfolios or find paid work in both directions. As for the portrait studios they will come and go of course, that's life but there is good money being made. Ditto weddings. The hard part is getting into the mindset where you are not tempted to get dragged into a race to the bottom. I was lucky I accept that. I did not have to make money immediately so I could take risks. It is far easier saying this is my price and mean it when you can afford to watch the client walk away.

Sales and marketing are definitely what makes or breaks things. That is what gets you into the real meat instead of desperately fighting for the loose crumbs.

No need to pay for doing portraits. plenty of ways to get people in for portfolio building and there is a point but only if that is the market you are aiming to make a living at of course. I'm actually in the process of swapping out much of my nude work on the sites as I do think it puts models off who are not interested in that work. I suppose they fear getting pushed to work to higher levels.



Posted 1 April 2017
AndyGStudios
Photographer
AndyGStudios
Best way, was just illustrating the turmoil that seems to be present every time you pop your head up from the parapet these days. Good money, to quote Clarance Bodiker from Robocop... is where you find it... (still looking.) Weddings, nah, had my share of abuse from brides, been there done that, had the grief after because they can't wait for the edits; because - photos edit themselves don't they - and instantly in camera too. Total disrespect is all I found in that genre, wouldn't mind but I took some crackin' images.

The race to the bottom is not a mindset I ever wanted to be a part of, and indeed do not partake in. Bloody annoying to be undercut beyond the point of basic insurance and lens rental though by absolute rank amateurs who wouldn't know what hit em if the single memory card camera suddenly stopped working with no backup, resulting in a ruined day and fleeting but magical moments missed. If anything THEE most important person at a wedding, other than the bride and groom of course, IS the photographer; providing tangible things you can take away from the day, while the day itself is transient, of the moment, giving you the best memories of the day.

Ye, im tired now of the loose crumbs. Have been invited to do a studio day tomorrow. £20 to attend - yay, more opportunity to pay to work. Tenner for models though - why ?

Yeah, despite only a third of my port being topless or nude, im thinking that's a good call. Initially I thought it being a modelling site, people would want to know what you are capable of doing... what your experience is... guess not if the key to success is avoiding posting nudes. Which takes us back to 'why use model sites when everyone is on facebook'? defeats the point somewhat. But I absolutely echo where you're coming from.



Posted 1 April 2017
Edited by AndyGStudios 1 April 2017
diipii
Photographer
diipii


Phlearn: Never heard of this but it looks like a "Photoshop is what you must have to make great shots" site. Photoshop is something I would never want to be without but it won't make great shots and might furtle up a few if you think like that.

Weddings: From experience I know this is a great way to make some cash in a clean, social environment. But, don't chase the lowest price or that's the end of the market you will be dealing with. Not pleasant at all and will never make you any money.

Don't copy. Go out and shoot what you want and poop to anybody else.

Mojos come and go. That's what they do. Take a break, maybe shoot video for a while. Just use your phone and some basic NLE software and have fun. I am doing this now and it is fun.

Avoid camera clubs. This way lies madness. All that comparing of kit and fatuous up-their-own-botties jargon whores will destroy your soul.

Never shoot with other people (except models) concentration is important.

Always go your own way with photography and never listen to anybody (especially old gits like me who think they know it all) Originality is what pleases but it doesn't have to change the world. Experiment, experiment, experiment. I bought a stealth cam and put a 10x CU lens on it with gaffer tape and got some good stuff. I stopped looking through the viewfinder and just pointed the camera in crowds and got some good stuff. I shot video and told myself colour became all about the colour so shot in B&W and sound became all about the sound so shot silent and got some good stuff. Who says my stuff is good ? Me that's who. It's all about me and I love not having to please anyone else. Why the hell should I ???

Don't fret it - have fun instead.




Posted 13 April 2017
Edited by diipii 13 April 2017
redbaron
Photographer
redbaron
diipii

Phlearn: Never heard of this but it looks like a "Photoshop is what you must have to make great shots" site. Photoshop is something I would never want to be without but it won't make great shots and might furtle up a few if you think like that.


While I agree entirely with your comments on photoshop and would not put Phlearn on a pedestal if you think that then you have only given it a brief glance as quite a bit if not most of some tutorials is about the setting up of sets and the creative concepts before photoshop. Different people will draw inspiration in different ways. For me there are no absolutes. I put it out there because there will be some who have not heard of it and perhaps the odd person who finds inspiration from something on that site. As indeed others may draw that from something in your post.
Posted 13 April 2017
AndyGStudios
Photographer
AndyGStudios
There are many great alternatives to photoshop, and not all at that price-point. Gimp, Corel Paint, Affinity Photo etc... all worth looking into. Phlearn is just one small facet in a very large dynamically creative digital world. Besides, a lot of what they do can in some form be translated to most packages these days. Ya right on the weddings though, 100%. Disagree on the camera clubs though, some can be a lot of fun, I used to go to a local one till a certain jealous individual spoiled it for me... can meet some nice folks, you chat, you share technique, and you show photos - not much different to here really, cept... add some beer. lol. Beats sitting on your own thumbing through a photography magazine looking for ideas.

Posted 16 April 2017
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
Back to the OPs question.....I found film revived my interest in quite a few ways. First.....it revived a whole skill set that I might have lost.Developing film for example. That led me to sites and publications that are analogue orientated.And exploring charity shops for interesting photo books and mags. Especially featuring B+W images. I invested some money in additional MF lenses for my Bronica.....and got a couple of old Canon's out again. I began exploring scanning techniques and ways to work with the scans in Photoshop. I began printing stuff again...so another avenue to explore. And for something totally different.....I bought a phone before Christmas with a 15 MB camera. And it is pretty good....which has motivated me to get more into landscapes etc...and using apps like Snapseed. Which I can import into Photoshop and continue working on. And sometimes I import pics from computer to my phone or iPad and work on them using photo apps. So lots to do!!
Posted 21 May 2017
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