Photography is very technical. The process of capturing images involves setting up your camera through a multitude of buttons and options. It is almost as if the craft is a field of science that requires photographers to have technical skills in setting up gears and post-processing.
However, while it is very technical in nature, photography is first and foremost a creative exercise. It is a visual art form that is also a medium for storytelling.
Whether you’re into photojournalism or wedding photography, you must have a quality that most artists have: Creativity. Being creative is an invaluable asset in this profession and hobby. It’s this that will dictate your “brand” and set you apart from other photographers. Fortunately, creativity is something that can be learned. You can train yourself and improve it as time goes by.
If you’re a photographer looking to make your work stand out in this competitive industry, you might want to practice the following tips to keep the creative juices flowing:
1. Be Curious.
Creativity and curiosity go hand in hand. By being curious, you will be able to see things that the average person can’t. Curious photographers ask things like “How will this shot look like if I take it from the floor?” and “What will happen if I move this object here?” By simply switching your perspectives, you will be able to expand your vision.
Aside from curiosity being a great way to explore new points of view, it is also generally a great attitude to have. It is what gives you the zest for life, and the excitement to see what the day has to offer. It opens up the gates to learning, and the humility to understand that there is always something new to learn.
Start by learning from great published and awarded photographers. What makes their photos good? What makes people like it? By being curious, you might even be able to find and develop your unique photographic voice.
2. Imagine the invisible.
Quite literally, we advise you to imagine which mundane events in our lives we cannot see. Can our naked eyes see the precise moment that water hits a surface? How about glass shattering on the floor? Think of these things and have a list of things that you think might be cool to capture in a photo. By freezing moments that the human eye cannot see, we show people things that were once thought impossible. This leaves your audience in awe, finding your photos captivating and beautiful.
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3. Skip your routine.
If you’re a sports photographer, you might learn new creative techniques by trying out motion blur photography. The point is for you to ditch your routine for a day to try new things. Repeatedly doing something is undoubtedly a cause of stagnation.
If you want to get out of a creative block, try that new thing you learned from a photography blog. Who knows? There may be some valuable techniques in experimental photography that you can apply to your genre.
4. Set limits.
For a day, try to limit yourself. It may be by leaving your DSLR behind, and relying on your smartphone camera on a weekend. This exercise will teach you that it is not the camera that you use that will make great photographs.
It is your keen eye for detail, curiosity, and taste for beauty that will. Test yourself without the multitude of controls from your DSLR. Sometimes, it is when we are restricted that we discover creative solutions.
5. Embrace imperfection.
There is no such thing as a perfect photograph. Even when you follow the rule of third or the golden ratio, there will always be a tinge of imperfection in your results. Just think of it this way: Perfection in art is subjective – it depends entirely on who is looking.
So, don’t obsess over that slight stain on the table, or the incorrect pose of your model. While it is important that you are critical of your own work, it is also important to note that imperfection in your work is what will make it look human. The goal, anyway, is to tell a story. Not to capture the perfect photo.
6. Experiment with accessories.
Thanks to new technological developments, photographers now enjoy accessories that make picture-taking more efficient and seamless. Use this to your advantage by experimenting. Learn which gear is useful for you, and how they will add to the beauty of your work. Do it yourself tricks are also available to create unique photos.
Experiment by playing with your flash modes, or by adding colored gels to the flash to create dramatic scenes. Another great trick is to use a MIOPS Smart Camera Trigger or a MIOPS RemotePlus remote trigger to capture lightning strikes that are otherwise hard to shoot. This accessory is also multifunctional, since it can also be used as a sound sensor to capture sound events, and for capturing time-lapse videos.
There is no limit to what accessory you can use to shoot more creative photos. Just make sure that the accessories that you will be investing in will be compatible with your current camera setup.
7. Tinker with your camera’s settings.
Your camera alone can help you become more creative. By simply playing around with its aperture, ISO, and shutter speed, you will be able to achieve distinctive results. A camera alone can produce motion blur, HDR, or double exposure photographs. Just tinker with your go-to camera to explore what it can do.
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Creativity, unlike what others make it out to be, is not something you are simply born with. It can be nurtured and improve by simply doing exercises. The tips we listed above are just a few things you can try to produce better and more creative photos.
To us, the most important thing you must take to heart is fostering an attitude of curiosity in your everyday life as a photographer. Having this quality is invaluable, and if honed consistently, will make everything else natural for you.
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