This month’s blog post is one that other photographers will be able to relate to. I’ve been getting the itch to get out and do some shooting but it’s been so dreary out lately that I haven’t really been motivated to photograph anything outdoors. That got me thinking about some things I could possibly do to keep the creative juices flowing over those long winter months. I tend to get in a rut over the winter so I’m determined to not let that happen this winter. Here are a few things I plan on doing to keep myself immersed in some aspect of what I love doing:
- Start a project: My project is pretty straightforward. It’s called Project 52. I take one photo every week for a full year. This project will start the first week of January. I’ll actually end up taking more that one photo a week because one of the things I want to focus on is taking the one photo for the week, then trying to figure out ways to make that photo better. That means I’ll end up taking several versions of the same image, hopefully improving my creativity along the way.
- Invest in what you don’t know: When you have a sizable chunk of downtime, why not take the time to learn more about some aspect of photography that you don’t quite have a firm grasp on. If you’re new to the business side of things, now would be a perfect time to take a class or two to help you manage your new business more efficiently. If you’re still learning the technical side of photography, there is an overwhelming amount of FREE information out there to help you make better sense of what you see when you look through a viewfinder. Whatever you feel even the most sketchy about, take this perfect opportunity to learn more about it and make that struggle disappear!
- Work on the business side of things: Winter is a perfect time to dedicate some solid hours to better your efforts at actively promoting your business. I will wholeheartedly admit that I need to put together a solid marketing plan. I’ll be grinding away at that to put together a short-term and long-term marketing plan. I also don’t know JACK about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Because I can readily admit that I know nothing about it, I realize that I might as well find someone who does. I’ll be looking to find a service to take care of my SEO needs.
- Take advantage of snow storms: While it does look very dreary outside at the moment, snow storms can provide gorgeous scenery for some winter photography. I’m not a huge fan of snow but I’ll be getting out to do some shooting when the snow begins to fall. I can already picture my dog, Chico, romping around in piles of snow taller than him!
- Take a break: For those of you who are lucky enough to be swamped during portrait/wedding season, the one thing that may actually help your creative juices might actually be to put the camera down for a while. Sometimes the best therapy is to turn around and walk away from something for a while and allow yourself the opportunity to miss it. The break can give you an opportunity to recharge and get back in touch with what it was that made you want to pick up a camera in the first place. If you are super busy, it’s very easy to get burned out. One you reach that point, it becomes “work” and once the fun turns to work, then it gets a bit harder to enjoy the creative side.
I plan on doing all of these things at some point over the winter. This (along with some new gear that I plan to buy 😉 ) should help keep me out of my winter slump so when spring comes around, I’ll be ready to hit the ground running. If you have any other ideas out there that have worked for you, please feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear about it!