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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

How To Deal With Not Feeling Creative

  • 4 min read

Many of us creatives go through periods of feeling uninspired and not creative. As photographers, it’s tough to pick up your camera and be happy with the image you’re creating. How to get out of this rut? I’ll share with you five things you can do to help you deal with not feeling creative.

1. Start a photo project

Hear me out. I know that a daily photo project seems very daunting and it could be very discouraging to many people. However, if you think about taking a photo every single day, then you will feel your creativity spark again eventually. Sometimes it will take more time than others, but it will happen. I have been taking photos every day ever since I started shooting in manual and I’ve definitely had periods of low creativity. Thinking about photography every day has gotten me out of those ruts.

I always have my camera out and ready for a photo. Those everyday moments are the ones I want to remember, especially when my kids are still little. In many of my daily photos, I will think of a new way to photograph a moment, because, more than likely, I’ve already taken a similar picture in the past. The below photos show our everyday moments, and in some of them I wasn’t feeling creative but had the camera handy when a good moment presented itself.


2. Try something new

Taking photos every day will force you to try something new. Shoot a new subject or try a new technique. Have you ever tried taking macro photos or shooting anything in nature? It just may be your next new favorite thing to capture. You don’t need fancy equipment to try macro photography. Many Lensbaby lenses, for instance, have macro capabilities. You can also use extension tubes or macro filters that you screw on the front of your lens.

Seeing everything up close instantly sparks my creativity because I’m thinking about what angles to shoot in or which perspective would look best in each situation. My go to for macro photography is flowers or plants and I like to shoot with the Lensbaby Velvet series.

Other new things you can try photographing are self portraits, landscapes, food photos, pet photography or street photography.


3. Shoot with same lens

Limiting yourself to particular gear forces you to explore new shooting techniques which brings out your creativity. If you are using the same lens, you’ll want to try new things so that your photos look different. It’s an excellent challenge to try, especially if the gear is new to you. I often limit myself to one or two lenses when I travel. I like to travel light, so this helps.

One lens I always bring with me on vacations is the Lensbaby trio 28. It has three optics in one so you have a variety of different looks and you can even turn the optic halfway to get a very unique look. The lens is so small that it’s super easy to pack in a small bag and you’re ready to vacation.



4. Shoot with a creative lens

There are many different kinds of creative lenses and some great ones to consider are Lensbaby lenses and optics. One of my favorite effects is called the sweet spot which has a circular spot of focus with blur all around. The lens or optics that feature this effect are sol 45, sweet 35, sweet 50. Sweet 80, double glass, and trio 28.

Shooting with this effect, or any other creative effect can spark creativity because it shows you your image in a different way. I remember when I received my first Lensbaby, the sol45, and put it on my camera. I was hooked immediately. I wanted to test the lens and see how the world looked through the lens of a sweet spot effect. It was an instant creativity boost and it always is every time I put a Lensbaby on my camera.

Another sure way to quickly boost your creativity is to shoot through something or simply put something in front of your lens to add interest to your photo. Lucky for us, Lensbaby’s Omni filters can do just that. There are different kinds of filters that reflect light in certain ways to make different effects. Some of my favorite filters are from the color expansion pack. I love to add a colorful haze to a part of the photo. Sometimes, it can mimic the haze of the sun which is nice to be able to do even on a cloudy day.

5. Plan a styled shoot

Another great way to boost your creativity is planning a styled shoot. This can be as detailed or as spontaneous as you want. I like to plan these little shoots with my daughter and we always have so much fun. I also usually end up with photos that I love and cherish and so many fun memories. She loves to dress up and I love to take photos. It’s a win for both of us. I usually go into these not expecting much and just enjoy the moment because that’s a sure way to let my creativity come out. If I feel the pressure, then I’m less likely to capture many photos that I’m happy with.

If there’s ever a moment that you get stuck in a rut, I hope you can use one of these tips to help you get back to creative shooting again.

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