5 Tips for Photographers Trying To Keep Motivated During Lockdown

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With quarantine keeping them stuck indoors for the present, it may be hard for would-be photographers to find the right motivation to keep practicing.

When in the same four walls all day, there will be little inspiration for your next project, with fewer of those chance moments that need to be captured on camera.

British photographer Rankin recently shared his wisdom on creativity in a podcast and also spoke to us about five different ways to keep filling up your camera roll during the quarantine, while building out your photography skills and portfolio.

Rediscover Your Environment

As time passes and our surroundings grow familiar, we begin to ignore what we perceive around us. We get so used to the spaces we inhabit that we often don’t recognise the opportunities they may present to us artistically.

We can rediscover these spaces by trying to see them in new ways. For instance, examining the changes of light during the day or finding new angles from which to view it (closer to the floor or higher up on a chair).

Challenge Yourself

To motivate yourself to keep trying out new things, you need to give yourself a challenge. Ask yourself, what is it you are trying to be creative about? While the constraints of being indoors are already a task in itself, it is important to still be ambitious in your projects.

Most great photography comes from the need to solve a problem or explore an idea. If you create a provoking problem for yourself to work through or even find things you think could improve in existing work, this will help generate a lot more ideas.

Stay Offline

To find inspiration in the world around you, you need to make sure you are immersed in it. To this end it is important to ensure that you are spending a good amount of time exploring the space around you and not spending too much of it distracted online.

Of course, while it may be helpful to do your research online about techniques or practices, it is the space around you that you need to be using. As such, it may be helpful to put a limit on the amount of time you spend using your phone or laptop.


Get Weird With It

In the spirit of finding new challenges and rediscovering spaces, it is a good time to embrace the weirder ideas you may have. If you’re scared of being derivative, more unusual approaches may help you find something you love.

Immerse yourself in new cultures by consuming media that is outside your typical interests. This could lead to wider inspiration from sources you may not usually look to. Most importantly, if you think of something new, just go for it!

Debate & Discuss

It’s great to disagree on things. It’s a real source of inspiration to debate ideas with other photographers or artists and apply it to your work. While we’ve discussed that it is important not to spend too much time online, finding online forums and spaces to discuss your ideas with other artists may lead to some great ideas. In practice, you might find it helpful to do this in the evenings once you’ve spent the day trying out new things and have ideas to discuss. 

Now is a better time than any for photographers to hone their skills. With the limited movement available to them, there is an opportunity for them to discover new ways of looking at the spaces around them and of finding inspiration. The main thing is to just experiment, find works for you and run with it!

Rankin is a British portrait and fashion photographer and director. This article was inspired by a discussion in the NineTwentyNine Fiverr podcast. Header image: Ken Gerhardt


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