User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  15
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Help!! I Need Inspiration!!

  1. #1
    All CC is welcome
    Join Date
    03 Jul 2010
    Location
    South Penrith
    Posts
    787
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Help!! I Need Inspiration!!

    Hi Everyone,

    I don't quite know what I am asking about here, but one thing I know - I've lost my mojo. I feel pretty down and uninspired about my photography at the moment. I know part of it, a big part, is my life. I don't mean to complain, I am blessed to have the life that I have, and I know it's only temporary, but I find this so very frustrating. I am a mother and I am making sacrifices for the good of my daughter. My husband and I both work full time and we have made the conscious decision to keep her out of childcare for now, I am fortunate with my job that I can work my hours around the hours of my husband so we can enable this for her. This means I work afternoons and nights, five days a week, including Sundays, it means I may be lucky to get two days off in a row, maybe a grand total of 10 times in a year, if I'm lucky, it means that when I am not working during the day, I have my daughter solely with me.... a child who is nearly two, loves to run in all directions, doesn't have a fear of anything and never stops. I'm serious about that - She do NOT stop, EVER! I am also a musician, which means I spend one of my days off every week with my musical commitments and then there is my practice every day. On top of this there is the socialisation commitments for my daughter - play dates, playgroup and somehow keeping the house running too. On my other day off, this is usually the day I catch up with my family commitments, "social life" and occasional extra days of work.

    For my photography - this means that I am practically never able to catch a sunset as I am always working at that time. I am never able to catch a sunrise as I am always sleeping at that time. I find it very difficult to leave the house for photography, because I am the only one who can watch my daughter at that time and I don't know how to watch her properly, keep her safe from danger and concentrate on my photography at the same time. My house is extremely uninspiring, it's a rental, its daggy and the closest thing to a plant I can photograph are the dandelions that grow in the front yard. I usually photograph my daughter or my cats or my family when I see them, but this can wear a little thin for my viewers, I think. So please help. I know there are mothers out there who some how manage to do all these things and somehow manage to consistently produce fabulous works of art, so how do I do this?

    I read all the time, photography magazines, books on photography and of course, this website (I can't reply or comment from work. The internet browser there is one of the incompatible ones which doesn't allow posts). I generally read at times when I can't have my camera in my hand (like when I am on hold at work, or when I am in bed, trying to get to sleep) and when I am able to, I have my camera in my hands, snapping away. I am known as "The Tourist" amongst some of my family members, mainly the ones who have forgotten what my face looks like without a camera stuck to it. Any suggestions...? Anyone? I am thinking about doing the 52 week challenge next year, to force me to do at least one photograph every week (I'd love to do the 365... wait 366 day challenge next year, but I think that would extend myself just that little bit too much...), which I have been doing this year on a social media site, but the feedback is usually "Oooh! Ahhh! Pretty!" rather than "You need to be careful with your focus here and watch your exposure there", which I think would help improve my work. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!!

    Erin.
    Better known as Erin.


  2. #2
    Ausphotography Veteran
    Join Date
    08 Nov 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    3,303
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It sounds like the problem isn't a lack of inspiration or mojo -- you just don't have enough time, and when you do have time, you're probably exhausted from all that running around you're doing.

    I think you need to go and have a look at some amazing images, find out what interests you, and try to plan a time to go out and shoot that subject matter when you can. Being tired from working and being a parent is going to slag you no matter what your hobbies are; but if you can find a balance and get some rest first, perhaps then when you're more able to tackle the rest of the world, and armed with some inspiration sourced from beautiful images of subjects you'd like to shoot, being in the right frame of mind will do wonders.

    For what it's worth, I lose my 'mojo' all the time. Life is a balancing act. I do have time for photography, but not always; and when I do have time, I may not have the desire. Photography is just one of a number of things I have going on, and when the elements align (ie, time, opportunity, inspiration and desire), I pursue it.

    If the image isn't out there tapping me on the shoulder, then I won't try to force it.

    I hope this helps you.

  3. #3
    All CC is welcome
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    03 Jul 2010
    Location
    South Penrith
    Posts
    787
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    It sounds like the problem isn't a lack of inspiration or mojo -- you just don't have enough time, and when you do have time, you're probably exhausted from all that running around you're doing.

    I think you need to go and have a look at some amazing images, find out what interests you, and try to plan a time to go out and shoot that subject matter when you can. Being tired from working and being a parent is going to slag you no matter what your hobbies are; but if you can find a balance and get some rest first, perhaps then when you're more able to tackle the rest of the world, and armed with some inspiration sourced from beautiful images of subjects you'd like to shoot, being in the right frame of mind will do wonders.

    For what it's worth, I lose my 'mojo' all the time. Life is a balancing act. I do have time for photography, but not always; and when I do have time, I may not have the desire. Photography is just one of a number of things I have going on, and when the elements align (ie, time, opportunity, inspiration and desire), I pursue it.

    If the image isn't out there tapping me on the shoulder, then I won't try to force it.

    I hope this helps you.
    Yeah, you're pretty spot on with the tiredness. I'm averaging about 5 hours a night of sleep and then running after a toddler all day and then working in a very emotionally draining job all night... there just isn't enough of me to go around. If I get an idea for a shot, I often research on google, see what is around, find what I like and then dream up how I would emmulate that. I find that I am most interested in candid portraiture, but I often drive past landscapes and think "oooh... tripod, long exposure, nice, narrow aperture.... Darn, I need to be at work soon!" I was driving to work this morning, pre-dawn, there was that beautiful, deep purple colour to the sky with gorgeous bare trees silhouetted up against it, stars in the sky... /sigh. I think I need to turn my eyeballs into cameras so I can capture what I see, LOL. I am also relieved to hear that I am not the only one that loses their mojo. Thank you for everything you have said

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular Allie's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 May 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    805
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's an idea, on one of those mornings per week when you have sole care of your daughter make a point of discovering parks, gardens, playground equipment, open spaces, places of interest, etc around your area (I did a quick google of Penrith and it looks as of there are plenty of places around) even if only close enough to be within your time contraints regarding work or other commitments. Somewhere that your daughter can run off some energy or have some focus by getting her to find you a pretty flower, small bird something she likes that you can photograph. I don't know much about children of that age group but photographing stuff found during mum and daughter time can have dual purpose of getting you to take a photo of a bridge, a bird, a weed, a swing in the breeze, a distant mountain etc etc plus have a record of that time you spend together. Anyway something to get you thinking.

  5. #5
    Member reflect's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Feb 2010
    Location
    Burleigh Heads, Queensland
    Posts
    418
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I travel a lot, I have young kids and wife with a stressful career and have found two things, 1. dont add stress by forcing yourself to take photos when you just cant, accept that this is a stage of life and go with it, 2. this point will probably be scorned at, but buy a good point and shoot or a phone with a good camera and have it with you all the time. Use the P&S/Phone to develop composition, angle of light etc skills. I carry one everywhere (almost) I go just for the fun of it, I think you will be amazed what you can produce, good luck!!
    Last edited by reflect; 07-11-2011 at 2:33pm.
    Andrew
    D700, D5000, Various Nikon and Sigma Lenses and lots of other expensive thingys with buttons and knobs (some even go Bing !!)
    www.andrewplacephotography.com.au

  6. #6
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Oct 2009
    Location
    Forster- Tuncurry, eastern Australia
    Posts
    1,600
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    G'day Erin

    I remember a couple of thousand years ago - well way back in the 70s anyway - when my kiddies were all pre-schoolers. Up with the crack of dawn, they ran and ran until they learned some self-discipline at around 3yrs of age anyway - but they were still kids with lots of energy, while I/we were both doing 1-1/2 jobs to try to crack the house mortgage

    It was not an easy time

    One of our solutions was to 'pair-up' with a neighbour with child/ren of a similar age and thus -for the hours they had our little darling/s, we obtained some "quiet-time / private-time" for us as adults ... it became golden-time for us & them when we returned the favour

    maybe it could work for you too

    Hope this helps a little bit
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

  7. #7
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
    Join Date
    21 Nov 2010
    Location
    magical Mudgee
    Posts
    16,370
    Mentioned
    22 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've found that One Thing/One Week in the Members Challengers area of AP gives me something specific to try and photograph each week. (something to focus on )
    Everything changes with time, hang in there, you'll see.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S, Sigma 120-400, a speedlite, a tripod, a monopod, a remote release and a padded bag to carry things in.

  8. #8
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,128
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Here is an idea that I have suggested a few times, It is designed to bring creativity back to your photography, and the good thing is you do not have to leave home.

    Pick a room of the house, any room. Go into the room and I want you to take 50 photos. But here is the catch, you cannot take the same photo twice. You will find that for the first 10-20 shots you will get the regular stuff, but after that you are forced to start looking for funky angles, close-ups, unusual ways of looking at the room and the things in it. Give it a go, it can be quite challenging and rewarding, especially if you get a unique angle/idea on something in the room.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    RICK
    My Photography

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    12 Sep 2010
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    861
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    this is a common study...quite simply because it works. just keep making absurd rules that force you to look harder.
    50 shots of the bathroom but don't let any of them indicate that you're in the bathroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Here is an idea that I have suggested a few times, It is designed to bring creativity back to your photography, and the good thing is you do not have to leave home.

    Pick a room of the house, any room. Go into the room and I want you to take 50 photos. But here is the catch, you cannot take the same photo twice. You will find that for the first 10-20 shots you will get the regular stuff, but after that you are forced to start looking for funky angles, close-ups, unusual ways of looking at the room and the things in it. Give it a go, it can be quite challenging and rewarding, especially if you get a unique angle/idea on something in the room.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    18 Nov 2010
    Location
    Santiago
    Posts
    166
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Im on the same track as Maezyra for some months now, so Thanks her and all the comments as they make sense to me too, I might try the bathroom though mine is very little!!
    From the end of the World with a Nikon D90, Nikon 16/85 3.5-5.6 and Sigma 30 1.4
    Come and visit!

  11. #11
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
    Join Date
    24 Jun 2007
    Location
    Hobart
    Posts
    15,128
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Patagonia View Post
    Im on the same track as Maezyra for some months now, so Thanks her and all the comments as they make sense to me too, I might try the bathroom though mine is very little!!
    Makes it all the more fun and challenging, if the room is small.

    PS. take a step ladder with you. Getting down low or up high can get the creativity starting

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    06 Aug 2011
    Location
    Geelong
    Posts
    212
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For all the mums out there who are in the same situation as the OP, remember this, childhood doesn't last long. No matter how hard it may seem now to do all the things you want to do, we do manage to fit in the really important stuff. Your daughter is your most important stuff and if you seem to have lost your mojo, maybe its just that photography has been relegated to where it belongs in your life right now. Put the camera away for a while if you have to instead of trying to force yourself to find inspiration. Treat yourself with it when you can by making a special day. Miss a play date, play group (at 2 yrs old believe me, it wont matter) - have your husband, family member or friend come along for a drive somewhere you would like to take photos. Most of all take a breath and give yourself a break from the expectation you have that you have to do it all because efore you know it, they have grown up and gone and you have all the time in the world to take pictures .

    Diane

  13. #13
    All CC is welcome
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    03 Jul 2010
    Location
    South Penrith
    Posts
    787
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Allie View Post
    Here's an idea, on one of those mornings per week when you have sole care of your daughter make a point of discovering parks, gardens, playground equipment, open spaces, places of interest, etc around your area (I did a quick google of Penrith and it looks as of there are plenty of places around) even if only close enough to be within your time contraints regarding work or other commitments. Somewhere that your daughter can run off some energy or have some focus by getting her to find you a pretty flower, small bird something she likes that you can photograph. I don't know much about children of that age group but photographing stuff found during mum and daughter time can have dual purpose of getting you to take a photo of a bridge, a bird, a weed, a swing in the breeze, a distant mountain etc etc plus have a record of that time you spend together. Anyway something to get you thinking.
    Thank you, Allie - This is a very good idea. Yes, there are heaps of parks around, but the problem with most of them is that they are surrounded by roads, rivers, creeks, and various other dangerous things, but I will keep my eye out for a safe one. She is also a bolter - She can't be trusted to stay in one place, just yet, nor can she be trusted not to climb the highest possible piece of equipment and jump off it - She is one crazy little lady!! I do meet with a mother's group every couple of weeks, and they are very helpful at watching over her, although, we won't be going to parks for awhile - They are all open fields (with little interest beyond the equipment) and no shade - Being that we are all very prone to burning / skin cancer, we are just going to each other's houses. I do often take a lot of photos of their children and sometimes I get lucky.

    Quote Originally Posted by reflect View Post
    I travel a lot, I have young kids and wife with a stressful career and have found two things, 1. dont add stress by forcing yourself to take photos when you just cant, accept that this is a stage of life and go with it, 2. this point will probably be scorned at, but buy a good point and shoot or a phone with a good camera and have it with you all the time. Use the P&S/Phone to develop composition, angle of light etc skills. I carry one everywhere (almost) I go just for the fun of it, I think you will be amazed what you can produce, good luck!!
    You are absolutely right about the stressful career, Andrew. I have a very emotionally draining job. Part of my job is deciding whether or not homeless people get a room for the night. In another part of my duties is to deal with all manner of other very intense issues - Complaints management, dealing with fraud and corruption issues, deaths, domestic violence issues, fires, the list goes on... I do have an iPhone that has an okay camera providing there is plenty of light around. I generally have only used it to capture my daughter's milestones and then send those pictures via MMS to family and friends. I really should try getting it out more often to photograph other things. Thank you again.

    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieTraveller View Post
    G'day Erin

    I remember a couple of thousand years ago - well way back in the 70s anyway - when my kiddies were all pre-schoolers. Up with the crack of dawn, they ran and ran until they learned some self-discipline at around 3yrs of age anyway - but they were still kids with lots of energy, while I/we were both doing 1-1/2 jobs to try to crack the house mortgage

    It was not an easy time

    One of our solutions was to 'pair-up' with a neighbour with child/ren of a similar age and thus -for the hours they had our little darling/s, we obtained some "quiet-time / private-time" for us as adults ... it became golden-time for us & them when we returned the favour

    maybe it could work for you too

    Hope this helps a little bit
    Regards, Phil
    Another great idea, Phil... only problem is - No neighbours But, as mentioned earlier, maybe I should steal some time during playgroup or mother's group. I am very fortunate in the mother's group as one is a professional photographer and two others are beginner DSLR users like me - So they understand (and they have beautiful, very photogenic children! BONUS!). I'll see what work arounds I can organise in my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    I've found that One Thing/One Week in the Members Challengers area of AP gives me something specific to try and photograph each week. (something to focus on )
    Everything changes with time, hang in there, you'll see.
    Thanks, Mark! I used to do the One Thing / 2 Days challenge before my daughter was mobile and before I went back to work, but it fell a bit by the wayside because it got a bit much. I should check out that one - a week is far more manageable. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Here is an idea that I have suggested a few times, It is designed to bring creativity back to your photography, and the good thing is you do not have to leave home.

    Pick a room of the house, any room. Go into the room and I want you to take 50 photos. But here is the catch, you cannot take the same photo twice. You will find that for the first 10-20 shots you will get the regular stuff, but after that you are forced to start looking for funky angles, close-ups, unusual ways of looking at the room and the things in it. Give it a go, it can be quite challenging and rewarding, especially if you get a unique angle/idea on something in the room.
    Thank god for digital photography, Rick!! In the good old film days that really wouldn't have been a feasible option, but now in the age of digital - It's very possible! I'll give this a go and see what I come up with! Thanks again!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sunny6teen View Post
    this is a common study...quite simply because it works. just keep making absurd rules that force you to look harder.
    50 shots of the bathroom but don't let any of them indicate that you're in the bathroom.
    It is an interesting idea. I don't quite know how I could do that, but I'll give it some thought. Probably doesn't help that I have the worlds MOST UGLY bathroom, but maybe that is just more inspiration - make the ugly beautiful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patagonia View Post
    Im on the same track as Maezyra for some months now, so Thanks her and all the comments as they make sense to me too, I might try the bathroom though mine is very little!!
    We'll get there, Patagonia! And you are welcome Maybe we could make our own challenge - Busy, Time Poor Parents Managing to Take Photos Somehow!

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Makes it all the more fun and challenging, if the room is small.

    PS. take a step ladder with you. Getting down low or up high can get the creativity starting
    This sounds like a challenge for me - my whole house is small!!

    Quote Originally Posted by bluey1960 View Post
    For all the mums out there who are in the same situation as the OP, remember this, childhood doesn't last long. No matter how hard it may seem now to do all the things you want to do, we do manage to fit in the really important stuff. Your daughter is your most important stuff and if you seem to have lost your mojo, maybe its just that photography has been relegated to where it belongs in your life right now. Put the camera away for a while if you have to instead of trying to force yourself to find inspiration. Treat yourself with it when you can by making a special day. Miss a play date, play group (at 2 yrs old believe me, it wont matter) - have your husband, family member or friend come along for a drive somewhere you would like to take photos. Most of all take a breath and give yourself a break from the expectation you have that you have to do it all because efore you know it, they have grown up and gone and you have all the time in the world to take pictures .

    Diane
    Thank you, Diane - This sounds like good advice for my whole life. For some reason I feel like I have to do everything and I have to be perfect at it all. It's funny, I had this same conversation with my supervisor at work, just before reading your post - I HAVE to cut myself some slack. I want to be the best mother, I want to be the best at my job, I want to resume my musical ability to where it was before I had my daughter (and I was performing right up until 2 weeks before she was born. This was a spectacle and a half - I am 4'11" or 150cm {ie: Tiny} with a rather large baby for someone of my stature {8lbs or 3.6kgs - 50cm long - Yep, one third of my height AT BIRTH}, and there I was up on stage, looking like I was about to topple over at any moment, playing Quantz's Concerto in G Major, which is a rather challenging blow for someone in peak condition, let alone someone who is 38 weeks pregnant and exhausted), I want to train myself to be a natural artist with photography, I want to have the perfectly clean and immaculate house - But I just can't have ALL of that, can I? I can only be a mother to a young child for such a limited amount of time, so yes, that takes priority. Work - I am more than achieving the benchmarks - I should stop stressing and continue to do exactly what I am doing. Music - Now this one is tricky... I have been playing flute for almost a quarter of a century now. All of my academic training is in music. Music is what became my first passion (dancing was my first, but this wasn't to be). I have known my classical training for such a long time and I know what I am capable of... but my body is letting me down. I am not in condition and it frustrates me. My mentor, again, has told me to stop stressing, all is not lost and in time, probably in about 3 years time, when my daughter starts school, I can get back to the hours and hours a day practice that I need, but for now, it's okay to let it go a bit. Photography, again is even further down the priority list - So you are right - prioritise, relax and enjoy that which is fleeting - The rest can be picked up at a later stage.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •