Inspiration comes from within. There are a number of things that inspire me. I can say that everyday I find something different. I don't think about it too much, many times it's best to "let it come to you", when you're not focused but you are aware of your surroundings.
Let me explain.
I tend to doodle, always have, during phone calls, meetings, during courses and it all started when I was in elementary school. All my note books were filled with doodles and poems, quotes, hand writing practice and so on. I still do those things, involuntarily perhaps.
My sketch books have themes and different purposes. To release tension and free my thoughts I make doodles, mostly watercolor sketches and ink art work. Letting the pen flow on a piece of paper for at least 15 minutes a day, helps me think about other things not just a specific idea. While I draw my thoughts funnel out. Once my mind is free, I can continue to work. Whether it's writing a blog post, a caption for an image, retouching a photo or planning a photo shoot, there are times when in order to get inspired I have to not think and focus my mind on nothing.
If you're not artistic or simply don't want to try this method, try meditating or yoga. I find that with any of these three activities my mind frees it's self the same. The point is to think about nothing. To not be entertained. Get bored. It's good for you! Here is a video about boredom and why it's good for inspiration: TEDTalk
This method will not work if you're trying to perfect your drawing skills. You will need to concentrate on improvement. Not entertain your brain with pod casts, music or movies while you are drawing. When your mind is focused, you will see clear improvement in anything you do. However, if your mind is focused on personal problems, bills, and deadlines; then getting inspired to work on something creative can be hard. So give your mind a time out.
Watching TV I know helps many people. It doesn't help me. When I watch a show on Netflix or a movie in a theater or on TV, I focus on the story. Many times I interrupt the story, in my head, to think about the lighting and composition, but I never do anything with that information. It's just a post-it inside my head. Books are also great to distract me or transport me, but they never have inspired me to work.
I have a system that works for me to find inspiration. Here it is:
Links I look at every single day, religiously. And I think you should too:
For daily inspiration, I also look at work from my favorite Photographers:
Sue Bryce - Notice how my images are nothing like hers. I love her work. I admire her talent, her way of seeing and her wisdom. But I am not copying her style. Following photographers and looking at their work should be just that. Not copying them or trying to be them. That is just stupid.
Fearless Photographers - This group has been not only a big inspiration but also a huge motivator to continue to shoot weddings during the hardest moments of my life.
Visura & Adriana Teresa: Visura is an amazing tool, a portfolio space, a learning space, a publishing space, an opportunity to win grants, attend portfolio reviews. Its a place to connect with future employers, editors, colleagues and friends. It's so amazing that I have not even begun to explore all of it. Last I saw, they offer an amazing platform that can create a beautiful professional website for your portfolio.
These are just some of the TedTalks that I recommend. I think these are great are great to watch for inspiration and also just for learning.
My family of course inspires me a great deal. My parents, brother, sisters, my partner and his two girls are always on my mind. A lot of what I do and I am able to do, revolves around them and the time I want to spend with them.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Either online or in person, talk to people that teach you everyday. People that care whether or not you become who you want to be. That push you to be better at your craft. People who believe in you. They don't have to be photographers or even know about photography.
Originally written in November 14, 2017 Revised and republished in July 09, 2020