Where to find inspiration…

I’m in my fourth year of a 365 photo project – I completed full years in 2014 and 2015 and half-hearted ones in 2016 and 2017. But I keep going, one day at a time. I find it difficult to stop. Not only has my photography improved but I am beginning to develop a style (I think!) I blog a lot about my journey and my processes too – it helps to “got to know my why” and my emerging style.

But this year I have struggled to find inspiration. For blog writing and for photography themes. A lot of people do a 365 photo project to record their lives in a photo a day, others to improve their photography and others to refine a style. Some do it for the social aspect. Usually, this is enough for me. This year has been different. It has been like wringing blood from a stone. Hence a patchy and sporadic project.

I am not ready to give up

I have tried having a break from my 365 project and it does work, but I soon begin to miss the daily interaction and the discipline of posting something everyday. So I return, full of great ideas, which fizzle out after a few days. I know that if I give up on taking a photo a day, my camera will languish in the cupboard and grow mould. No seriously, I had a huge lapse about 10 years ago and my old camera did grow mould!

It is much easier when we go away for a break. I use the photos I take then to post on my project. After 4 years, I’ve made the rule that I can post a photo not taken on the right day, as many of the longer term members do. When I started out in 2014, I would never have contemplated doing that!

So far this year I have tried all of these… hoping for more than momentary inspiration. I’m still here and posting, so I suppose it works sometimes.

Prompts

When I am at a loss, I always think I can stick to prompts. In an ideal world, it would be easier to do, but work and real life often get in the way and daily inspiration for interpreting the prompt seems to desert me. I’ve dipped into most of these this year – the key word being dipped.

  • The free Photoblog calendar, which has a prompt for every day of the year, to guide you through a 365 project (NB: the 2018 version can be found here)
  • Katrina Kennedy’s “Capture your 365” monthly prompts
  • The monthly 365project.org prompt list, which is kindly put together by a member on the site
  • The Dogwood annual 52 week challenge, which is in its 2nd year
  • Prompts from many of the blogs on WordPress, such as the Weekly Photo Challenge or Debbie Smyth’s “Travel With Intent” weekly prompt.

Themes

My other approach is to come up with a theme. Of course there are lots of sites that provide ideas for themes, including the 365project site that I belong to. I often come up with my own ideas, but often I participate in themes which others on 365project are doing. It is fun to participate with others, to see how they approach a theme and to keep each other inspired.

  • February: Flash of Red February
  • March: 31 days of same object
  • April: A month of gratitude
  • May: Half and half (also on Instagram with #dashalfandhalfproject)
  • December: Laughing Buddha month (which I am also posting on Instagram this month, see my feed to the right) and SquareSky (inspired by Becky’s blog “The Life of B”)

Often, something in my home will be fair game for a short series: fluffy toys, my beaded animal menagerie, shells, rocks…. you get the idea!

Magnetic-dog-collage-001

Right now, I’m heading to my bed for an afternoon nap – maybe that will inspire me!

What do you do to keep inspired for photos? Do you record your day, however mundane, or do you participate in themes and projects? Or both!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about inspiration!

 

12 thoughts on “Where to find inspiration…

  1. shutterbug says:

    That is a good question! I have a bit of an obsession with birds but since it’s winter here, I am not out taking photos like I normally do. I just started blogging as a way to share so I still have a pile of photos. I really like the photo challenges and have been really inspired by Raj here.( You can see his posts under the XDrive tag). I find inspiration in other photographs, trying to mimic or replicate them (is it copying?). And lately, I have been thinking about trying to find a way to make the mundane, every day things I see into stunning photos. Similar to your 31 days of the same subject? I am having very limited success there, so far. But it keeps my brain working and trying to conjure up new ideas, new angles to try. I like what you have done with the bear – very cute and creative 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debs Stott 🌳 Everyday Delights says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts – I really appreciate it. The idea of making the mundane into somehting speacial is a good one, one that I try to do, considering I cannot be somewhere exotic most of the year! It does take patience though. So I’d say stick with it, becasue as you say it does keep your brain working and creative! My current 31-day attempt with my laughing Buddha is hard,​ because he is so static – but I have managed to do a few this month with him that tell a story​ of my everyday life. You can see him https://365project.org/tags/laughing-buddha-month or on my Instagram feed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shutterbug says:

        I love that bear! He is everywhere! That picture of him kissing Buddha is priceless! Thank you for the inspiration today! You have helped to drum up some ideas for me to try with my coffee cup experiment. Much appreciated!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • shutterbug says:

        I think it’s great that you named him 😊 About the coffee cup…I belong to a local photography club and this month’s theme (randomly picked from an ‘idea’ jar) is one object, from every angle. I chose a coffee cup, only because I wanted to nail ‘the steaming cup of coffee’ photo. And then I was stumped. How do you make a coffee cup more interesting? Is it the lines, the angles? The architecture? What’s in the cup? I have never attempted any still life photos before…After seeing your pictures with Dougal, I realized that I am missing a human element… I’d like to try to incorporate my hands holding the cup, maybe close to a window looking outside…the key will be to make sure the cup is still the focus but to have a lot of other elements to make it more interesting while still fulfilling the ‘every angle aspect.’

        Like

      • Debs Stott 🌳 Everyday Delights says:

        That sounds like a challenge, especially the steaming cup shot! How many photos do you need to take?
        But I think you are right, the human element is important, and perhaps some shots that tell a story, so your idea of sitting near a window. Here are some other ideas that just came to mind. Perhaps, you could also include the cup in with other cups, in the sink with bubbly water, on the dishrack, holding flowers or as part of a meal as context and to bring in a story… hey even I’m getting excited about it now!
        I don’t know if your camera has a flip back. If it does, you can set it up with a timer so you can take the picture of yourself holding the cup, which I’ve tried before and it works quite well.
        Have fun! I’d love to see your shots. Are you going to post them on WP?

        Liked by 1 person

      • shutterbug says:

        There is no limit on how many I take, but I may limit how many I show them due to time constraints 😊 I love your ideas! Thanks so much! And yes, I will definitely be posting them once I am done. I have until mid January to complete it. Thanks again, Debbie, for the inspiration!

        Like

  2. BeckyB says:

    oh I am so glad that #SquareSky is helping with inspiration this month, it really is difficult some days isn’t it. Have you visited Cee, she has at least three photo challenges a week and she sets them out well in advance which I find helps enormously.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debs Stott 🌳 Everyday Delights says:

      It really is, and I’m really looking at the sky every day to see what its like – something I don’t do too often. So thank you! I am about to post this weeks shots too!

      Yes, I dip in and out of Cee’s challenges, and others on WP when I have a photo that works, but I find themes really push my creativity because to go for a whole month means I have to think out of the box. Hey – I think I may just have answered a question I didn’t know I had!

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s