It’s no secret your schedule can become hectic and your task list can pile, especially depending on the time of year. When you have little time and too many tasks on your plate, your creativity can decrease and your stress can rise. Add in shooting in the same locations over and over, and any photographer can fall into a creative funk. How can you always keep yourself motivated and creative to shoot images your clients will love?
Master photographer and educator Scott Robert Lim, shares 5 personal techniques – his Secrets to Staying Inspired as a Wedding Photographer during every point of his career. Here are the top 5 tips you can take today and apply tomorrow.
1. Keep Growing
Whether you have been in business for years or are just starting out, it is important to focus on your growth. When you stop growing, shooting becomes the same routine you always do, as if you are going through the motions. That’s when you can feel most uninspired as a wedding photographer. Scott recommends finding a coach or mentor who is at a higher level than you to maximize your learning. When you learn new ways to approach things, your work becomes exciting again.
2. Invest in Yourself
One of the best ways to grow and feel inspired in your photography is to invest in yourself. Scott mentions that this doesn’t mean to go out and purchase a new camera, lens, or piece of gear. Most clients will not notice if you purchase an upgraded camera, and your skills are not dependent on the type of camera you use. Rather than purchasing new gear, Scott suggests spending your money on education to make you feel good about your work as you achieve higher levels of techniques.
While investing in yourself, sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Even though you are a photographer, you may not always be doing what your passion is. Perhaps you are doing things you don’t like to do, including sitting behind the computer answering emails or editing wedding photos. To remain inspired and motivated, you have to make time for your passions. Sit down and write out what you like do to. With that, create a list and purposefully carve out time to schedule in your passions. Make it a goal with tangible points of action to make it happen.
Tip: Outsource your photo editing to a wedding photography post processing company like ShootDotEdit to focus on the things you love to do!
3. Utilize Your Giftedness
Once you are doing what you love in your photography business, you begin to excel. You will find that you are never uninspired because you are doing exactly what you love. Utilize what you are good at and what you love and combine them so you can experience both. For example, if you love photography and hiking, work with clients who share similar interests as you. Because you are passionate about both, you will have knowledge in that market you create for yourself that will set you apart from others. Plus, you will create something new that allows you to utilize your giftedness and enjoy what you do.
4. Maximize Your Potential
To maximize your potential, you have to believe you can do anything. Scott mentioned how important it is to set big goals for yourself. He talked about how it can be difficult to set big goals because once you do, you have to commit to them. As you set out to achieve those goals, be sure to work on any baggage, such as self-confidence, low self-esteem, or fear of failure. Get into your photography after you conquer some of those things. If you go into a photo session not feeling good about yourself, how can you make others feel good about themselves? When you maximize your potential and start doing things at an excellent level, you will feel more inspired and more opportunities will appear.
5. Personal Projects
As you work to maximize your potential, Scott recommends taking the time to add personal projects into your life and let them simmer to help maintain your inspiration. When you do that, it helps you change your focus and inspires and helps you to grow. Some suggestions to try are to find a new coach or mentor or a fellow photographer who is also looking for inspiration and connection. This helps you both get to the level you desire in your photography. When you try new things and work with new people, you start to think about shooting in a new way.
Taking the steps to stay inspired as a wedding photographer can help you enjoy what you are doing and continue to do so for years to come.