What is the root of our dissatisfaction in our photographic artwork?
To start, I think dissatisfaction can be a good thing if we channel our dissatisfaction into a stimulus for us to be more productive and innovative with our artistry.
For example, I easily get bored and dissatisfied with my older photos. This is good, because it motivates me to make new photos, and to push forth my own self-evolution as a photographer and visual artist.
When is dissatisfaction bad?
At what point is dissatisfaction with our photography and artwork bad? It is only bad when dissatisfaction discourages us, and we think to ourselves:
My photos suck. No matter how much effort I put in, I will never be able to improve. I should quit photography.
Don’t let yourself get trapped into this line of thinking.
Innovate with the gear you already got
Buying a new camera or tool won’t make you more innovative. I think innovation comes from dissatisfaction; the ardent desire to see something new manifest in reality.
Furthermore, innovation usually comes from “creative constraints”. For example in the south, poor blacks made some of the best dishes based on scrap meats and “undesirable” pig intestines. Now the food is considered fancy.
Generally we innovate out of need. Also we innovate on feelings of strong desire.
Thus, when you feel dissatisfied or bored, channel that power to innovate.
Photography Innovation tips
Let boredom and dissatisfaction drive you to higher heights, and to achieve and become more. Some practical ideas:
- Imagine that you couldn’t use another camera for the rest of your life. How could you innovate with your “shitty” or outdated camera equipment?
- What kind of new visual artwork do you desire to see? Could you create it yourself?
- How can you setup ideal situations in your real life in order to shoot more? I generally think the smaller and more convenient the camera, the better (shoot with your phone, Ricoh GR II, FUJIFILM XF10).
- Experiment with your post processing and aesthetics. Don’t just stick to monochrome or color; be promiscuous and shoot both.
- Shoot photos and make artwork to impress you. You’re the ultimate judge.