To keep photography (and life) fun, never stop challenging yourself, and pushing yourself to new limits!
Life is infinitely too long to be bored
I heard a saying, “Even the gods fight in vain to overcome boredom” (Nietzsche).
For myself, it isn’t pain, suffering, or difficulty which I fear — it is boredom.
I even think in photography when we aren’t “inspired” we really mean to say that we’re bored.
This is even my theory on why Henri Cartier-Bresson gave up photography; he probably just got bored of it. He was too strict to himself (self-tyranny to the extreme). Hcb only allowed himself to shoot 50mm, Leica, black and white film. Of course after shooting the same exact way for over 20 years he got bored!
Thus we must avoid the sucker mistake that Henri Cartier-Bresson made:
Delight in constant change, flux, and evolution in photography.
How to never run out of inspiration in your photography
It seems the best way to keep photography fun and interesting is:
- Challenge yourself with new challenges in photography (shoot 4:3 aspect ratio, or wider lenses like a 24mm). Artificially make photography more difficult and challenging for yourself to keep it fun (experiment shooting film, as it is harder than digital photography).
- Switch up your aesthetics and style: Switch it up between monochrome and color. Experiment with new post processing styles.
- Travel: Shoot in new environments and places! Don’t just keep shooting street photography in the same places. I find the most creative stimulation when living a nomadic lifestyle (or intermittently living in different cities in the world). To shoot in a new environment has new challenges and new visual stimuli.
There is no ultimate answer or truth in photography
In the past I’ve also been suckered into thinking there was some “ultimate truth” I had to discover in photography and life. I now recognize this is false– there is no ultimate and immutable truth. I feel once you accept this truth, then you can truly spread your creative wings in life.
Practical photography challenges
If it is too easy, make it more difficult for you:
- Get closer to your subjects in street photography
- Shoot with a flash
- Don’t use a zoom or telephoto lens. Instead, shoot 24mm, 28mm, 35mm.
- Interact and photograph people who scare you
- Allow yourself to photograph anything which interests you, even though others might think the photos aren’t interesting.
Love challenge and life!