One of my biggest sources of inspiration is other people’s viewpoints. I can pretty easily come up with what my eye picks out as interesting, but I always have a better time on a shoot if I have someone else’s perspective to play off of.
Not to say that when I have one or more shooting partners we’re attached at the hip! Usually it’s more of a process along the lines of the following
- Circle up and exchange thoughts on what’s interesting, or artistic vision
- Compare notes on technique
- Go our own ways and execute on what we each want to accomplish
If there’s one thing that years of shooting has taught me, if you put 20 people in front of one subject you will get 20 violently different perspectives. Some look for an ultra-close up, some want the larger perspective of the environment, some play with different lighting or filter effects, and on and on.
And often you’ll end up with totally different but equally impressive end products.
In lieu of company when you’re producing photography, here’s a few other ideas about how to gain a different way of looking at things:
- Get on the web and look at what other people have come up with on the subject.
- Get a book on the place, method, subject matter, etc.
- Go on Facebook and ask your friends and family what they find interesting about your idea.
- Grab a piece of paper and pen, and write up a list of things that interest you about the topic, then start combining those things every which-a-way.
Once you have a list that you think will take enough (or in my case most) of your shooting time, go grab the camera and go for it!
By way of example … last summer I was out near a lake shooting with my wife-to-be. I tend to be a wide-angle landscape sort by default, and she a macro type. As I was walking around the boathouse, she says “Hey come over here and look at THIS!” And lo and behold, I ended up getting the shot below, that I would never have even noticed in the first place.