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May 31, 2011 - Dave Hecei
Every type of creative endeavor can start to become stale or blocked. I love photography and shooting pictures, but lately I find it hard to get myself out there to just shoot for myself. Once I'm in the field I'm fine. The hard part is getting off the couch to start. If you are having a similar problem, why not try making photo assignments for yourself.
Think up about a half dozen photo assignments and write each one on a small piece of paper. Fold them a couple times and put them in a bowl. Set aside a day when you will go and shoot an assignment. Pick one of the papers out of the bowl and go out and shoot it. Don't think of it as a chore, but something that has been assigned to you by someone else who needs the photos for some project.
The assignments can be anything. It might be good to put in a few things you like to shoot and one or two things you don't. Just to get you out of your rut. The assignments can be something specific, or better yet a little vague like just a theme. Just some basic theme examples would be - youth, flowers, strong color, country living, water, sunrise, seasons, and up close. Some specifics could be - baseball, parades, families, a specific park, local zoo, or local race track.
Make yourself shoot the assignment on that day and only that day. It could take all day, but try to train yourself to do it then and there. Another thing to help you think of this as a real assignment is to create an online photo account and upload your best photos of your assignment. This will give you a place to show off recent work, but it helps give you that sense of accomplishment.
There are times when creativity will wane. The best way to keep it flowing is to keep working. Giving yourself photo assignments is a fun way to make yourself get out there and shoot more photos. Remember, with a digital camera it doesn't cost you anything to shoot, so shoot away. Try shots from different angles and make sure you try them in both horizontal and vertical formats. You never know, you might even surprise yourself.
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