Happy New Year! You are probably feeling energized and ready to get into a whole host of new projects, right? Some of us, though, may still feel like we are stuck in a rut. That’s natural but there is a solution. And Aaaron Hockley is about to give us a solution. Read on. This is, of course, Aaron Hockley‘s second guest post on Tiffinbox. I hope you read his previous post before you got started with the new year.
What’s your genre? Do you normally photograph weddings? Are you a fine art photographer? Do you make headshot after headshot?
Think different. It’s not just an Apple marketing line.
I’ve found a great way to expand my view of the photography world, increase my technical knowledge, and stretch my creative brain is to photograph a subject that’s outside of the realm of my usual set of work. In my case, professionally I’m most often found photographing business conferences and events, corporate work, and portraits. I recently had the opportunity to engage in something new: sports photography.
A photographer friend was able to help me obtain credentials to photograph the state high school football championship and it gave me a chance to create images in a new environment. Previously I’ve never done any serious sports photography, but it was a good exercise in flexing my photo skills for a new situation.
I found that the technical aspects (the indoor domed stadium’s lighting and the fast-moving action) were handled without much challenge, but the difficult part was in the football-specific moves, plays, and activities that kept me on my toes. It wasn’t too hard to start producing football photos which were correct from a technical standpoint but that were otherwise dull. Producing something *interesting* meant that I had to get my head not just in the photography game, but in the football game as well. Compelling images meant thinking about the football plays, anticipating where the ball might be thrown, looking at where a runner might travel, and ensuring that my camera was pointed in the right direction to capture the moment.
While the specifics of my football game were sports-oriented, a similar creative exercise would exist if a sports shooter were to photograph children, or a wedding shooter were to spend time making images of a product, or a photojournalist were to work with studio portraiture.
Avoid getting stuck in a rut by photographing something different; you might be pleasantly surprised with the results. At worst you’ll exercise some new ideas, at best you might find something you really like and want to explore as a new side of your photography adventures.