If you want to be creative, pushing the boundaries of your photography, you should start limiting your options. In case you are wondering, yes, I am implying that you should limit the available possibilities to discover your creativity. Less is More.
In the past months, I have gone through a period of self-rediscovery through what we call a “plateau“. In the mess of too many ideas, finding the real me as a photographer has helped me a lot to find my art, but limiting my available options while creating my art has been a huge step forward.
Be Creative, impress yourself, but to do it well you need to specialise and to conquer your niche. Defining this niche is key to be creative in a constructive way.
Be Creative by Being Yourself
The first thing you should always remember is that to be creative you need to be yourself. If you want to let your inner self go wild, you need to be honest. We have been struggling at the end of 2012 because what we were doing was not exactly what we loved to do. We opened from our Boudoir Photography to a wider style of “Beauty Portraits“. That was not the style we really love. We struggled as we could not be creative in those type of images as much as we are with the Boudoir ones.
My first advice is, therefore, to drop your shield and look at yourself honestly: what do you really want to photograph?
One Camera and One Lens: be creative by starting simple
To be creative, limit your options, we wrote. Start with the most simple things you have at your side. Pick one camera and one lens. You may be interested in working on a more storytelling approach (my strength) and work with a wide angle lens, or maybe you want to focus on details and closeups (Fabiana’s strength) for which a 85mm would be great. The choice is yours, you just need to pick one and stick with it. And I really mean “stick with it“: whatever happens, don’t change your camera and lens. For a shoot, two, twenty, a hundred. In the end, if you keep this simplified approach long enough, you won’t need to look into your viewfinder to know how your shoot will look like.
This works because the camera will stop being a camera, and will become just a tool you know front to bottom and that will be used to capture your vision and not vice versa. “Be creative” means being able to make magic happens and capture them, not tweaking your setups just because you can’t find what you are looking for.
PS: this is also the reason why I am in love with fixed lenses: they force me to be creative in the way I manage every situation, more than zooming in and out.
Our Studio can’t get more minimalistic than this
The same minimalistic approach to one camera and one lens applies to your favourite shooting location. When we started London Boudoir Photography, our studio was a tiny room with one window, one sheer curtain, one bed and one set of white linen. Today we have added only one rug and one chaise longue. Why? Because to be creative we don’t want distraction, minimalism is our way of seeing a woman as the most important element in a photo.
Are you swamped under meaningless props or are you focusing on your subject?
Repetita iuvant: Repeating things help
In latin, “repetita iuvant” means “repeating things help“. To be creative, you need to know everything about your photography. You need to learn to see the small details that make a photo a masterpiece. You need to be able to make quality a repeatable process.
Practice Makes Perfect.
Take your camera and photograph an egg for a month and you will be on the right path to understand how to photograph something simple. If you want to be a Boudoir Photographer, you will need MUCH more than a couple of shoots. You need experience. You need to do the same things over and over again. When they are second nature to you, you will realise that you look for something more. That something more is your creativity, that without all the noise, will be able to come out telling you what details to change to make the real difference.
To Be Creative, You Must Persevere
Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will take photographs you won’t like. You will take images you will hate. I can guarantee you that there will be times in which you will look at your photos asking yourself “What was I thinking?“.
Shoot one more time, and another one after that and many other following the first two. Don’t give up, never give up. Winston Churchill once said: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm“.
Be hungry to be creative, be willing to persevere and succeed even where everyone else failed.