I've typically found there are two reasons that ruin my motivation for photography: lack of confidence, and monotony.
If I shoot the same model too much, or the same style, or process my photos the same way, I find that I get bored with my work. On the flip side, when I'm not feeling confident in my work, I also find excuses not to go out and take photos.
I would identify if a head or heart issue - head in that there are technical issues, or a heart issue in that you're just not interested in what you're shooting or how, and need to turn to new subjects.
As others have already suggested, I'd recommend seeking out different subjects or trying a different genre of photography altogether, I think it'll do wonders.
georgewjohnsonFeatured By OwnerNov 29, 2012Hobbyist Photographer
"I'm not feeling confident in my work, I also find excuses not to go out and take photos."
As I improve and raise the bar on what I will accept this one is a killer, the risk of coming home empty handed or disappointed starts creeping into the back of my mind. If I think the conditions are not going to be just right I won't even bother which is completely the wrong the attitude.
I can absolutely relate to this, and mostly for me it's a time thing. If I can't be outside during the golden hours, I don't even want to go out, or if it's a completely overcast day, I lose interest as well. Because I'm focusing more now on portraiture versus nature photography, I've been able to force myself out there more, but my ego sure does put up a good fight.
I've found that the quickest inspiration for me is to find work that I immediately think "Damn...I wish I'd taken that." It gets me motivated to get out there and keep working. I'll spend hours pinning, ripping photos out of magazines, or pouring through books at Barnes and Noble.
You can also find some AMAZING photography documentaries on iTunes and Netflix. One of my faves in particular is on Annie Leibovitz..."Life Through A Lens". REALLY great stuff. Super inspirational.
When I first started, I shot the same three things, diners, muscle cars, and other neon-lit structures.
then I got a job for my school's newspaper, and my horizons were broadened, this is where I learned to shoot people, and other general photographic tasks. When I didn't get to pick subject matter I began to stop thinking inside the box of what I wanted to shoot, and start thinking on my feet and shoot subject matter I didn't know much about, but I learned.
If your in school, get involved with the school newspaper and take whatever assingments you get.
For me, it's about shooting what I want and not letting other people convince me otherwise.
My two favorite things to shoot 1.Cliche nature and park photos (flowers, insects, forests, leaves, bridges etc) 2. and people on the beach looking onto the water.
My favorite places to shoot consist of the beach and nature park. To most photographers, it might seem boring and cliche, but it's what I like to do. Whenever I have tried to change because someone else told me to, I lost my heart in it. I still try to shoot well and shoot what I do to the best of my abilities, but ultimately the subject matter will be up to me.
Another fun way to make the same old same old exciting again is bringing along someone with you who doesn't do photography. FOr example I brought my friend along with me and since she isn't jaded by the cliche photographs, she was pointing out things left and right for me to shoot. Things I would've overlooked originally. Since she insisted I took photos of these things, it forced to me see these things in a different way. I ended up with some good photos that day!
It's my job, so I shoot anyway. Having a roof over my head, food on the table, not having to sleep in the mud on cold rainy days, that is my motivation. What I "feel" like doing has very little to do with anything. If I had a job shovelling shit, I wouldn't wake up and ask myself if I felt like shovelling shit that day, I'd just pick up my shovel and get to it. If I had a job testing matresses, it wouldn't much matter whether I felt like lying down that day. If it's what I am getting paid to do, I do it.
For me the only thing that seems to work reliably is shooting with other people. I am a member of 60+ Meetup.com photography groups and there is always a shoot going on, so I just find one that fits my schedule and go, doesn't matter if it is a photowalk in downtown San Francisco, shooting bodyscapes in the studio, or doing night photography. Getting around others who are passionate about photography always re-inspires me.
Okay thanks. Theres a photography club/darkroom near my town that I've been thinking about joining. members talk about each others work and such. And it has a full blown digital lab and dark room i could use.
georgewjohnsonFeatured By OwnerNov 13, 2012Hobbyist Photographer
Everyone's different, some people need a break some simply need to keep going. When I hit the skids occasionally and luckily being only a hobbyist, I take maybe a week or two out with no shooting then I just head somewhere very familiar and see what I can spot that I have never seen before in the hundred times I've been in that place. Sometimes I am on a break from it and I will spot something while walking down the street or driving along in the car and I know for sure that I am ready to start again.
The worst ones for me are when you have the drive but every shot is a complete load of crap, LOL! That makes me seriously frustrated because I know I can do it but I'm just not trying hard enough, then of course the harder you try the worse it gets until you go home empty handed and very wound up.
FacingThePlasticLifeFeatured By OwnerNov 12, 2012Student General Artist
Just be constantly looking at the kind of work you like mixed in with some new stuff that you find on a whim, looking through professionals personal websites that show their work or just googling for some good shots. And when you've got all that going through your head, you'll more than likely wanna go out and take some shots of whatever you find that you think looks great.
I'd recommend going on a day trip somewhere, perhaps with a place with a lot of history. It could just be a good day out, or you could find that you start to photograph other things. I didn't initially choose to shoot cathedrals or architecture. I was just out on a day out and decided to shoot some photographs from inside a cathedral where I was visiting. After that I was addicted and had found a new love of architecture. Travel a bit, even if it is just locally and carry your camera with you. Don't go in with the mind set of trying to "look" for stuff to shoot, just explore people and places then see what happens.