What to do When You Feel Stuck with Photography
Have you ever felt that you just can’t pick up your camera anymore? Have you ever felt stuck with photography? Like, the passion for photography you had in the past is just gone and nowhere to be found? I know the feeling.
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
How Do You Feel?
I’m certain that you feel like you’re overworked, without any zeal, maybe even bored with the stuff that kept you awake at night because you were so excited about. Now you’re even starting to feel frustrated.
You’re thinking about how did you get here. But we’ll talk about this in a moment. [
Now you are feeling angry.
Angry at yourself, angry at others that you feel they stay in your way.
You are angry at the clock that keeps ticking and never gives you time for what you want to do.
Or you are angry at the calendar that is filled with meetings, appointments and other stuff that doesn’t interest you.
Angry at your workplace because it steals up to 10 hours of your precious time.
You just want to escape. Maybe go in the woods, go in a cabin up in the mountains, go to the seaside. Go alone or with your spouse.
I know the feeling. I’ve felt it so many times.
You want more, but you can’t get it. You want to be better, but somehow you can’t. And even more, you aren’t really going to do something about it.
You feel stuck, you want to progress, but you want some comfort.
I know you would love to pick up your camera, but it seems it has spikes – poisonous spikes – so you leave it in the bag.
How Did You Get Here?
Well, this question isn’t that easy to answer. It happens in a different way for every one of us. We get stuck in different ways.
But there is one common thread.
High expectations. Or maybe even huge expectations, and wild dreams.
You’ve dreamt of picking up your camera and every time you would press the shutter button you would take a photo that will gather ten thousand likes.
But things didn’t work out this way.
You had one good photo in a hundred, or even more. And that one photo didn’t gather even fifty likes. So you took fewer photos, posted fewer photos until you’ve reached the “grand total” of zero photos taken.
And now you are here. Disappointed, frustrated and angry. And without any direction, thinking about whether you should even be trying photography anymore.
The bottom line is this: you wanted too much and got too little. And this is why you are here.
How Can You Get Out?
Now, this is the question we all want an answer for. I wanted an answer. You want an answer. Everyone wants an answer.
It may seem a hard thing at first, but it is not. Trust me.
Just think about how you got here. Now to the reverse. It is that simple.
But how? you ask.
That’s another good question.
Let’s make some dissection. You got here because you had high expectations and low results. But what would happen if you would lower your expectations?
I’m not saying about being mediocre. Not at all.
I know how the saying goes: shoot for the moon; even if you missed, you’ll land among the stars. Well, you certainly shoot for the moon. But you didn’t land among the stars. You’ve just got lost in space – the closest star that is not our Sun is more than four light-years away.
Let me put it another way. If you shoot for the moon, you can’t land among the stars, they’re too far away. I know, I know I took things too literally. But the truth is that sometimes we go too far with our expectations from ourselves.
So, what can we do?
No longer shooting for the moon. Maybe you should just take a walk in the park. Both in a literal way and a figurative way.
Lower your expectations.
You don’t need any rocket science to go to the park.
Here’s something you could do:
Forget your camera – for now. Just go outside for 10 minutes (or even 5) – maybe even in the park. Look for a subject and take a few pictures of it. Then go home.
Do this every day. In a week you’ll spend more than an hour taking photos. And you’ll have 7 decent photos taken. And maybe two or three of them are Instagram worthy pictures. This doesn’t take much effort. You can do this on your way to work or to school, you can integrate this in your daily routine without effort.
Now, that’s the key here – minimal or no effort. Trying to take 100 pictures every single day is a stretch. But just one a day – that’s more than doable.
This way you’ll have higher results than expectations. This way you’ll remain motivated.
Of course, there will be missed days, or crazy busy days when you’ll even forget about taking photos. But don’t think about this as a failure. Just pick it up again the next day. Don’t worry about this.
If you feel stuck with photography, like I did and do from time to time, just take it slow. And just start doing as little as possible. After that, just build it up.
Even one picture a day is more than zero pictures a month.
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