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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 15 Aug 2014 (Friday) 21:02
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Help me get out of my funk!

 
kaitlyn2004
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Aug 15, 2014 21:02 |  #1

I used to be much more active in this section and photography in general. Then life got in the way - I think. I honestly haven't picked up my camera in some time and just taken pictures. I definitely know I still enjoy it and the resulting photos I get to remember, but I am just not taking the photos anymore.

Everyone surely goes through a similar funk, so how do you get over it?


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gonzogolf
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Aug 15, 2014 21:36 |  #2

Challenge yourself to do a 365 day or perhaps a 52 week challenge if thats more realistic for you. Make sure you announce it on your facebook page or some place where you have others watching, so you create a certain external pressure to follow through. Once you actually start creating photos you'll start seeing photographically again. Its a habit and like all habits it comes in waves.




  
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DC ­ Fan
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Aug 15, 2014 22:10 |  #3

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #17099041 (external link)
I used to be much more active in this section and photography in general. Then life got in the way - I think. I honestly haven't picked up my camera in some time and just taken pictures. I definitely know I still enjoy it and the resulting photos I get to remember, but I am just not taking the photos anymore.

Everyone surely goes through a similar funk, so how do you get over it?

When I get tired of auto racing, then it's time for football. When I'm tired of football, then it's time to go indoors for basketball. When I get tired of basketball, it's time to head outdoors for baseball. When I get tired of baseball, then it's time for festivals and parades.

Then there are car shows, county fairs, fandom conventions and costumers, hockey, performance pulls and even random sandhill cranes crossing the road.

If you live inside yourself and aren't interested in the outside world, you'll be afflicted by "funks." But if you're attracted to what happens outside you, there's a constantly changing world of visually fascinating events and attractions.

Not everyone is going to be interested in the challenge of pursuing life's compelling sights. Different people have different needs, and if you're not compelled to chase images, there's nothing wrong with that.

Perhaps it's time to sell the equipment and to search for something else to do.




  
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phantelope
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Aug 15, 2014 22:46 |  #4

a project. Dive into macro of only things you can find in your kitchen, go shoot only red things, try something you've never done before, join a group on meetup.com, things like that. Everybody gets into this, there are times where I don't take a photo for weeks, not even with my phone, just other things on my mind. And then I end up with way too many from a meetup or a hike etc :-)

It's a hobby (I presume), nothing wrong with putting a hobby aside for a while or a while longer. It'll come back.

I tend to drift between music, photography, cooking, painting and movies, and usually one of these taking over for a while, one of the others lurking, ready to pounce.


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20droger
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Aug 15, 2014 22:52 as a reply to  @ DC Fan's post |  #5

Don't sell your equipment! If you get rid of it, you will suddenly find yourself wanting it.

Instead, take the batteries out of it and put it on a closet shelf. Then pursue other hobbies, do volunteer work, or whatever floats your boat.

In a few months, or perhaps a year or two, you'll find yourself missing photography, and your gear will be silently and patiently waiting for you.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 16, 2014 02:15 |  #6

kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #17099041 (external link)
I used to be much more active in this section and photography in general. Then life got in the way - I think. I honestly haven't picked up my camera in some time and just taken pictures. I definitely know I still enjoy it and the resulting photos I get to remember, but I am just not taking the photos anymore.

Everyone surely goes through a similar funk, so how do you get over it?

Not sure if this is gonna work for anyone else, but I personally just try to see it as my job. Doesn't matter if I'm making a single penny off of it. I'm an artist/photographer. Once I stop being wishy-washy about it and accept that I am indeed an artist/photographer, then creating work is my job. I sometimes get in a "funk" in my "real" job, but I'm still expected to perform, and this is no different. I don't get to quit a "real" job just because I got in a funk, and the same applies here. If I get to quit photography just because I'm in a funk, then it was always just a hobby. And if it was just a hobby for me, then I shouldn't feel guilty for giving it up.

So I guess my advice to you is to just figure out why you do this. Is this photography thing just a hobby, something you do because you like it? If so, just do what you like. People drop hobbies all the time without feeling guilty, so why feel guilty about this? If you stopped enjoying it or you're too emotionally strained to do it, then okay. Nothing wrong with simply not doing it any more. But if this is WORK, if this is your JOB, then you just need to keep on doing it. If you're gonna own the title of "artist/photographer", then you need to deliver results. That's your job. And like most jobs, you do it even when you are in a funk because your job is to deliver content. That's not to say that you need to be working all the time, even most "real" jobs are legally required to provide a certain amount of time off. So yeah...take a little bit of time off if you need to. But if you're gonna keep being an artist/photographer, eventually you're gonna have to start producing work even if you don't feel like it. Because that's your job.

Also, I know that people handle adversity in different ways. Some people simply cannot work "when life gets in the way", and that is what it is. I'm not saying it's good or bad, it's just how they operate. Other people do their BEST work when "life gets in the way". But don't disregard the potential for turning a negative into a small positive. When life gets in the way, that's uncomfortable as hell. Sometimes that's NEW as hell. It's painful and unexpected and uncomfortable, and sometimes what photographers and artists need to do is to deal with what isn't comfortable. When pain and tragedy happen, a totally viable option is often to tap into that pain and tragedy in order to deliver new work. Not saying that you should do that, I don't know. I'm just saying that sometimes that's a viable option that's worth considering.




  
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watt100
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Aug 17, 2014 05:32 |  #7

DC Fan wrote in post #17099113 (external link)
When I get tired of auto racing, then it's time for football. When I'm tired of football, then it's time to go indoors for basketball. When I get tired of basketball, it's time to head outdoors for baseball. When I get tired of baseball, then it's time for festivals and parades.

Then there are car shows, county fairs, fandom conventions and costumers, hockey, performance pulls and even random sandhill cranes crossing the road.


Perhaps it's time to sell the equipment and to search for something else to do.

I agree
things happen every week (or day)
if you don't want to photograph it then maybe it is time to get out of the photography hobby




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Aug 17, 2014 07:18 as a reply to  @ watt100's post |  #8

i keep my camera in the bag ready to go, and will often put it on the floor so i have to walk around it to get out of my home office. Even then it is just like anything else, you have to schedule time to do it. If it's not important enough to be on your schedule, maybe it's time to downsize to a smaller camera and put those funds to use elsewhere.


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Echo63
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Aug 17, 2014 11:02 |  #9

Clean Gene wrote in post #17099343 (external link)
Not sure if this is gonna work for anyone else, but I personally just try to see it as my job. Doesn't matter if I'm making a single penny off of it. I'm an artist/photographer. Once I stop being wishy-washy about it and accept that I am indeed an artist/photographer, then creating work is my job. I sometimes get in a "funk" in my "real" job, but I'm still expected to perform, and this is no different. I don't get to quit a "real" job just because I got in a funk, and the same applies here. If I get to quit photography just because I'm in a funk, then it was always just a hobby. And if it was just a hobby for me, then I shouldn't feel guilty for giving it up.

So I guess my advice to you is to just figure out why you do this. Is this photography thing just a hobby, something you do because you like it? If so, just do what you like. People drop hobbies all the time without feeling guilty, so why feel guilty about this? If you stopped enjoying it or you're too emotionally strained to do it, then okay. Nothing wrong with simply not doing it any more. But if this is WORK, if this is your JOB, then you just need to keep on doing it. If you're gonna own the title of "artist/photographer", then you need to deliver results. That's your job. And like most jobs, you do it even when you are in a funk because your job is to deliver content. That's not to say that you need to be working all the time, even most "real" jobs are legally required to provide a certain amount of time off. So yeah...take a little bit of time off if you need to. But if you're gonna keep being an artist/photographer, eventually you're gonna have to start producing work even if you don't feel like it. Because that's your job.

Also, I know that people handle adversity in different ways. Some people simply cannot work "when life gets in the way", and that is what it is. I'm not saying it's good or bad, it's just how they operate. Other people do their BEST work when "life gets in the way". But don't disregard the potential for turning a negative into a small positive. When life gets in the way, that's uncomfortable as hell. Sometimes that's NEW as hell. It's painful and unexpected and uncomfortable, and sometimes what photographers and artists need to do is to deal with what isn't comfortable. When pain and tragedy happen, a totally viable option is often to tap into that pain and tragedy in order to deliver new work. Not saying that you should do that, I don't know. I'm just saying that sometimes that's a viable option that's worth considering.

funny, I do the exact opposite, but photography is my job, it's how I feed my family.
If I'm in a funk, I need to relax, and just have fun with my camera.
Recently I went on a photo walk with a bunch of other Leica owners, it was great fun, no time limit, no expectations, just walking around looking for cool light, interesting people, and just taking pictures of stuff.
I have a personal project too, which is forcing me to get off my ass and go out and shoot too.
But again, there is no expectations, just going for a walk with a camera, one lens, and a bag containing a bottle of water, and a rain jacket, going to see if I can find a little bit of paradise to sit in, relax and capture a slice of time from.

Here's a few frames from the project (actually two of the first three spots I shot once the project started, there is a few others before it became a project with a proper theme)

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ceriltheblade
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Aug 17, 2014 11:39 |  #10

this is an interesting discussion. I am a hobbiest too. My day job takes up 13-15 hours per day and I too have very little time for photography with the rest of my regular responsibilities. In that I had to become a bit creative. I have used many of the tricks above - and sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't. There were two things which caused me to do more things - a challenge/request from one of my family members...and then I worked really hard to produce something; and some inspiration from a member of this community and to see if I could produce it. I have to say - that for me...a hobbiest - no officail training - and way too little time - sometimes being creative enough for my own liking takes a lot of effort.


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Aug 17, 2014 13:45 |  #11

I'm stuck in a rut. Any ideas?


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RichSoansPhotos
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Aug 17, 2014 13:48 |  #12
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kaitlyn2004 wrote in post #17099041 (external link)
I used to be much more active in this section and photography in general. Then life got in the way - I think. I honestly haven't picked up my camera in some time and just taken pictures. I definitely know I still enjoy it and the resulting photos I get to remember, but I am just not taking the photos anymore.

Everyone surely goes through a similar funk, so how do you get over it?

I'm officially on a photography sabbatical, which is going to end the next week, to be honest, I needed it, because it was doing my head in picking up a camera virtually everyday.




  
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kfreels
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Aug 17, 2014 17:28 |  #13

My solution was to take my daughter's old room when she moved out a couple months ago and turn it into a studio. Then I can leave all my gear setup and it should take less time to do anything. At least that's the hypothesis. Still painting. I'll let you know how it goes. :-)


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mark48
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Aug 20, 2014 07:32 |  #14

hes gone wrote in post #17101095 (external link)
=he's gone;17101095]i keep my camera in the bag ready to go, and will often put it on the floor so i have to walk around it to get out of my home office.

I like to keep my camera out on the desk where I'm aware of it and sometimes just pick it up and think of things to shoot. Sometimes, it helps to have a few random shots on the card for me to look at and think about improving that shot or shooting something else.

-mark




  
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Aug 20, 2014 07:49 |  #15

Hobby photographer here too

+1 on the 52 week project.

Another thing I do is have other little projects going but without the restrictions of a photo a day or a photo a week i.e. have an idea of a series of photos you want to capture then capture them as you see them so there could be gaps for weeks or you might see something every day. When I got my 56mm Fuji lens (85mm equiv) I started "Project 56" which was 56 portraits with the 56mm. I have only managed 2 so far but its always at the back of my mind that I can add to that body of work when the situation arises (well the les is for sale now but you get the idea).

I see you have the 35 ART. You could challange yourself to photograph 35 random chained up bikes with the 35mm or 35 interesting looking people etc etc


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