Breaking Out of a Rut
By: Christine of Lady and the Lens
It’s an odd time of the year here, summer has gone to past but it doesn’t quite seem like fall yet. The days are getting shorter, the weather is cooler – and yet we are missing the robust explosion of color. The fall rush has started to book up, and locations for Christmas sessions are being planned out. It seems like we as photographers sometimes tend to fall into a creative rut this time of year, shooting to recreate someone’s Pinterest board, or that ‘idea I have for our Christmas cards…’ instead of shooting to create art, feeding our passion. If you ever find yourself in a rut, take a day to truly shoot for yourself and try something new.
I haven’t been feeling very creative lately personally, so the other day I decided that I would pack up the kids and we would go to the beach to watch the sunset. I told the kids of our plan and they were beyond excited. Of course, it was overcast the entire afternoon, but we went and had some quality time together. We walked up and down along the shore of Lake Michigan, the waves gently lapping at our feet, and filling up our pockets to the brim with the little treasures we had found.
My daughter collected a fist full of feathers, and the kids chased after the seagulls. We started to make our way down the end of the pier, when all of the sudden the sun broke through the clouds and drenched us in the most brilliant orange light. Immediately the kids and I sat on the edge of pier to take it all in, it was stunning to say the least. But that wasn’t the only surprise in store for us- for whatever reason I looked back, opposite the sunset to find a rainbow forming from a raincloud over the lake.
The sunset had colored the clouds a soft pink and purple, and the gulls were restless flying about. As we watched the sun dip below the horizon, I couldn’t help but feel that very moment was our official end to our summer, our final goodbye. As we walked back to along the beach to the car, the moon came out with such brilliance that it lit our way as we made our way back to the car. We dusted off as much sand as we could before we left with the cupholder full of little treasures, a sense of peace and tranquility in our hearts, and memories to last us until next summer.
I am so glad that I didn’t put away my camera in frustration with feeling like I’ve been in a slump. Instead all it took was a new location, a little adventure, and shooting a little differently than I normally do – I decided to shoot wide open, which I normally do NOT do – to bring my confidence back, and to get my creative juices flowing again.
If you are feeling a bit down about your work – make a time for yourself. Set aside time to plan and bring to life a session you have always wanted to shoot. Challenge yourself, try shooting at a different time of day, a new location, or a totally different style for you. Try a different approach with your editing, or with your lighting. I know this all seems simple, but sometimes all we need to do is to step back, take a deep breath, and do what makes us happy, something to help us regain focus. I love the quote by Mary Lou Cook:
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.”
Now go out and have fun, create what makes you happy.
Holly Russell (owner) + Christine Singleton (associate photographer) are the ladies behind the lens at LADY AND THE LENS PHOTOGRAPHY located in Michigan City, IN. This outgoing and energetic duo loves to shoot wedding + lifestyle photography. Both ladies are mothers, and realize the value in capturing fleeting moments that make up your life story. Facebook | Website | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest