Is Your Photography In A Rut? Break Free From Shooter's Block! :: Digital Photo Secrets

Is Your Photography In A Rut? Break Free From Shooter's Block!

by David Peterson 4 comments

You might not even know it when it happens. Suddenly, and without warning, you’re no longer as interested in photography as you once were. What’s going on? Have you lost the love? Hardly. You’re just experiencing shooter’s block, and it’s completely normal. I’ve gone through several bouts of it myself, and I’ve learned a few tricks to snap out of it. Here’s what has worked the best for me.

Just Get Into A Shooting Schedule Anyway

Whenever I’m unable to make new images, it’s usually because I just haven’t been devoting enough time to photography in the first place. It’s always happens when I mess with my photography schedule. If I used to go out all the time, and now I’m not, it kills my desire to take more photos.

I now find that the schedule was there for a reason. That’s my time to devote to creating images. No matter how good or bad you feel about it, you still need to make that time. That’s when ideas happen.

Whenever I’ve got a bad case of shooter’s block, I just force myself to take pictures for exactly one hour. You don’t need to have a specific shooting location or a subject. You’ll realize that it comes to you as soon as you decide to dedicate your time to photography. It’s also handy to try scheduling different times of the day and night for these photo sessions. This will force you to try taking different pictures.

Don’t Get Too Caught Up In Your Equipment

I also get frustrated when I know I don’t have the ideal equipment for every picture I’m taking. While it’s important to set goals and eventually get those toys, I’ve realized that always trying to get the perfect image has its drawbacks. When you know can’t do it because of your equipment, you can start to get jaded.

It doesn’t matter what equipment you have. There is always something to learn. Don’t get hung up on your equipment, always waiting for that next best camera. Keep shooting every day, even if you’ve convinced yourself you can’t get anything new or interesting with your current setup. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you do.

Take A Vacation

New surroundings always cure my shooter’s block. Suddenly the world is a completely new place, and there are all kinds of things to photograph. You don’t have to be gone for very long to beat your shooter’s block. A weekend vacation just a few hundred miles away from your hometown often does the trick.

If it’s summertime, get into the great outdoors and go camping more. This will get you more in tune with nature, and when there aren’t any other distractions, you’ll have more time to take pictures. As I always say, camping and photography go hand in hand.

Study The Greats

Just looking at famous photographs inspires me to get out there and start taking more pictures. It’s always useful to read a photography history book so you can learn who came before you. As you do this, you’ll start to notice all kinds of distinct photography styles. I’m not saying you should copy these styles, but they do provide context while giving insight into new techniques.

You should also have a look at’s “interesting” category. I like to flick through a few of these images, just for inspiration. I’ll oftentimes see one of these images, and it will motivate me to get off of my butt and start taking more pictures.

Try A Different Photography Style

Maybe you’re really into portraits or architecture photography. Whatever you’re into now, I want you to do a complete 180 and try something else. Force yourself to shoot in black and white, macro, or fisheye. Anything that’s different is good. It will be a foundation of learning you can build upon.

I recently got into HDR photography, and as soon as I discovered it, my slump was over. Just like that, I found something to reignite my passion for photography. I’m not going to tell you what your next big thing will be, but when it hits, you won’t even remember the month you kept your camera waiting in the closet. You’ll be too busy shooting.

What do you do to beat shooter’s block? How did you recover from your last slump? I want to know. Post a comment. I’d love to hear your answer.

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  1. david demambro says:

    thank you for this today it's raining so it's reflections I will shoot today

  2. FIO says:

    I have been reading your articles today, and I really enjoy it! Thank you for sharing.

    So that is what it is called.. a shooter's block. I did what you said here,I just go out when its a fine day. Other times, it rained, I try to shoot anyway. The raindroplets on a flower or on a leaf looks amazingly beautiful!

  3. Dawn Willis says:

    I love taking photos and I have started to get some great feedback on them and friends have said why do I not try earning some money with it, and I said no, it would kill my enjoyment. Anyhow, I was invited to take photos of my college graduation for pay and I still said no, but they will not take no for an answer, so this is my entry into professional photography! I have decided to go for it as a way of earning extra income while studying. I call myself the reluctant photographer. However, I have come up with a unique way to do large group photos, but I do need to get hold of something to make a portable studio to be able to put my idea into practice. More on that another time.

  4. Michel says:

    Hey thanks for the tips. Did you know that a few tips are also appliable to other blocks?


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