As ominous as the title sounds, I’m just talking about surviving the creative depression that seems to happen for me every January and February. Why does it happen? Maybe because I’d rather be huddling in snuggly blankets when the weather drops into the 30s and is raining, and have a pot of soup going on the stove. Or maybe it’s the lull after the holidays and everyone around us is in the same boat.
But how do I fix it? Is it something I should work on fixing, or just let it take its course? Winter blues can be an overwhelming task to tackle, but here are a few of my tips for surviving the creative lull of winter:
Take it Day at a Time
Feeling pressured to create always kills creativity. During the quieter times of my business, I’m choosing to focus on many of my passion projects that were on the back burner when I was doing 15 photoshoots a week for clients (like writing more blog posts). I’ve been fixing up my home “studio” and focusing on recipe and drink developments, as well as continuing my photography education. Executing a shoot for just my own creative satisfaction is good for the soul, and feeds my creativity without the pressure of doing it for someone else. Remember to live for the day, not the “what could be.”
Team up. My friend, Madison, is Queen of doing collaborations with others, and has inspired me to keep branching out… It’s exciting to always see her newest work and growth. Again, doing photos for the sake of creativity and collaboration can lead to some of my favorite work, and renew the well. Do a shoot with a friend, a pet, a favorite product of yours without the pressure to produce images that have to look a certain way… go into the shoots with an open mind and desire to have fun and nothing else.
Stale work can come from stale environments for me. Getting outside of my comfort zone and meeting new people, experiencing different cities, food, drinks, landscapes is extremely freeing. Coming back to my regular work after that can bring a refreshed view. Try shooting a new subject, as well, something that is a little outside of your element, and see how it feels.
While it’s easier said than done, stop for an hour or so a few days out of the week to focus on your inner and physical health. It helps to break me out a brain rut and truly focus on what matters most. Carve a little time out of your daily schedule to focus on self care.
Leave the Camera at Home
I am very bad at just leaving my camera at home… I love to carry it around with me everywhere (as most of my friends know). But when I put it down, I try to re-envision the mundane around me and bring it back to life. I might break my phone out to get as close as I can to capturing these new perspectives, but without the pressure. This is the beauty of photography; it all starts in our mind’s eye.
Leave a comment below with your thoughts or insight! And keep looking forward to the next day and season.