Refreshing the photographic creative juices


Gosh its been a busy start to the year. Our busiest January ever followed on from our busiest December, and don’t even ask me what happened to February, I blinked and suddenly found myself striding into March.

I love it when we are busy and the shoots are stacking up and we are running from one job to the next. It’s exciting, it’s varied and it’s everything I love about the job.

But every now and then you have to stop and take stock, and in those quiet moments I love to pick up my camera and go shoot… I know that sounds backwards…. surely that’s when you take a rest from the camera, but for me one of the best ways to rest is to go shoot….. but shoot for myself and not for anyone else. Where you only ned to care that you like the images and don’t need to think about anyone else in your creative process.

There is a big difference between working photography and personal photography and no matter how busy you get you sometimes have to make time just to go out and have fun with your cameras.

On a job you don’t often have the luxury of time, but an important part of good photography is just taking your time… sitting and watching the world go by. Getting into rhythm around you and then moving through it looking for your images. Sometimes you just have to take your time. If you don’t you run the risk of reaching that point when your brain goes into work mode every-time you reach for your cameras. Too often that means you stop actually opening your eyes and mind to all the images around you and you just focus on the ones that clients need, and that is the start of the downfall of your own creativity.

One of the things I love to do to keep myself sharp is a “one-on-one” challenge…. In my work I have a myriad of camera bodies, lenses, lighting gear and so on that help me meet any challenge a client can throw at me and deliver the images they want…. but in a one-on-one challenge I strip it all back to one camera body with one prime lens…. one focal length, no zooms, no flash, nothing. It strips you right back to basics and makes you start to think about your shots a lot more.

So this morning was my first day in weeks where I had nothing to do for anybody else. It was wet and a bit miserable but what they hey. Leaving my car I jumped on a bus and travelled into Brisbane CBD. I love taking the bus or train when I do this kind of thing. That dead time in the journey gives me a chance to just gaze out the window and wipe my mind of everything and just let my eyes wander and properly look at the world as I go by. Something you just can’t do when you drive.

So I spent the day with my little Canon EOS M5 mirrorless camera with the wonderfully sharp and punchy 22mm f2 pancake lens (35mm full frame equivalent). When I first started in photography the 35mm was my go to lens and I would hardly ever take it off my old Canon AE1. These days I hardly ever use one so for me it was a nice step back in time as well as a good part of the challenge. Then with no plan I just wandered round the town going wherever my feet took me with no plan. Below are some of my favourites and it was only once I loaded up the images on my computer that I realised that today’s theme seemed to be mostly reflections… maybe because the rainy day put me in such a reflective mood today, who knows LOL.

No matter what you do for a living, no matter how much you love what you do…. every now and then just remember to take the time to recharge the creative batteries, find some breathing space and isn so doing keep that passion for what you do alive.