She's a fitful muse, Inspiration. Honestly, its more annoying when I have it versus when I'm lost and scratching to find it.
Inspiration is necessary for all forms of photography. Yes, even sports and wildlife guys because your mind still has to come up with compositions (and sometimes exposures) that are singularly unique. Its the most difficult for guys who do portrait and abstract stuff because you have more control over what you're doing. Kind of backwards, now that I think about it; more control = more difficultly. Okay, I'm substituting difficult with thinking in that analogy so it doesn't really count. Anyways!
See, its not necessarily difficult in the technical aspect. Sure, you gotta get your exposure right, your lights (if needed) set up, and finally your subject has to co-operate. But that's all easy in the grand scheme of things (I'm shooting myself in the foot here because that crap is not easy at all).
A real challenge is coming up with the idea itself. People get their inspiration from any number of sources: magazines, books, other images, words, and the list goes on. But however the hell you make the light-bulb go off, the trick is:
- Keeping track of your ideas
- Planning them and translating them in a way that gets your associates on board
- Making it happen
3 is my biggest roadblock. Well, coming up with the ideas is difficult too because my mind is always in 8 different places, but I currently have a notebook with at least 15 different ideas from over the course of a year and I have only completed (drum roll please).........
The result of 5 minus 4
The number of times Georgia Tech has beaten UGA in the last 12 years
Side note: I'm a GT grad who loves football and kind of hates the Dawgs. So that record just kills the mood every time.
But the explicative still applies. The reasons, or so I keep telling myself, that I haven't actually made these ideas into photographs is that I'm limited by gear, I need subjects who REALLY trust me, I don't know of or can't access plausible locations, and I'm scared.
Yes, that's a legitimate reason that I've convinced myself of - fear. Its scary to put time, money, energy, and your reputation on the line to try something new and achieve something great. Honestly though, it shouldn't stop you (or me). Sure there are ideas that are total no-fly-zones, but most sane people have legitimate ideas and even if they don't, the excuse of "Its Art!" can save you some skin. But I'm mad at myself for not completing my ideas because I know I haven't pushed hard enough to make them actually happen. That's probably what limits most photographers who have great ideas - the courage and motivation to say "Damn the torpedoes!" and make it happen. Excellent photographers have the skill, but also the guts to make great photos happen.
So through all this rambling (and I'm ending it now before I really start getting off topic), I hope you take something useful from this post: don't let your fears stop you from making your images happen. If you've got an idea, fight tooth and nail to capture it, especially if you're serious about your photography and want to push yourself.
Still, you gotta catch that slippery muse first though. Good luck!