When The Work Doesn"t Come August 16 2014, 0 Comments

There are times when the work flows freely. The ideas overflow from within and there are hardly enough hours in the day to capture the images in a particular body of work. There are also the long term projects created over a period of months or even years. These projects can be inspiring and motivating as the visual progress comes to light and the tangible, physical photographs can be organized and shared as en exhibit or book.

But what about when the work doesn’t come? Occasionally, happily it has not been too often in my career, there are times when I am suspended in my work. Perhaps a photo shoot did not work out well, too many sand storms in the desert! Or perhaps a photo shoot was cancelled due to war breaking out in a country where I had planned a photo documentary shoot. Time passes and a sense of urgency rolls over me as I become concerned about not keeping my skills sharp. I realize it is somewhat ridiculous given my years of experience and knowledge of light. But never the less, the concern exists.

Although the art shows have been plentiful this year, the new work has been hampered indeed by sand storms, and trip cancellations due to war. Long term projects fill in a great deal of time but I have thrived on the creativity that comes with capturing new bodies of work.

So I offer to you a few substitutions that help fill in the gaps while I rework schedules, funding and ideas for some of the work that I have had to postpone. First, I tend to review all of my collections on hard drives. I often find “new” images that I have never printed. In the process of trying to limit a collection to 12-24 pieces, I sometimes chose one over another for the sake of not making a collection too large. Adding these “new” images or swapping one or two out can keep a collection fresh. After twenty some years I have thousands of pieces of work just waiting to see the light of day.

Secondly, I find substitute photo shoots. These are usually shorter trips but are on my list of eventual shoots. Substitute shoots often turn into beautiful collections of work. The unintended often does.

Finally, I try to visit art museums or if that is not possible, the art section in a book store. Studying someone else’s artwork helps give perspective even if it is a different art form from your own. Take it in and find the inspiration.