It's the off-season for photographers. Most people got their family pictures taken during the fall, it's still brown and cold outside, etc. I have a few baby sessions and some seniors planned, but that's about it. During the off-season, sometimes photographers get in a sort of rut, not even wanting to pick up their cameras after the hustle and bustle of the busy season. During this time, I really miss my family sessions, but I really love having time to focus on photography as art and just documenting my own family.
One of the ways I like to stay inspired is by taking classes and breakouts (short inspirational/creative classes where a photographer just kind of spills her secrets and gives you assignments) on www.clickinmoms.com and other websites. I have done a few lately and have learned a few tricks and been inspired to shoot a lot!
Another way I keep myself shooting and growing is through photography groups on Instagram and Facebook. There are monthly challenge groups, breakout groups that continue to help inspire and support you, and even Instagram loops where you post on a given theme at the same time as a group of photographers and link to each other's photos! After a while, all of these assignments kind of add up, and it's hard to keep track!
One day I decided to try to get ALL my assignments done in ONE SHOOT! I was going for the color Pink, backlight shining through material, breaking rules, iPad reflection, movement, minimalism, details, and a couple others! Oh my! Luckily, my pretty niece with her pretty skirt was up for a shoot my sister was doing and I jumped in and got everything I needed and more!
One thing I love about this shoot so much, besides getting some of my favorite images ever, is that it evolved from one thing to another as I followed the light and the moment. Things didn't turn out the way I planned, they turned out much better. I also experimented with several editing styles, and it's interesting to see how things changed as I moved through the session as the light and the mood changed. What an enormous variety of looks you can get with one outfit, one girl, and about 30 minutes! This shows exactly how personal projects can help with client work! If I had given up after the first few shots, I would not have ended up with some of the best work I've ever done, which will give me the ability to adapt and use these techniques in client sessions!
Look how I ended up with some shots of my fellow shooter/sister in the end! We shot every last bit of sunlight there was! Shooting with other people is another awesome form of inspiration, and it's interesting how her shots are gorgeous and nothing like mine! It really show how different each artist can be.