I think it’s safe to say that hundreds, (if not thousands) of photographers fell into a creative rut over the last year. (I mean it’s pretty inevitable if you’re on lockdown… right!?) But fortunately, as creatives… it’s not in our nature to stay in one forever. If you’re in a creative rut, fear not — there are strategies for breaking out of it; and these 5 ways to get out of a creative rut that I’m sharing with you today are my go-to’s!
1. Invest in yourself via education.
This is my number one go-to whenever I’m stuck in a creative rut. I don’t just preach education to you guys because I offer it. I preach it because it works. No matter what stage you’re in in your business, investing in someone who’s further ahead than you, and that has a different area of expertise is crucial. You can’t grow unless you’re reaching ahead of where you are.
In terms of what education I invest in, it’s usually a coach or a class in a specific area of photography/something I haven’t mastered yet. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention myself and my coaching services here, cause duh… I’m a photography coach. But, some other amazing resources are CreativeLive, Skillshare, and SLR Lounge.
There are thousands of photography classes on each of those sites for different skills/genres of photography. My advice? Take one that’s outside of your comfort zone. That’s the fastest way to challenge yourself, and expand your photography horizons!
2. Get organized by streamlining your systems.
Hear me out. I know this doesn’t sound super exciting or inspiring. But, what if the reason you’re burning out is because you’re disorganized and don’t ever have time to go get inspired?
Chances are, the reason you feel this way is because you don’t have any systems set up to free you up from doing the work you don’t enjoy. How can you even go out and get inspired if you’re constantly chained to your computer…? I know this is where you’re at if you’re procrastinating responding to inquiries because you’re embarrassed at your workflow, yet you feel like you’re always working on your business.
The reason you feel like this is because you’re actually always working IN your business, and not ON it. This is the #1 reason why you’re not growing!
The easiest, and best way, to get started with creating systems is to do the following:
- Write down all the steps that do, (or need to) take place from inquiry to delivery of your client’s photos. If you’re completely unsure of any of this, a great place to start is this blog post, “How To Create A Client Communication Workflow.”
- Then, get those processes plugged into a CRM (client relationship manager.) My all-time favorite is Honeybook, and you can get 50% off of your subscription here! The main way you’ll want to incorporate this is by using email templates, proposals, and the workflows in Honeybook!
3. Plan a styled shoot.
It’s wild what planning and executing a shoot solely for the purpose of boosting our creativity will do! I’m serious. This is one of the quickest ways to get out of a creative rut!
And the thing is, it doesn’t have to be this wild, extravagant, expensive shoot with a bunch of creatives involved to make you feel on fire creatively again. (Unless you want it to be of course!)
It can be as simple as a) posting a model call to get someone (or two people,) to show up for it and be down to let you style them, b) finding stuff for them to wear, either from their own closet, directing them and helping with shopping, or renting a dress from somewhere! My all-time fav dress rental place is Lael Rentals on IG!
I told one of my clients, Danielle, that was in my 1:1 Coaching via The Purposeful Photographer Program to do this very thing! She was in a creative rut, so I told her to rent a dress from Lael, post a model call, and take them to the sand dunes. She did it, and these were her results…
4. Get plugged into your creative community.
We were literally designed to live in community with one another. When I’m feeling down or discouraged, it’s amazing how much it helps to meet up with other like-minded creatives and just talk shop, encourage each other, or create something. Just try it! Go to lunch with another photographer or creative in your town, and foster a new friendship. I literally never regret it when I do this!!
I know some of you are naturally more introverted, (and I can be too at times,) but even if you have social anxiety — it’s always worth it. And truth be told, most photographers have social anxiety too!! 🤣
5. Travel to a new place.
Whether it’s in another country, another state, or another area of your town you’ve never been to… traveling always seems to give us a fresh new perspective on things.
Really, there’s never been a time I regretted traveling! (Well… except for maaaybe that time I got stranded all alone in Tokyo, Japan in the middle of a typhoon on my way back to America, and had like 57438230939 flight delays. And that was literally a day after both Clayton and I got stuck in Fukuoka, Japan for four days bc of the same typhoon. It was a cluster man…) Yeah… that was the worst trip ever.) But aside from all of that, it’s mostly been roses! 🙈
I know how it feels to be stuck in a creative rut, I really do. I’ve been there quite a few times, but these things ALWAYS seem to get me out of it! So I highly encourage you to try one, if not all of these! (And remember to pin this blog post for future use — whenever the inevitable creative rut comes on!)
Got any questions, or recommendations for what you do to get out of a creative rut?? Drop ‘em below!!
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