My Pexels Interview, and my creative spark

"Micheile Henderson's Still Lifes Are Good Enough to Eat"

Uhmm, did I read that correctly?

About a month ago I received an email from Pexels asking if I’d like to answer some questions for a feature for their blog. It was a nice surprise. Maybe we all have it, doubts, lack of motivation, ‘in  a rut’ —something that brings us down or keeps us from starting new projects. I’m sure all creatives experience this at one point, if not often in their careers.

That’s where I was, lack of motivation. I had been working on a project for an acquaintance, something that was not only out of my comfort zone, but also in a style that didn’t feel like me. No regrets, it’s good to challenge ourselves, and get out of our comfort zone, that’s why I participate in the Unsplash (the other free stock photo site) Photo Club. This project consumed all my time and brought me little joy. I’m so happy the person I made it for was happy with it, at least I have that. She worked really hard on her part of it, and I’m happy she liked the finished product. The thing is, it put me in a place where I find it hard to move forward.

 

In the months preceding the project I had been so productive, and so excited about my projects, and taking on something for someone else has seemed to interrupt my creative process. I am struggling with starting something new. The staycation from the last three weeks also hasn’t helped. I’m finding it so hard to get motivated. 

 

Opening my inbox yesterday to a newsletter from Pexels containing an article ‘Micheile Henderson’s Still Lifes Are Good Enough to Eat’, ‘Get inspired by Netherlands photographer Micheile Henderson’s mouth-watering still lifes, from decadent desserts to lush flowers’. gave me a huge smile. It’s helped a bit with the doubts, and I’m feeling more motivated. I’m still not there, my creative spark isn’t what it was at the beginning of the summer but it’s getting there.  The idea that such a platform has taken notice of my work is thrilling. I’m so grateful for the feature. 

How do we stay motivated?

In my interview I give my one piece of advice to new photographers. You can read it in full here. Here’s the jest of it.

Master the art of observation.

Seeing is obviously an important part of a photographer’s skill set, but still it is underestimated, and often not trained. You need to consciously train your sight; the more you train, the easier it will be for you to take successful photos.

 

Same subject shot two ways.

Take mental notes of what you see in your surroundings. This helps in planning, styling, and troubleshooting your shoots.

Try and engage all your senses. Maybe you’ll gain inspiration from something you see, smell, or a texture you feel or an emotion?

The image on the right was inspired by nature.

Look for inspiration outside of photography. From example; nature, interior design, art, graphic design, architecture.. anything that sparks something in you. Observe how light falls, or how a color palettes make you feel. When I did website designing I was once inspired by a generic wash detergent package. The image on the above left was taken on a walk in the botanical gardens, it was the inspiration for the photo on the right. 

Taking inspiration from outside of our own medium is not only a fun way to stretch our skill of observation, but it also adds something unique and fresh into our work.

What do you do when in a rut?

I’m still struggling, the interview and exposure has motivated me some but I’m not quite there.  I’m thinking of doing a series of photos based on color palettes. So not the subject matter, but simply finding color palettes that inspire me. 

Joanie Simon has great advice (as always!) in one of her latest videos. 

I’m curious what you do when you’ve lost your mojo. How do you get back your creative spark?

Thanks for stopping by, it’s so appreciated! 

xoxo,

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