By Ashley Manley on | No Comments
Ahhh, February. The month of love. The month of the birth of my sweet daughter. And also, the month I hate most. February finds me every year in a bad mood. Call it seasonal depression, call it negative vibes, call it crazy, but February is my least favorite month.
By February, the midwest Winter is grinding on my last nerve and I spend every nap time looking for real estate in warmer climate zones. The bare trees, grey skies, and frigid temps were all cute when they showed up in November…but now? Not so much.
Not only does my mood take a hit as winter drags on, in winters gone by, my photography has also taken a hit in these bitter months. No golden hour? No colorful trees? What’s the point of even picking up a camera!?
I get it.
If you are like me and can relate to the winter blues, both in life and photography, then read on! I will be sharing 5 tips for staying creative and motivated with your camera in the slow winter months, even if mother nature is so rudely keeping it cold.
You don’t have to drop a few thousand dollars to play around with fun new gear…sometimes you don’t even have to drop anything if you are packing a crazy arsenal of camera gear in your bag that never sees the light of day.
Put a different lens on your camera that you never use, or, if you are a minimalist photographer like myself, rent a fun lens. Try a macro lens to photograph snowflakes with or a funky fisheye to see your cold grey world in a fun new way.
You might not be able to change the cold temps, but you can change the way you shoot them. I've always had great luck renting through Borrow Lenses.
Translation: take a trip down memory lane to when you took photos of warm things. ha! :) But seriously, in these cold days that seem to last a year in every cold hour, sometimes looking at pictures of that dream weekend at the beach from last summer is just the ticket to helping you survive.
And I can’t speak for every photographer, but for me personally, my editing style is ever evolving, so pulling up photos from the warmer days doesn’t just give me hope that winter won’t last forever, it also lets me flex my creative muscles a bit by editing the favorites again.
And those new Pretty Lightroom presets and Photoshop Actions you've been wanting to test out but felt nervous using them on client sessions? NOW IS THE TIME! Be brave and bold in your socks and oversized sweater - you have nothing to lose here!
We always have a reason for not getting in the frame..but winter? If you need an excuse to play around with a new technique or to get comfortable on the other side of the camera, use this time of hibernation.
Winter light is different in my home. It’s lower, shines in the windows differently and casts different shadows. And the days are so short, I have to find light in different pockets and earlier hours.
Taking the time, a day, a week, a month, whatever, to seek out the light that is cooler and different. Really slow down to see it and make art out of it. Even if you don’t create any photos you like (which you might surprise yourself!) you will most definitely learn something about light.
This might seem silly, but hear me out. When I’m in a funk with photography, whether a blizzard is knocking down my door or not, the best thing I can do is talk to like minded people.
Not my husband, even though he supports me 100 bajillion percent. Not my best friend, though she likes all my pictures on social media.
Other photographers. In real life. Whether they shoot the same subjects, use the same gear, or do anything like me at all, having photography as a common ground is all that I need. It’s more than a DM on Instagram saying your post really struck a chord with me!” It’s real genuine conversation. It’s laughing about the horrible photo we took at our last session, the bridezilla that almost killed us 3 years ago, or the time our computer crashed.
Something about talking to other photographers is just soul food. And also, the coffee part is obvious, because #winter. Whether it’s one photographer or 12, get together, have some coffee, and inspire each other!
Ok, that’s it. Nothing too drastic or expensive, but hopefully one of these are just what you need to help you get through the next cold couple months to the happier and sunnier days ahead. And if you are one of the chosen ones that don’t have a winter season? I’m not going to lie, I kinda hate you right now :)
Don't miss our FREE Guide "4 Ways to Make Your Images More Creative". Just click on the image below. Happy shooting! xo
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