Like many industries, photography has a season of busyness. This generally falls into the months of September to December. When January arrives many of us photographers take a deep sigh of relief and bask in the quieter days of less hectic demands. To be honest, I love this rhythm. I love being in the thick of shooting, editing and fulfilling print orders as I find it really pushes me to be my best. But I also think the quieter time is just as important. It allows me to reflect on what worked well in the past year. It allows me to dream for the year(s) to come and to think creatively. But like a lot of other creatives, the quietness gets a little too quiet at times, and I get stir crazy to do something!
I wanted to quickly share with you all a few ideas of how to stay creative during the quieter months without adding to the busyness of your quieter season.
1. Plan a Styled Shoot with Other Creatives
This is a sure fire way to get those ideas flowing. I love doing what I do. But to do what I love to do with other people who love what they do (that was a confusing sentence!!)- its complete magic! Reach out to some other creatives you admire in your area and collaborate together to bring your vision to life. Try something you would never do. Sometimes I find when working with a group, a personal vision can be echoed by their own specialities and by the end of your collaboration you’ve all created something beautiful. There are great networks like ‘The Rising Tide Society’ which is a safe community of talented people who abide by the “Community Over Competition” motto and really build on connectedness. I’ve been blessed to get to know some wonderfully talented people in our local ‘Tuesday’s Together’ – Barrie chapter. This is a great way of how to stay creative during your off season.
2. Learn a New Creative Skill
There are so many cool classes out there. Last week while I was scrolling through Instagram I came across a really cool Macrame class. A friend had mentioned to me she wanted to learn how to do that this year. Want to learn pottery? Check if your local Arts Council offers classes. I know the South Simcoe Arts Council regularly has drawing classes and other really cool art classes. Sometimes doing something creative outside your own creative skill will encourage you in your own passions. It gives you new perspectives and new skills.
3. Take time to be Quiet & Enjoy your Own company
I know this is one of the most hardest things for myself. Being a mom of three busy and loud children its highly unlikely in my day that I find a quiet moment. Life is busy and loud. We aren’t often okay with silence. We fill our days with music, Netflix and conversations. All these things aren’t bad in themselves, but sometimes they can be distractions. When I can carve a moment of quiet into my day or intentionally plan a quieter couple of hours- I find that my ideas seem to speak louder to me. I am able to sort my thoughts and process them.
4. Enjoy the Outdoors
Winter in Canada is hard sometimes. I can go days without leaving my house. I like hibernating in winter, but it’s good to get out too. I truly believe we draw energy from nature around us. We’ve had a lot of grey days this winter and so the other day I decided we needed to get outdoors. We packed up the kids and went for an hour hike at our favourite hiking place. The fresh scent from the trees and the crispness of the air was the perfect remedy for the winter blues that seemed to be settling in.
5. Pamper Yourself
There I said it- I gave you permission to take care of yourself! Book yourself in for a massage, manicure or pedicure! Stress and busyness often leaves tension in our bodies and we don’t realize it until the busyness is over. Take this time to enjoy a bit of self care. Better yet– take your significant other or a good friend and enjoy the time together. I know this is a good reminder for myself as I haven’t done this for a couple of months.
6. Connect with Others
This one is very important. Invest in relationships– reconnect with old friends, reach out to new friends. Building up relationships is the single most important thing in life. Relationships will lift you when you are down. They will encourage you when you need to be pushed. They will be a listening ear for you when you need to vent. Investing in people is never time wasted. Take time in your week to intentionally connect with others. Whether it be a significant other, your kids or a good friend- take time to connect with them.
I hope these few suggestions of how to stay creative help spur you on in your day to day. I’d love hear other suggestions of how you encourage your creativeness. Let me know what you think below in the comments and thank you for stopping by!