How to Get Out of Creative Block


There are times when I often find myself stuck while photographing. It’s almost like the ‘seeing’ ceases. How can I get over this?

Answer by: Deepti Asthana, Documentary Photographer

To be a photographer, you have to be curious about people’s lives, events, and the everyday occurrences surrounding you. You should have the ability to fall in love with the stories around you. If that’s your innate nature, and you have an eye for visuals, you might not often find yourself in a situation where the seeing ceases.

While working on a few projects, I have also felt a certain monotonous feeling of being stuck. It felt like nothing interesting is happening. In such situations, I moved away from the story for a while, and returned to it after a couple of weeks or even months. A different weather, time or situation always makes me excited and provides a freshness to my vision. Walk away, and come back.

Another way to introduce freshness is to bring a change without moving away. Experiment with a different camera, or challenge yourself by using only a prime lens or use only the cellphone’s camera. This will probably alter your approach to the subject, and maybe even bring you closer to what you’re photographing.

Changing your visual approach also helps. Think about how you can tell the same story differently or shoot the same situation differently. Photographing at a certain time of the day or shoot using a distinctive visual approach (using any visual style such as only creating black and white images), where you can weave the story differently.

Bring out all the pictures you have shot of the same place, situation or person. Ask yourself what exactly you are lacking, and what else you can shoot to complete your story. Be your own critic, give yourself feedback, and stay motivated.

This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of Better Photography.