The best writers know that inspiration strikes anywhere and at any time. However, it’s also true that inspiration can be extremely elusive. It’s safe to say that most writers are well acquainted with writer’s block, and this creative rut can be tricky to get out of.
Never underestimate the importance of self-care as a way to beat writer’s block. There are lots of ways to engage in self-care, but one surefire way is to try out a new creative hobby for fun. To that end, photography is a great way for you to get those creative juices flowing. After all, lots of writers have found themselves inspired by gorgeous landscapes and stunning scenery — and photography can inspire you in the same way; plus, you get to exercise two creative hobbies at once.
Whether you’re new to the art of writing or are simply looking to get that much-needed boost of inspiration, read below for a few ways that photography can inspire your writing.
How photography can inspire you
1) Gives you a space to reflect on your feelings
One of the great things about photography is that you start seeing things from a different perspective. You might even notice that certain feelings come up when you photograph something: this could be the perfect jumping-off point for a more reflective piece. It’s also just good to write for the sake of writing, so even a simple reflection on your new creative journey can be a source of inspiration.
2) Helps you hone your storytelling skills
Photo essays are a great way to marry photography and writing. You can start your photo essay by collecting a few pictures that seem to be telling a story. Once you have your pictures laid out, you can choose to write a companion piece that talks about why you chose those certain photos. You could also do a bit of creative writing and write out the actual story of the photos so that your viewers can enjoy side-by-side.
3) Teaches you the value of patience
Last but not least, both photography and writing have a lot to do with patience. In the same way that you might spend hours waiting for that perfect shot, it might also take you ages and ages to figure out the right phrase or the direction you want to take your story next. Patience is part of the creative process, and the sooner you can get acquainted with it, the better.
How writers can get started with photography
If you’re convinced that trying out photography is what you need to get those creative juices flowing, the next step is to get out there and start shooting.
Of course, to get started with photography, you’ll need a camera. Fortunately, there are plenty of affordable used mirrorless cameras to buy online especially for beginners. Buying a used camera is a good way to get a better spec for less money – for instance, a used Olympus OM-D E-M1X comes in at around $800, whilst a brand new model is the key is upwards of $2,000.
If you wish to get yourself snapping photos, opting for a sturdy point-and-shoot camera can give you stunning photos right away, and they can be much cheaper. Indeed something like the Sony DSCW810B.CEH comes in at under $100, and as you progress your skillset, you can opt to upgrade your camera to something more flexible, like the Olympus or standard models from Canon and Nikon, where you can play around with different lenses.
For those who want to get started on their new creative venture right away, you can also try out a few phone photography tricks to take advantage of the small camera you already have in your pocket. The good thing about phone photography is that additional accessories, such as stands and lenses, are relatively cheap. You can also opt to sign up for online photo editing classes to make your photos pop and teach you how to see your photos in a different light.
If you enjoyed this article on technology and writing, you might also like our recent piece on whether Chat GPT can write a book for you.
*Thanks to Sassy Tiu for this article. I love to have varying perspectives on this blog, and while I’m not a photographer myself, I certainly see how some writers might find its influence particularly useful to their creative endeavors. If you give it a try and find it useful, please, let us know!