by Patty Shenk
During the month of May we celebrated Women in Photography and asked what inspired you most. We had an overwhelming response and enjoyed reading your inspirational thoughts. Here are some tips for the top responses received to help bring your photography to the next level.
Photo Credit: Catherine Hall
Photo Credit: Verity Milligan
Photo Credit: Annabelle Chavez
Meet the PhotograpHERs featured last month
Who and/or what inspires you most?
Inspiration is important in photography. My standpoint is that the wheel is difficult to reinvent, but it should be interpreted in its own way.
Inspirations and creativity I gather by traveling. Leaving the familiar environment behind forces you to start thinking differently which leads to new ideas and different approaches.
I also find books or pictures by other artists inspiring, as well as music. You can also inspire yourself through the Internet but you should be careful not to get flooded by content!
-Laura Helena Rubahn
Both my children and nature inspire me. I try to intertwine the two as much as possible. I’m drawn to childhood nostalgia and simpler times, and really try to make that shine in my work.
There are lots of my contemporaries who I take inspiration from on a daily basis. Photographers like Julian Calverley, Mark Littlejohn, Rachael Talibart (and dozens more), who consistently put out incredible work and find innovative ways to capture the landscape. Most of all I’m inspired by light, especially morning light, just after sunrise, and how it plays with the landscape, whether it’s urban or rural. I’m happiest when shooting at dawn, there is something so quiet and ethereal about the world at that time and even in a city it can feel like there’s only me awake (especially in the summer when I’m getting up as others go to bed). When I have a great morning of shooting in good conditions I can feel completely elated and inspired for the rest of the day. Of course, for one great morning shooting, there can be many others where I’m standing under flat, grey skies with no hope of anything interesting. The thought of the light though, and not knowing how it will play out, keeps me coming back for more.
Light – always experimenting with light and pushing myself to try new things and playing with new toys (Profoto and California Sunbounce gear being my favorite modifiers).
I love to see what other fashion photographers are shooting and what sort of work magazines are commissioning. My favorite photographers include Ellen von Unwerth, Juergen Teller, and Miles Aldrige. I take inspiration from them for different things: colour, style, attitude or ideas.
My visual work is a direct reflection of the issues I care about, from human rights urban gardening. If you find me arguing about it with friends over dinner, you will find the continuation of that conversation in my work.
I am most inspired by the three L’s: Life, Light, and Love. I’m also very drawn to color and texture and, when I look at my photographs, I want color and happiness to jump right off the photograph and into my heart. I mean, that’s probably the cheesiest line I’ve ever written in my life but it’s totally true, too!
I’m inspired by the natural world more than anything else. I’m lucky enough to live by the sea now, and seem to always want to take my shoots to it. I’m also incredibly inspired by light. Soft, dreamy light. The way it envelops people’s faces. The changes it creates in mood. The way it alters landscapes. I’m totally obsessed with light!
Dreamers. I am inspired by the people who work hard to get to where they want to be. They are the ones with fervent hope to conquer challenges and carve the paths to take when others have taken the same roads.
I am a voracious reader! A good book can be one of the most inspiring things in the world to me. A few of my favorites I’ve read in the past year are: The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday, and Grit by Angela Duckworth. Each one of these books has changed my view of business and life for the better!
I’m inspired by people – often my friends, sometimes people I meet by chance and very often my kids and my husband. I also like to observe – Travels are always a great source of inspiration; I love immersing in other cultures.
Aside from my family and friends who are my biggest supporter, I am inspired by the works of my fellow photographers locally and internationally who are good in their genre and most of all I am most inspired when I am with nature.
The album covers for the bands I loved in the 90’s had amazing artwork (This Mortal Coil, for example), and were my earliest visual inspirations. I am a “recovering” goth punk from back then. I had my nose pierced, a million earrings, and a LOT of black in my closet.
I am inspired by light, lines, and classic compositions found spontaneously.
Rather than naming people that inspire me, as there are many, both female and male, I will say that wilderness and nature inspire me – it’s where I feel connected to the world the most, when I’m surrounded by beauty. Also, I’m inspired by seeing new places, and the freshness they instill into my creativity.