Photography : staying inspired

Written on June 28, 2017 by Richard Alton in Creativity and technique

‘All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he or she grows up.’ Pablo Picasso

Photo © Richard Alton (2016) : Chicken in a pot : all rights reserved.

As a photographer, it can be hard to stay inspired. When I’m feeling grumpy, I tell myself that it’s all been done before, so why bother? Why indeed? Because when you’re in the creative flow, there’s no feeling like it.

I’m lucky to live in Zambia, moving here when my children had grown up. The new surroundings make it easier to see with a fresh eye. But original photography doesn’t require exotic locations. Look at André Kertész’s picture of a bowl and fork on the table and be enchanted. I haven’t tried ‘still life’, but Kertész’s image is one of my favourites. If I could afford a print, it would take pride of place on my wall.

So how do you keep the creative juices flowing? From my own experience, I’d say just get started. My personal dragon, which I’ve had to slay time and time again, is inertia. Often the answer is to start by taking small steps. In an earlier post, Photographer’s block , I explained my approach, which you might find useful.

I’m a strong believer in bringing heart to photography. Good technique helps to clarify what you’ve got to say, but for me the most satisfying pictures are the ones that convey emotion — sadness, joy, wonder or amusement.

So pick up your camera, get started and don’t worry too much about technique. If you’d like to share your own tips or advice, please leave a comment.

Photographer and writer, living in Zambia.

View all posts by: Richard Alton

Originally published at on June 28, 2017.