Tyler’s Tips Episode 31: reinvigorating your creativity


Welcome to Tyler’s Tips. Today I’m going to talk about reinvigorating your creativity.

So this happens to all of us sometimes. Whatever we try to do, we wind up creating images that are just, we can’t get excited about what we produce. Everything just seems like it’s falling flat and not really working right. It’s really hard to get out of those slumps when they happen. So I’ve got two ideas that I want to share with you today about how I’ve had success unslumping myself, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite authors, Dr Seuss.

Anyways, the first way is process. So when I find myself in that really challenging kind of space, I literally just make myself put the camera to my face and start shooting. What I’ve found is a lot of the time, most of the time actually, if I just do that, okay, let’s shoot this one, now try another angle. Keep trying, no that’s not working. Keep trying. Eventually what happens is I get in a rhythm and I find my mojo again and I’m able to start producing images pretty quickly that I’m actually really happy about and that I like. And that creative mojo comes back.

Sometimes that can happen really quickly within a few minutes even. Sometimes I can change my energy. So much of it is that, it’s like what we’re feeling inside is what drives all this stuff. And if we can change that feeling, anyways. So for me process, just strictly diving in and doing it really helps.

And the other way, the second idea I want to share with you is very related, but it’s a little bit more intentional. This is one that I’ve used a few times over the years, also with great success. And it is when you find yourself in that slump and you just can’t feel it, create something cool, make yourself do a fun, playful photo shoot. So something goofy as an exercise.

And what winds up happening is you might create photos you love, you might not, but it’s not so serious and it’s an environment where you can take risks and play around and there’s nothing’s at stake. You’re just having fun. Like the purpose is to just have fun. And so you will just have fun hopefully, because that’s the point. And in that playful, goofy space, you’ll find your creative mojo again. It’s kind of like magic and it works really well. And sometimes you create some cool photos.

So I’m going to show you some photos that I created a couple of years ago on one of these playful, goofy shoots. I had a big photo shoot that postponed at the last minute and I didn’t want to leave my assistant hanging for a couple of days with no work. So I said you know what? Hey, we’ve got this studio, I’ve got this awesome assistant I love working with, Kyle. And we decided let’s just do some fun shoots.

So we came into the studio and we brainstormed. I had this old idea that I’d been noodling on for years and never done anything with because I couldn’t really pull it together in my head like what I really wanted to do. So we just dove in. And it produced images like this.

It was combining food and old tools. So we did things like this, like we stuck a tomato in an old C clamp and we took an old rusty saw and we used it to slice a loaf of bread and on and on. We did all these different images and we had tons of fun. A lot of these images did not work. In fact, I think most of them didn’t work. I’m thinking of the, what made me laugh as I just visualized the train wreck that was the old drill and the coconut. Nobody’s going to see that photo. It’s so bad.

Anyways, you can see in my energy just talking about it, it was such a great shoot. It really served its purpose and it got everybody enthusiastic and I had so much fun doing it. And we landed on this one, this is one of my favorites from the shoot of the tortilla, the tortillas and the old iron. Just goofing around.

So anyways, there you go. In that case we produced some images that I really like and I’m happy with and I want to share. But that’s not really the point. The point is the energy that it creates doing a playful shoot like that, like you could hear it in my voice just as I started reliving that shoot a little bit. I don’t see these photos when I’m doing these videos. This is just in my head. I’m just remembering the process and it made me smile and laugh. And a lot of it is that, it’s like getting that positive energetic approach, that rhythm back.

So there you go. There’s my tip for today. When you find yourself in a slump, two ways to unslump yourself. One, just lean into the process and let it carry you to the place you need to go. You’ve done this before, you’ve done it a lot. You can just lean on that. The other, the second idea is just make yourself do a goofy, fun shoot and see where that takes you. I think if you try those two things and maybe try them both at the same time, even, you will wind up unslumping yourself.

So as always, thank you for your time and I hope that this was a useful tip. If you have any ideas or questions that you’d like me to discuss in a future episode, drop me a line and I’ll work it in. Until next time.