Friday, March 6, 2015

Feature Friday With Jennifer Potter of Photographs by Jennifer!

The winner of last week's 'faces' challenge is the talented Jennifer Liston Potter of Photographs by Jennifer.  We have featured Jennifer here and here before, so instead of our usual interview, Jennifer is sharing her thoughts on busting through a rut.

I see it so so much. A brilliant artist suffering the inner turmoil caused by the dreaded "slump". No matter what you call it.. a rut, hitting a creative wall, or maybe "that time of the month" (haha) , we all know what it means. You suck. Your photography sucks. Your camera sucks. You might just quit forever and ever...... nah, but really. That's how it feels. Your mind, that was once bursting with inspiration and brilliance, is now a desolate tundra of mundane, lifeless, nothingness. Too dramatic? Okay, you get the point. You're in a slump. Now here's how you get the hell out of it.

 Take a break from social media. Best advice ever. So many times, what we think is a slump, is actually us comparing ourselves to everyone else and getting discouraged. You lose your own voice that way. You forget why you're shooting in the first place.Don't share. Don't post. Just don't care what anyone else has to say about your photography. I know, I'm insane! hahaha! SHOOT FOR YOU. See your work through your own eyes. Forget "likes", and comments, and shares. It's not a competition after all. It's not a race. Art is about soul searching.... Think of it like a walkabout. 

Don't put that camera down. That's right. I see it too often. People say they are in a slump so they're going to take a break from photography. Well, that just sounds even more depressing. KEEP SHOOTING. Take your camera everywhere with you if that's possible. Use your phone. Whatever you do, don't stop capturing your everyday. Life is still happening all around you. Important moments and little things you may not even realize. Just document if nothing else. Think about it.... How many times have you gone through your images from the day and thought, "man, these are crappy!", only to look at them a few days or months later and realize how important and beautiful they actually are?  KEEP SHOOTING. 

Change it up. That could mean something as simple as putting a different lens on your camera or trying a new creative edit. Other things I like to try when I'm bored or need a creative boost are double exposure, freelensing, shooting through different things, changing my perspective, night photography or getting creative with shutter speed. 

Last of all... the thing that rocks my core and makes me realize why I'm shooting in the first place, is seeing my images become photographs. PRINT, PRINT, PRINT. Hold that photo in your hands! Doesn't that feel amazing!? Hang it on your walls. Make an album. Give it as a gift. Make it REAL. There's the joy right there. There is the reason.  What slump right!?

I hope this helps you, or at least makes a little sense to you. It's what works for me.  I'm always self conscious about writing things out like this. My pictures usually speak for me. Thank you for taking some time to read my little feature. Keep it real!

Find more of Jennifer's beautiful work here:

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