Blog Title: Two Loves Studio
About: Rachel is an Aussie food photographer living in Vancouver. She loves capturing visual stories that emphasize the beauty of real food. Rachel has worked for clients of all sizes, all over the world. She has taught over 1,000 students how to create beautiful food photography that makes their community and clients hungry! She also taught editing (a subject she actually is super passionate about) at food blogging conferences over the last three years.
Notes from Episode #091: How to Find Inspiration, Be Unique & Harness Creative Momentum
Fun fact: Rachel had parents that were ornithologists and so she’s a bird nerd. She loves the birds in Vancouver where she lives now as well in Australia where she’s from.
Rachel talks with us about how to find inspiration to be unique in your work.
When you see something (whether in real life or scrolling through IG) that stops you in your tracks, what do you do with that feeling that caused you to stop (from noticing a piece of content, photo, recipes, etc)? Why does it inspire you? What moved you to action upon seeing this?
Rachel encourages you to break down this feeling and thoughts so you create content that is emotional and inspiring.
Find 1-3 things that you want to focus on in a piece of content (lighting, subject, angle, presentation different than what you’re used to seeing, different props) and then put that into play as you create. Integrate your own style and play with it.
Sometimes you sit with it, because it might take some time to figure out how to create from that feeling.
Once you identify those things, you can figure out how to create your content with those in mind. Then you’re not simply recreating the piece you saw, but you’re selecting elements that you were drawn to and executing them in your own content with your unique presentation.
It’s almost harder to figure out what you’re drawn to when the content you saw is similar to yours. But when the content is completely different than your own, it’s easier to pick out what you liked.
Learn to read images and break down what you’re looking at when you’re going to take your own pictures.
Rachel took a social media break after the new year because she was bombarded with images and content and needed to change her focus so she could rest.
It can be hard to create from within because so many images are baked into our subconscious from being online and working with others and not letting your mind rest. So when Rachel took her break but then went to photo shoots, it really forced her to be creative on her own and from the heart. She felt like her photography during that period was like a winning streak because she was really being inspired by each shot.
Rachel felt allowed to lean into what she wanted to create when she turned off others content for her over the 35 days.
Start with taking weekends off if you can’t take a 35 day break.
The pressure to create can discourage you but trust yourself that you will come out with the result you want. You might need time to trust yourself but it will help you.
What are ways to jump start creativity?
Besides a social media break, it can come from anywhere.
Ask yourself, where do I find joy?
Try everyday to get outside and look at the light around you. This energizes Rachel but it also helps her think about what ignites her in photography.
Reading a book
Rachel read The Passionate Photographer by Steve Simon – the idea of this book is that everything that you want to do has already been done so you need to do it better. So what is better? Better is you. Do it your way with your spin.
It’s ok to not always have a hit.
Being unique is not an algorithm. You just have to create the content you want to create.
Take ideas about photography, and there will be hits within them, but it’s ok to just make your photography your best.
Ask your family, loved ones, what they like about your food, recipes, your style and work with that. Let it help you go the direction you want to go or change to the direction you need to go.
Bright and Airy or Dark and Moody are two ways that people will describe their photography. But there are more than red and green apples and there are more than 2 kinds of photography. Make this distinction so you can uncover what you like and work what you like into your own photography.
If you feel called to try something new and an idea is calling to you, test it out. It’s ok to fail and try new things. Experimenting will help you grow into your own style.
Momentum feeds itself. If you’re on a winning streak, turn it and make it a habit. This helps you harness the momentum for a long time.
Helpful references from the episode:
It’s all been done before, do it better ~ Steve Simon
The reward for conformity is that everyone like you except yourself ~ Rita Mae Brown (found via Chase Jarvis)
Rachel recommends you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – Rachel felt like she got permission from Elizabeth to take a break.