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You don’t have to wait for the turn of a new year to start a new habit. Each day can be a new beginning. A hobby like photography also needs the discipline of a habit, and you can give it an extra motivational push with the help of the Web. You shouldn’t let your camera collect dust – think differently and inspiring photography ideas Don't Let Your Camera Collect Dust: 10 Inspiring Ideas For Photography Don't Let Your Camera Collect Dust: 10 Inspiring Ideas For Photography Finding inspiration for your photography can sometimes be a challenge. We've already taken a look at five places you can go online to find inspiration for your photography, but there are also a few offline... Read More will come to you. If all fails, the Web and the number of popular photography blogs 10 Blogs That Will Make You Into An Amazing Photographer 10 Blogs That Will Make You Into An Amazing Photographer Now, you really don’t have to struggle in the darkroom to learn the ropes of how to take great photos. That is because the lessons of photography have gone online too. Ten blogs – that’s... Read More offer a constant stream of ideas.

So, are you stuck in a rut? Is your camera cocooned snugly in its bag and not doing anything else? Don’t let the battery of your passionate hobby die out. Here are some easy ways to get started with a photography habit today.

Photography Inspiration Every Day

Photography inspiration

My friend Bakari makes a case for using a 365-Day photography project Become A Better Photographer with Online 365 Days Groups Become A Better Photographer with Online 365 Days Groups Read More to throw off the dust on your camera. You can do smaller projects like the 52 Weeks Project. The idea behind both is to put you in a constant state of inspiration so that it becomes a habit. Inspiration is everywhere. The advice is to be prepared to capture it in a frame when it flits by. Go to new places, meet new people (try Flickr’s 100 Strangers Group). Look at billboards and print ads with a critical eye, appreciate wall graffiti…there’s inspiration everywhere. Also, don’t forget to capture your ideas on paper or on digital tools like Evernote.

Look At Photography

Photography Image Boards

The world has gone hog wild with photographs. There’s no dearth of places to look. From amazingly creative Flickr Groups to photography learning websites. Look at some of the best photographs and use a tool like Pinterest to collate your own image boards around your interests. It could be photos around specific styles or it can be simply educational, like an image board on photography infographics.

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Yes, it could trap you into just admiring the works of others…but then it could also push you to take your camera and do some shooting of your own.

Don’t Look At Photography

Photography & Art

Study other art forms. Photography like any other has a lot to do with developing a creative eye. And I believe it can be learnt and also transferred from one art form to another. Noticing form, texture, pattern, and style is as common to photography as it is to something like painting…or instead of brandishing a brush, you can just stand back and admire a beautiful painting in a museum. The Web has made other art forms easily accessible. You could spend an evening with Google’s Art Project which is a virtual museum bringing together some of the rarest of artifacts from the renowned collections around the world. 

Look At Everyday Things

Everyday photography

When the bustle of life traps you, it could be difficult to find time to take to the hobby. But then if you have a few minutes at hand, there are things you can snap around the house. Pick up common things and challenge yourself to shoot with different point of views. You can also try shooting them with different apertures, play with light, or shoot in the dark. You can take to Google Image Search or large pools like Flickr and search for similar images to learn from. Use simple keywords for the common household items (as the screenshot above shows).

Shoot Around a Single Theme

Photography Theme

Habits should be kept simple. The ideal way to uncomplicate your photography is to limit yourself to a single theme for your photographs. It could be a single color, a single object, the routinely changing sky, sunsets, sunrises, or just about anything else like shoes. Again, you can turn to online communities like Flickr and Instagram. For instance, you can find Flickr groups and pools around everyday objects like fire hydrants, umbrellas, shoes, road signs, and anything else you can think of.  Instagram also makes itself easily searchable with the help of hashtags and you can be sure that your wildest single-theme idea has already found a place here.

Another way to push the habit is to set up photo scavenger hunts. Similar to other kinds of scavenger hunts, you get a list of things to shoot within a time frame.

Shoot For a Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge

Photography contests 5 Websites With Free Photo Contests To Improve Your Photography Skills 5 Websites With Free Photo Contests To Improve Your Photography Skills Read More and photo challenges give you an added incentive to push forward with the photography habit — the recognition of a peer group or just the fun of participating. Here are some you can jump into today and really stretch your skills.

 Do a Selfie

Creative selfie project

Take a look at yourself. Self-portraits can be creatively challenging and also help you maintain the photography habit when you are at a loss for photography subjects, and an equal one for inspiration. These unique self-portrait projects 7 Photography Projects That Could Change The Way You Look At Selfies 7 Photography Projects That Could Change The Way You Look At Selfies If you do it right, the selfie is elevated to the high art of self-portraiture. These seven creative photography projects could inspire you to think out of the box. Read More on the Web show how far ideas can be stretched even when limited to the self.

Clear the Clutter

Photographs & Clutter

We are all digital hoarders. Files, videos, music, and photos – all find a home on cheap terabytes available today. Productivity is closely allied to how organized you are. Clutter defeats creativity. Getting into a photography habit could also involve deleting your old photos. Go through your collection and hit delete on the ones which aren’t creatively satisfying or are near duplicates. I have often found that creating space by removing the old often opens up the mind for new and improved photos. It also takes you back to the time and place when you clicked some inspired snaps.

But the best way to get started with a photography habit? Get off the Internet! Seriously. Take out your camera and just go and click. You will surely be reminded why you took up the hobby in the first place. The smartphone helps us take our “camera” everywhere, so building a photography habit isn’t handicapped by weightier excuses anymore.

What’s your excuse for letting the photography habit fall into the rut? What tips would you give to beginner photographers to get into the groove?

Image Credit: A collage of Tallinn landscape photos in a pile

  1. Caroline W
    January 18, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Hi. I have had my first compact digi camera for about 14 months now and have taken a couple of hundred photo's. I did run a Photography Blog for several months but that fizzled out. Things cooled down for about 6 months, but 'what I was going to do next' was always in the background.

    Finally, I decided to use the photo's I already have and make them into creative pieces using editing effects. I'm making use of Flickr's 1T space, as well as their groups, to store and show my pictures.

    I also backed up all my photo's to a cloud service - memory cards could have anything happen to them - (All the months of taking photo's I am not prepared to lose). And I'm using a few personal IFTTT recipes to automatically add certain photo's to my photo cloud. And this is where I'm at now with my photography hobby.

    I'm just glad that my hobby wasn't just a whim and that I was serious about photography. That 6 month 'cold' period worried me a lot, but I'm happy it was just a cold spell and now I have a new evolved project to concentrate my efforts on :)

    • Saikat B
      January 18, 2014 at 9:55 am

      That's the way to go, especially with your focus on organization. Cold spells are to be expected, but to pick up from where we left off, "cold starts" aren't a bad idea at all :)

    • Caroline W
      January 18, 2014 at 11:43 am

      'Cold Starts' are fun! It's exciting to get a new idea out of something old started. I'm very excited where my current line of photography is taking me; And the fact that it's a 'keeper' of a hobby, makes it even better! And.... after reading your reply - I realized just how seriously organized I've gotten: I never usually stick at anything for this long!

      I just want to mention your idea about shooting around a theme; That's a great idea, it's almost like a collecting hobby but one of photo's instead. If Flickr has one on Fire Hydrants, I can't wait to see what else 'themed' groups they have! Again, Fun :)

    • Saikat B
      January 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Oh, there are lots of Flickr groups around specific themes. Organization is one of the things that's missing in my own workflow for the moment, but I am also building the habit :)

  2. Ulpi E
    January 9, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I have a DSLR camera and I am not putting it to good use. I hope to learn more about photography this year. Thanks for the tips...

  3. Junil M
    January 9, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Thank you for the list. This is some of the best tips and links that i find very useful.

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