Arrghhhhh! Inspiration needed

I’m doing a digital photography course at the moment, and right now this second it’s making me want to scream very loudly.

Part of the course is producing a portfolio of 12 photos divided into two ‘themes’ of 6. Every photo must include people/a person and every photo must undergo at least one bit of digital manipulation. There is a short list of suggested ‘themes’ but you can also do your own thing if you like.

The damn themes are making me want to pull my hair out in frustration. I am completely struggling at the moment. The idea is to try and use your imagination to come up with something that’s not too ‘bog standard’ – and so you don’t up with a load of very similar photos. The suggested themes are buildings and statues, shapes, change and distortion, the marketplace, family (possibly one or two more – I can’t remember) and your own personal theme.

Having had no (or very little) inspiration with any of the suggested themes I came up with one theme of my own – films. The good news is the tutor agreed that could be a theme and sort of liked the one photo I’d done. The bad thing is the ‘sort of’ thing. Basically I have to re-do what I’d done so far. He wants to see a ‘contact sheet’ for each final photo – so you’re taking lots of photos of the same thing and choosing your favourite. He liked the idea I’d used (well…I think he did…), just not the clothes my subject was wearing, or the location.

The thing that is making me go ‘aarrrgghh’ is that all this assumes you have unlimited time to think of stuff, set up stuff, find locations etc, and an endless supply of willing “models” who don’t mind posing for numerous photos.  I’m taking a little bit of reassurance that I’m not the only one staring blankly back at the tutor.

Definitely feel a bit dispirited at the moment.

I’m somewhat lacking on the family side of things, which severely limits the number of people I feel I can pester so I can’t tell you how grateful I am to my friends. We had already arranged to meet up again this weekend for a bit more. I’m going to have to break the news to them that it needs to be a bit more involved than what we’d done so far.

This is the one photo I’d done. It’s meant to be ‘Singing in the Rain’.  (Actually….I’d done two, but he thought the other one was a bit corny so I can’t use that at all. Double arrggghhhh!)

Singing in the Rain

It’s making me feel a bit anxious right now. I just wish I could get some inspiration for my second theme. I’m thinking about ‘the marketplace’, but I want to do something a bit different from the immediate first thought of ‘fruit and veg’ market stalls. I was maybe thinking my friends could pretend they were ‘on the market’ so to speak. LOL. But….I don’t know. God… this is so hard!

*praying to the inspiration gods*

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12 Responses to “Arrghhhhh! Inspiration needed”


  1. 1 sorrentolens February 27, 2008 at 12:26 am

    I was going to take a photography course as well, but decided not too. I did some reading (here on wordpress) and got some tips. But as far as taking shots, I just went with what I saw and tried to get some different perspectives.

    Just let yourself go.

    How about the meat market? and a different slant on that might be… go to a singles club/bar… an alternative meat market???!!! Just a thought.
    =Paul

  2. 2 uphilldowndale February 27, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    A thought splat……..
    Farmers market, cattle market, car showroom, car boot sale, auditions, job centre, wholesale markets (bit early for you?!)Ebay, Facebook……….. aghhh late for work byeeee

  3. 3 vonne March 1, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Well I like THAT shot, it’s fantastic!

    My nephew did a series of shots of individuals with bare feet, but always with the shoes in the shot somewhere too.
    It’s funnier than it sounds and earned him an A. 🙂

  4. 4 sal March 1, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I like that shot too!

    How’s it going with theme 2? Got an idea yet?

  5. 5 nezza March 1, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    No inspiration yet. I haven’t had time to think… Arrgh. I’m still feeling a bit ‘anxious’.
    Was meant to be having another photosession this weekend, but it got cancelled in light of sickness (on the part of my friends not me).

    Thanks for your suggestions though. Appreciated. 🙂

  6. 6 Katie March 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Have you said something to the tutor? Maybe he doesn’t have the same problems? You could frame it as a question: “How do you find willing volunteers/time/etc. as I’ve really been struggling?” It sounds like you’d get some support for others in the class…

  7. 7 nezza March 1, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    I think I will mention that. It’s not his fault I suppose – it’s how it’s written into the syllabus that we’re following, but perhaps it ought to be feedback to the exam board. It do really think it’s very presumptive of them that you have plenty of people who are willing to do stuff for you.

    *sighs*

  8. 8 Katie March 2, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Another thought (although this doesn’t help with themes): Could you use other people in the class as models? If you offered to be a model for them?

  9. 9 sal March 2, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Do you have to get people to pose? Could you get away with a set of candids? ALthough that does then bring the question of consent into the mix …

    How about your drama group? Do you have time to get them to do stuff for you?

    Sorry if this is all a bit obvious and you’ve thought of it already, I’m just trying to have some ideas

  10. 10 nezza March 3, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Katie – I had thought about that. The trouble is I only see them during class time, and then we’re doing other stuff. I suppose there’s no reason why we couldn’t meet up at weekends and things though. It’s just a case of asking and organising.

    To be honest I think it’s probably easier sticking with my friends. They are prepared to help and I am very grateful for that.

    Sal – the problem with drama is it means letters home for permission, and all the pictures would just be in the drama hall which might be a little limiting. I’m hoping I can possibly do a few in LA. But… I might be asking for your help there. *cheesy grin* I’m thinking about doing the ‘buildings’ theme. LA has some notable buildings right?!

    At the moment I’m concentrating on making sure I have finished all the other bits and pieces we have to produce for our workbooks, and then I’ll hopefully feel like I can concentrate better on getting some inspiration.

    I’m naturally a bit prone to getting anxious every now and then, and this certainly seems to be doing it to me. LOL. Ah well. It probably doesn’t help that I@m doing a web design course at the same time, and work is also very unsettling for me lately.

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I really, really appreciate it.

  11. 11 sal March 8, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I hate having my picture taken, but if its for you, and if we’re out in Topanga Canyon or on the beach by Neptune’s Net, or other interesting places, then yeah, why not!

  12. 12 nezza March 9, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Awww *hug for Sal*
    You’re a star.


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