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Trouble finding any photographic motivation

Hi All,

Just going through a bit of a slow patch creatively, well, that’s what I’m hoping. I haven’t touched either of my cameras in 3 months for a number of reasons. The last job I did was a wedding shoot, and I have a group portrait shoot this tuesday, neither of which are in the slightest way interesting to me. While I do enjoy good portrait work, I’m not a fan of attempting it myself.

As for my landscape work, since we got back from the USA and Canada 4 months ago, and back into the (sometimes brutal) swing of work, I find I come home mentally exhausted every day and have no motivation to shoot, just eat and sleep. My partner and I both work in demanding service roles (myself in IT/Network management and her in Fire/Emergency response), and come the weekend, I’m exhausted even more so, with zero incentive to create new work.

I’d really like to have enough quality wqork to release two calendars by the end of November, one of local Melbourne and Victoria, and one of work I captured while in the USA and Canada. I have enough for the American calendar, but not quite there with the local stuff.

Has anyone else gone through such a slump? and for such a long period of time?

And if any Melbourne locals feel like lighting a photographic fire under my behind, feel free… I desperately need to stretch my legs (and shutter finger), but just can’t quite get there after listening to people whine about their email all day.


  • DaveHrusecky
    DaveHruseckyabout 2 years ago

    Hi Sean.

    Maybe I shouldn’t tell you this, but I had an empty period that lasted 3 years. I put down my camera and that was it. I even purchased my first digital camera during this time and that didn’t help either. I still don’t know what was going on during this time period as nothing really changed in my life.

    The thing that changed this for me was taking a day trip to a completely different place, where I never was before and taking my camera. Being in a completely unfamiliar area did the trick.


  • Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your response. As a landscape shooter predominantly, it’s difficult with a constant work schedule (I’m a network administrator) to get to places when my windows can be hours or sometimes minutes. I’m toying with the idea of heading into the city and shooting some frames I’ve had in mind for a while, but that’s where the lack of motivation sets in.


    – Sean Farrow

  • Travis Easton
    Travis Eastonabout 2 years ago

    I think if your interest is in photography itself burnout is a given. Speaking for myself, my true love is nature I just happen to express it through photography and the natural world is a bottomless source of interest and inspiration to me (not to mention subject matter). Just my perspective, cheers Trav

  • Hi Travis,
    Firstly, thanks so much for the response. I’m a huge fan and admirer of your work, and often use your locations as a reference for my own work.

    Photography it’s self I’m not so sure is the problem. I love creating something beautiful, and like yourself, enjoy shooting out in the elements by myself. I find I get a better product shooting by myself. The problem mostly lies with working in education in network administration in a secondary college down on the Mornington peninsula. Each day leaves me mentally exhausted these days. Even more so since my return from overseas. Finding the time and energy to load up the car and drive somewhere in time for good light is becoming harder. The peninsula is my home, I love it dearly (followed closely by the dandenong and yarra ranges), and I love displaying how I see these places using photography as a medium.


    – Sean Farrow

  • bazcelt
    bazceltabout 2 years ago

    There are definitely times when the ‘mojo’ takes a break, and yes, work is one of the definite causes! Hang in there, and just try something entirely different for a change – even if it doesn’t work out, it’s still getting back in there as a start.

  • Hi,
    Thanks for your response,
    I have some shots in mind, some cityscape work I haven’t done for a long time. Just gotta shake the cobwebs off from work, network admin is a demanding mistress.

    – Sean Farrow

  • Phil Thomson IPA
    Phil Thomson IPAabout 2 years ago

    Been there, done that too, Sean !!! I think a lot of us do go through these periods, where we get too self critical (not that’s too bad in itself) and don’t upload images because they’re not good enough, but it can lead to a defeatist attitude. Also, we tend to go back to the same old locations and don’t see anything new. Maybe you need to to some exploring. I know I found this when some of my images were used in the GOR book it opened up a whole new world of locations I had not visited, even though it was ‘in my backyard’, so to speak. Also, going on holidays to new locations does help as they are something new and different to what you see every day.
    If you’re prepared to venture down the road to Geelong sometime, I am happy to go out with you around some of my favourite spots down here. Just let me know and we can organise a time, even if it is a sunrise (the best time of the day)
    I have also got into the habit of taking my camera with me all the time, except for my ‘day job’, as you never know when you will be faced with that ‘prize winning shot’ . As I eluded to just go out to new territory. Oh! BTW, it probably wasn’t helping being Winter and that much colder and harder to get out of bed either.
    Phil T.

  • Hi Phil,
    Firstly, thanks for your response.
    I think the problem is less about my photography and subject matter, but more about other demands on my time and energy. Work kind of kills everything for me, time and energy-wise.
    I’m over Geelong way sometimes, I have family over there. I’ve only shot that side of the bay a couple of time, and only once successfully (my Clifton Springs work). I agee, sunrise is stunning, it’s funny though, over the east side of the bay, sunset provides nicer light usually. Go figure. The Dog Rocks tree is definitely on my list also, but apart from that, I’m notably ignorant of much over the west of Melbourne.
    Oh coming from frozen weather in Yellowstone NP, Niagara and Boston to just as cold weather here, that was tough.


    – Sean Farrow

  • seeingred13
    seeingred13over 1 year ago

    Congratulations, you must have passed through the valley. You’ve reached a pinnacle with “Beginning the Thaw!” I’m a newbee and I don’t know how you keep up the energy level and creative juices flowing. Retreats and respites in whatever one does are necessary to restore the soul and the shutterbug. You are a fine photographer and an inspiration!