Stuck in another photographers work

In moments when I’m in search for inspiration, I usually spend some time looking through various photo books, websites or just end up on Instagram or Flickr. Often I get stuck in a particular photographers work, and in the best cases, this exercise makes me end up in an imagery world of my own, but sometimes it just becomes an exercise in procrastination.

The other day I got stuck in Shelly’s image-feed on Instagram. Looking through her pictures it was so clear that nature and water is a common motive or just part of the scenery. That is something I like. When I look at how she presents nature and water I see that it’s the clearest red thread through her work.

Scrolling through the feed I soon realized that I had a soft spot for her images with figures that are in boats on the move over water. For me this is a theme in her work – is it about being on a  journey, or is it about the process? They’re on their way towards something. One common element is that it’s unclear where they’re going.

I see the pictures as symbols of life’s journey. And just like in Shelly’s pictures, sometimes the journey is easy and takes place in calm beautiful waters, at other times the trip is on troubled water and sometimes the journey takes place on a dark bottomless sea. Sometimes we travel alone and sometimes in the company of a friend or animal. My imagination takes me on a journey with memories but it all started in Shelly’s image-world.

A series about finding comfort in and with teddy
comfort with teddy

How do you handle the lack of inspiration? Do you procrastinate by looking through other photographers work, or do you have another secret medicine? If so please share.

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James Garcia
8 years ago

Great post, Kristina! I too am often enamored by Shelly’s boat shots. They’re simply fantastic and it’s easy to get lost in the story behind them. I’m also someone who often gets lost in another photographer’s work, which can lead to two things. 1) I either get motivated by their work and attempt to ‘up my game’ to evolve my own photography, or 2) I get discouraged by that gut feeling that they’re better than me, which then leads to procrastination. Lately I’ve been trying really really hard to stick with option 1. I think all artists struggle with that… Read more »

8 years ago

I usually just make a simple shot when I’m uninspired. I’ll go to my sandbox, up in my attic and just do a shot of Sandtroopers on patrol. It’s easy to snap a quick photo with my iPhone and upload it.
On instragram, I just don’t post anything. Keep up my streak of daily photos on is just habit now, even when I’m uninspired.

8 years ago
Reply to  kalexanderson

You are making me blush a bit.
Your work is always some of my favorite, right up there with Avanaut, Captain Kaos, krash override and Power Pig.
I love your style so very much. It always brings a smile to my face.

8 years ago

Great shot. I love the light of this picture.
I usually take my minifigures and I go take some shots in my garden without any idea; I let the nature decide for me, and then I create.
Fantasy is unlimited; with it we can create what we want.
But I have to tell, that sometimes I take inspiration by the shots of Shelly, so clean and colourful.

8 years ago

Kristina, It’s hard for me to comment on this post for obvious reasons. :D But I too have become lost in another photographers work. I do it quite often as a matter of fact. I love art, I love photography and I love to look at it. I originally got lost in Avanaut’s work. It was so hard not to get frustrated with my self for not being able to even approach the level of his work until I finally made peace with my own style. My first few years on IG was getting lost in all toy photography finding… Read more »

8 years ago
Reply to  Shelly

Shelly, I can’t wait too see the challenge! ;)

Leila (Brickandmordor)

I love all the tones in this image! Your interpretation of Shelly’s work is lovely. Journeying on the water… I too find her work a huge inspiration. The couple of water shots I’ve attempted were done so with Shelly in mind. While I often find inspiration while admiring other photographers’ works, I’m rarely looking at them from a standpoint of being uninspired. I’ve always got ideas to shoot, just not enough time to execute them! If anything, I’m always hunting for inspiring natural environments to shoot in. Location often plays a huge part in my work. I do also appreciate… Read more »

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