Oh yeah, a picture’s worth a thousand words!

But what happens when, as a photographer, the pictures just seem to stop flowing?  What happens when you carry your camera everywhere you go, but the pictures just don’t seem to materialize?  For the past several weeks, this has been my plight!

For nearly 18 months, I’ve carried my camera to hundreds of southern California sights and recorded what I’ve seen.  But all of a sudden, there seems to be no place new under the sun!  I realize that I’ve probably not captured everything. But I have to tell you, I’ve captured a lot!!

I need to branch out, but travel right now just isn’t feasible.

What do I do??

Lately, I’ve been editing some older images that hadn’t made it into my portfolio.  In the past, that activity has always primed a resurgence in my creative juices.  But, not as much this time.  However, I have added this painted rose to my flora collection.  A rather nice specimen captured at the Sherman Library and Gardens in Newport Beach, CA.

I also thought you would enjoy seeing how it might look matted and framed.

So, it’s been over a year now since my interest in photography shot off the charts!  To this point it has been an incredible journey.  While there have been peaks and valleys, as I reflect upon the past year I feel very satisfied with where I am as a photographer.

The problem I’m experiencing is that I’m just not seeing the photographic possibilities that surely surround me each and every day!  I live in southern California which no doubt offers countless photographic settings around every corner.  And yet when I throw my backpack over my shoulder and head out into the field to shoot, I see little if anything that interests me…or, that I think would interest you.  And maybe that’s part of the problem.  I’m measuring every opportunity with this question, “Will it sell?”  If the answer is no, I tend to move on.  I realize this thinking has limited my spectrum of possibilities, but I arrived at this point as a result of photographing everything that crossed my path.  Unfortunately while most of what I was shooting held a modicum of interest, there was little or no marketability. 

During the past year, it seems I’ve shot everything in southern California…twice!!  Since I don’t have the opportunity for widespread travel, I have to create local opportunities.  And, that’s where it seems my creativity has dried up.

Listen, I’ve tried carrying my camera everywhere I go and capturing whatever crosses my path.  I’ve tried planning a photo shoot with high expectations of capturing the “WOW” image!  I’ve scoured the road atlas and surfed the internet looking for anything of interest to photograph.  But right now, I’m drawing a blank.

Have I reached a place where the business of photography has robbed me of the joy of photography?

Are my expectations too high?


~ by photographyfree4all on November 8, 2011.


  1. I think we all run into that problem from time to time. We should never feel pressure to produce something that should be fun! Take a step back for a while – maybe go out a few times without your camera. Just enjoy the scenery for what it is. Inspiration will return when it is ready! 😉


  2. Steve this happens to any artist at one point or another. Try going back to what you’ve done that you really liked. Look at the photographs close up. Find texture, movement, architectural aspects, lighting, whatever… but just look closer. Make a viewer (a window within a piece of card stock) make several in different sizes! Use them to mask your view and move them around on your screen as you look. These are just a few of the things that can help you find your focus. You may find some surprises hiding in work you have already done, that will spawn other ideas for you to pursue. Try tints, sepia, B&W, grains, overlays to give your work depth and texture. Mess with it! The AWESOME thing about working this all out on the computer is that NOTHING is PERMANENT! You can save and delete to your heart’s content.

    I have been missing your work and wondering what happened, now I understand. I look forward to seeing what you find ‘within.’ ~ Lynda


  3. Sounds familiar (been there, done that!). But after spending the past year in a commitment to get outside every day and blog about it, taking photos of the same paths day after day after day after… well, you get the idea … I learned that there is always something new to photograph. Even the same old things can take on new life if you give them a chance. New angles, different lighting (by going out at different times during the day), and different ways of processing can all revitalize one’s photography if you give it a chance and get past the idea that it’s the same old, same old boring stuff. I have to admit it was a challenge, photographing the same area for a year, but I eventually became energized by it when I came to realize that it truly isn’t the same, not even minute by minute. Everything changes. Just keep shooting. You’ll get past that blank.

    Good luck, Steve. 🙂


  4. Steve – I am only a consumer. the only photos I take are of my grandchildren. I have a few of Elli that are beautiful (because she is beautiful) I can send you two I’m thinking about – not posed – but it seems so. Maybe you could enhance them with your “magic!” I have to say how much I love your flowers! They are stunning! I could stare at them all day and wonder at their beauty. I would think that businesses/doctor’s offices, etc. would be a good market for those. But better if in a gallery first? Nevertheless – keep at it – something is bound to come up soon!


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