It’s time for another addition of our monthly series “Ask a CMpro” in which we give our CMpros one question and they dish. Their answers alone are always inspiring and this week we asked them “Where do you turn for inspiration and how/why does it inspire you: other photographers, movies, your family, etc.?”
ask a cmpro | where do you turn for inspiration
Leslie Densford, Florida
I am inspired by so many things – gorgeous light, color, design, lines, personalities and people in general. I also find different photographers with strengths in one of those areas too. For example, Yan Palmer captures connections like no other. CM’s own Jody McKitrick uses light so beautifully. The color in Lisa Lucky’s work is always inspiring as well. I find all of the above refreshing in regards to my own work and it will rejuvenate me and push me forward all at the same time.
Katy Regnier, California
Lately I have been inspired by light and color. The sunsets in summer time are amazing here and the bright pinks and oranges always stop me in my tracks. Even when I don’t have my camera I am always watching for the way that light is falling on a scene and thinking about how I would use that light to make a beautiful image. It’s an inspiring challenge to me to try to capture images that truly represent all of the beauty that’s present in the world around us.
Stacie Turner, Connecticut
I find inspiration all over the place. For example, I reread a book and from that remembered the green man mythological figure and was inspired to do a shoot from that. I think the more influences you can bring to your photography the better and if you can move your sources of inspiration away from other photographers to artists, old movies, books and life your visual vocabulary will be richer for it.
Katrina Gotschall, Nebraska
I am inspired by my surroundings, particularly natural elements, and people’s stories. Being raised in a very rural environment, the land was my playground. It was my entertainment. It was my safe haven. My parents, ranchers, taught me what it means to be good stewards of the land; “if we take care of it, it will take care of us”. The stories I was told about my family history play an important role in how I see things as well. I also find a great deal of inspiration in literature, particularly work written by transcendental authors and indigenous peoples because they tend to also write from a naturalist perspective that I appreciate. I tend to navigate toward other artists whose work features an organic, storytelling quality to it, even if it is scripted or planned. Sarah Cornish of My 4 Hens and Khara Plicanic always inspire me with their use of these elements.
Carrie Anne Miranda, California
I am inspired by people. I want to know their story, see it in the image and share it without having to actually say it. I am inspired by beauty, resilience, strength…confidence. I want to be the person to capture that in someone that may not have even known it was there, or for a parent who can look at it in their child and feel pride in knowing they are doing something right. When I am at a loss for inspiration I turn to the/my children, they can teach us so much about life and how to live it with love, courage, and hope…I usually always find some magic there.
Laurie Yuenger, Illinois
Lately I’ve found inspiration in Norman Rockwell. I love the storytelling of his images. I often use props and sometimes finding something new inspires am idea for a photo shoot. Often I get inspiration while I’m shooting… I may plan one idea, but if often branches into something better. It’s a spur of the moment intuition type thing, or a child does something different then I expect and I go that direction instead.
Caroline Jensen, Minnesota
I am inspired by old movies, especially black and white…the lighting, makeup, and drama. I could watch Gone With the Wind or a Carey Grant movie every week. Paintings, sculpture, and fairy tales also inspire me.
Jennifer Dell, Texas
There are a lot of different things that inspire me. Light, music, books, people, props, and even my client’s home… It really depends on the type of session I’m working on. If it is more of a lifestyle session, I love to find my inspiration within the family and activities that they enjoy doing together. When I’m working on a stylized session, most of the time my inspiration comes from a story, book or prop that I’ve found.
Megan Dill, New York
I oftentimes turn to movies and music for inspiration. One of my all-time favorite films is Shopgirl—the use of color and light in this movie is amazing. Music-wise, Kurt Elling can sure make my mind race. He’s a master at vocalese, where words are sung to melodies that were originally all-instrumental. Hearing something in a brand new way gets my creative juices flowing in other aspects of my life, to include photography.
Adele Humphries, Texas
I’m inspired by architecture and lines a lot in my work. Also the way light and shadows affect those components. I also love to watch movies and pay attention to the cinematography and use of light and framing. My biggest photography inspiration right now (and for a while now) has been Allison of Snippets from Suburbia – her unique way of seeing beauty and interest in the most unexpected places day after day is amazing to me.
Jessica Holden, California
My first inspiration was my grandfather. As a young girl, I was mesmerized by his ability to transform a piece of plain white paper into a glorious vision of sunlight streaming through redwood trees with nothing but his charcoal pencils. I can’t draw worth beans, but his love of light has remained with me. Today, my first inspiration is still beautiful light, and my newest is my daughter. Since try as I might, I can’t seem to slow how quickly she is growing up, the next best thing I can do is preserve her childhood through photos. I want to hold onto these memories, all the laughter and lightness that is my sweet girl, forever! And if I can do the same for friends and family, well, that brings me even more joy!
Thanks to our CMpros for sharing with us! Have a question of your own for our CMpros? Make sure to check out our “Ask the Pros” section of the CMforum!