creativity exercise: permission to copy

Picking up your camera, shooting, and challenging yourself is the best way to improve your photography.  The Creativity Exercises within the Clickin Moms forum are a great source for finding new ways to challenge yourself.  On the first Monday of every month the wonderful Sarah Wilkerson posts a new tutorial and challenges our members to shoot with the exercise in mind.  While the exercises are ongoing, at the end of each month we choose a few images as the ‘Editors’ Choice’ and share them here with you on the blog.  How fun is that?!  Today we are sharing July’s exercise with you below!

creativity exercise | permission to copy

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo
*image copyright Celeste Jones

Do you ever feel creatively exhausted? Ever feel like everything has already been done, that you’ve utilized every square inch of your house/yard that gets good light, that you’ve just run out of new things to try? Many people (myself included) find that spending time with the work of another photographer can be immensely inspiring generally, but when it comes to conceiving of a new shot or session, most photographers are careful to avoid anything that could be construed as copying. Nonetheless, when you’re in a deep creative rut, sometimes the ability to innovate seems lost. So what are you to do?

This month, embrace the old. Instead of looking to other artists for inspiration, go through your OWN body of work and identify a handful of images – let’s say five or so – that you love. Pick  at least one to recreate. That’s right –you’re going to copy  yourself. I want you to give yourself emotional and artistic permission to be UNORIGINAL.

Get out there and re-shoot the image. How faithful you want to be to the inspiration image is up to you. You may ignite a creative spark during the shooting process that leads you in a new direction, and you may end up just copying. Both are fine. In practice, I think you’ll find that it’s quite difficult to fully duplicate a prior image, and maybe you’ll find that you improved on it in some small way. If not, that’s fine, too.  There are artists who studied the same subject/scene over and over again; have you ever seen Monet’s haystacks or 250 paintings of waterlilies? What about Degas’ ballet dancers? There is value in repetition and exploring a subject/scene inside and out, even if it feels like a totally technical exercise.

editors’ choice

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Congratulations to the ladies below whose photographs were selected as this month’s Editors’ Choices!

Meredith Novario:

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Christina Klahn:

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Heather Richard:

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Vaune Wolters:

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Heather Pich:

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Kelly Wilson:

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo


creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Allison Jacobs:

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Thank you to everyone who participated in the exercise!  We love seeing all the beautiful imagery!

Do you want to participate in the next Creativity Exercise?  Visit the forum here where Sarah has challenged us with the theme “Humanizing a Non-Human Subject or Object“.  Don’t have a membership to Clickin Moms yet?  Head on over here to sign up!  You can still participate in this Permission to Copy challenge by either visiting the forum here or sharing with us in the comments below.  We’d love to see your work!

Sign up for a risk-free membership!

creativity exercise: permission to copy photo

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Responses to “creativity exercise: permission to copy”

  1. Aug 08 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    I love this : ) Thanks for sharing this fun exercise.

  2. Lisa Benemelis
    Aug 08 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    These are all wonderful!

  3. Karen Buchanan
    Aug 08 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Beautiful! I love this exercise.

  4. Aug 08 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    I loved this creativity exercise and I feel so honored to have my images chosen to be shared here! Thank you for all the inspiration CM!

  5. Aug 08 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    I am so very flattered to be here with the likes of these lovely ladies! Thank you for making my day!

  6. celestejones
    Aug 08 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    So proud to have my work featured with so much talent. Love what you all did ladies:)

  7. cgoemans
    Aug 08 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    Very nice work everyone :)

  8. Kristin Dokoza
    Aug 08 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Oh I love these! Especially the ones where you can tell the growth of the children – so cute! Awesome work ladies!!

  9. Aug 08 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    So excited to have my images chosen! This was a fun exercise and all of the images selected are so great!!

  10. Maria
    Aug 08 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    This totally made my day! Thank you!

  11. Aug 08 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    I just loved looking through these! Very fun exercise!

  12. Kelly Wilson
    Aug 09 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Wow this made my day. Thank you for including my images!

  13. Mara
    Aug 09 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    How fun! Loved these images.

  14. Aug 10 2012 at 6:28 am #

    Lovely images, ladies!

  15. Jennifer B
    Oct 22 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Beautiful work!


  1. Creativity Exercise Award » Heather Pich Photography Southlake Texas - Oct 04 2012

    […] […]

Leave a Reply

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)