Inspiration surrounds you. Music, good light, a technique, and sometimes even insights from a non-photography topic such as golf might offer some inspiration.
I like books.
One book that offers a lot of inspiration is Robin Houghton’s Blogging for Creatives; How designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success. The long title says it all; this is a practical book, one that has specific advice on how to start, maintain, and use a blog to reach others, build a business, and get somewhat famous.
Inspiration from Blogging for Creatives
Some books providing inspiration are large, hardbound tomes that we can’t carry around in a regular tote bag. Blogging for Creatives comes in paperback, much smaller than the standard coffee table book, so it’s light and easy to carry around. It’s the kind of book that you can bring on a photo walk and enjoy during a coffee break.
The color palette is scrumptious. Find your brain jumping with excitement every time you turn a page; each page is in color, and demonstrates how you can make content stand out with a simple decision like using color palettes to enhance your content.
Every facet of blogging for creatives is addressed in this book. From tools and technique, what makes great content, how to promote your ideas, and making connections with your social and business networks, the topics covered in the text make it easy to understand what blogging can mean to someone who creates for a living. It also makes it easy to understand how to turn content and community into cash for someone who uses a blog as a platform for their business.
Houghton’s got valuable insight into how creatives might view the business side of their public expression, because “unless you are a business person, the monetary value of your own work may not be a major consideration” (page 152). A few paragraphs down she bullet points some things a food blogger can do to turn talent into income:
- Write books
- Write recipes
- Write reviews and articles in print magazines
- Create artworks
- Teach courses
- Speak at conferences
- License their photos
The tips in the book are practical and are things you can do as soon as you finish reading a page. I’ve tried just two tips from the Chapter Nine and both increased my income as well as online equity as a creative. I even got invitations to speak at a creativity conference and landed several publications credits.
Examples, Lots of examples!
Every single piece of advice in this book has an illustrated, real life example. Houghton’s done a fabulous job of pulling in screen captures of real blogs and other online tools to show you how to execute every tip. Rather than delay understanding through a lot of text, she lets the illustrations do the job of teaching you exactly how a process looks like.
The blogs that populate the pages are inspiration in themselves. I often go to pages 64-65 to drool over the Tumblelogs on those pages. If I had tons of extra time, I’d start a Tumblr blog just because this book inspires with the beautiful examples.
Unlike some other how-to-blog books, this one is non-linear. You can skip around depending on the information you need at any given time, and the organization of the contents makes it easy for you.
Why would an aspiring photographer need a book like this?
Every creative person needs an audience. There is a relationship between the maker of a work and the audience who participates in the beauty of that work.
We don’t create to hide our images in a hard drive (do we?). When we share our imagery, we create dialog between our inspiration and the inspiration that stems from what our audience perceives. A blog facilitates this dialog and has the potential to originate conversations around a piece of work.
Simply put, if you are inspired, you need to pass it on.