Photography Clips

Preparing Your Mind

Preparing Your Mind

Throughout the day, our minds go from work to errands to family and more. It helps to take a moment and shift gears so you can prepare your mind to be creative.

Creativity is all about your headspace. If you’re in the right frame of mind to create, then it flows so much easier. But if you’re not in the right headspace? Well, then creativity becomes a major challenge.

And it’s not always an easy thing to be in the right headspace. In fact, I would hazard a guess that for most of us, it is difficult to be in that creative frame of mind at any given time. That’s because, throughout the day, we experience a variety of mental and emotional landscapes, so to speak.

If you think about your typical day, you’ll see what I mean. You probably have a job that demands your time and focus, taking your thoughts away from your creative endeavors. There is your family to consider, too—spending time with them is important! And then there’s all the rest of life. Chores, shopping, errands, and so on. Maybe even hobbies besides photography that demand your attention. All of this boils down to one thing: at different times of the day, your headspace is in different places, and most of the time, those places likely have little or nothing to do with creating photographs.

If you’ve ever tried to go from any of these other activities straight into photography, then you know exactly what I mean. We tend to focus on work while at work, for example, and picking up a camera to compose new images while our thoughts are still at work makes it much more difficult to be creative. Just imagine walking around a beautiful destination with your camera in hand—but your mind is preoccupied with other things. What happens is that you become less observant of your surroundings. Interesting compositions don’t leap out at you, and the creativity just doesn’t flow.

Fortunately, there is a remedy for this. And it’s not to quit your job so that you never have to think about it again and can instead focus on making art! Rather, it’s a little simpler than that. Before you go out to create new images, spend a little bit of time preparing your mind. It’s similar to unwinding after a long, difficult day. Or maybe a better description is that you’re taking the time to mentally shift gears—though the process isn’t as fast as shifting the gears of a car.

Still, shifting gears is easy. Simply do something that isn’t necessarily creative but is related to photography. Go online and look at art that others have made, for instance, or spend a little bit of time reading up on a new photographic technique. There are a number of ways to do it. The point is doing something that gradually transitions your mind away from what you were doing before, and toward photography and being creative.

Whatever it is you choose to do to prepare your mind, just take a little bit of time to immerse yourself in this beautiful world of photography before you head out to take some pictures. Doing this, even just for a few minutes, will make the art come much more easily.

About the author

Will Moneymaker

Will has been creating photographs and exploring his surroundings through his lens since 2000. Follow along as he shares his thoughts and adventures in photography.