Change Up Your Photography Genre to Unlock New Creativity

As a photographer, it’s easy to fall into a rut of shooting the same types of photos over and over again. Sometimes it is easy to slip into a routine once we have a good grasp of exposure and composition.

We often travel to locations – both new and familiar – with preconceived ideas about what we want to shoot, and being overly focused on a particular outcome. High expectations, though, often lead to disappointment and a loss of enjoyment.

Even now and then, I love to give my photography a challenge, and a great exercise is to change up the photography genre. When you try something new, you challenge yourself to think differently and approach your subject matter in a fresh way.

I spent an entire day in Venice with my Fujifilm X100V to shoot some street photography. I love this camera as it embodies the whole idea of one camera, one lens.

Street photography requires you to be quick on your feet and capture fleeting moments as they happen. This change in pace can help you develop a sharper eye for composition, lighting, and storytelling.

When I go out shooting like this, I don’t set expectations. I’m trying to go out empty. I am trying not to preconceive what I am going to shoot. The whole point is to go out and be open to whatever happens in front of me.

I believe it’s all about paying attention …making a habit of noticing. It can really help you cultivate an original perspective and a distinct point of view.

Everything I do is based on pure creative freedom, and I have no expectations. It’s all your instinct. Everybody is unique. Finding your creative impulses can be a challenge because there needs to be an opening to your instinct, your unique creative instincts.

Street photography is fascinating. You have to be able to work in whatever environment you find yourself in. This means learning to adapt to changing lights, weather, and crowds of people.

Seeing light is one of the key aspects for any photographer, and it takes practice. Along with my regular landscape photography, street photography is a valuable part of my photography practice.

As a big part of my inspiration process, photo editing is a cornerstone. A photograph that I take with the camera would never feel complete without my personal touches if I didn’t edit it.

Photo editing literally brings your vision to life, and it’s an essential part of the creative process that every photographer must embrace, develops, and cannot be overlooked. I also love to call it a “self-learning process”. As you edit your photos, you can learn what needs to be improved next time you’re out in the field.

Photo editing plays a huge role in ensuring your brand is cohesive and creating a distinct and recognizable visual identity. And because each photographer is different, it is so great to use a photo editor that can adapt to you, not the other way around.

That’s why Capture One has been at the core of my image workflow for many years now.

The companion that’s truly transformed the way I work. In my photography journey, this program has been a game-changer with powerful tools for setting up an efficient and streamlined workflow. With advanced editing tools for enhancing and improving the visual impact and aesthetic of my images, as well as a robust system of tools for organizing my large catalog of thousands of photos.

The process of reviewing, selecting, and importing my images into the hard drive is seamless and very efficient. The cull view saves me a lot of time putting similar images into groups so I’m able to quickly go through them and select the best image or multiple images from that grouping.

The Smart Adjustments tool is by far one of my favorite features to get multiple shots equalized quickly. Sometimes we can make technical mistakes. In this sequence, for instance, I messed up the exposure on the first shots. The camera was in Aperture priority and Auto ISO, so it can happen to have some variations in terms of white balance and exposure.

By simply looking for my reference image, Capture One did all the work for me getting the right exposure and white balance where they needed to be and then applying perfectly to all other images. This feature is so good, and it speeds up things only with one simple click.

Photography is not just one shot. Photography is a creative process, and photo editing is just another step in conveying the emotion or story of the photo. An essential step in expressing how you see things. There are all sorts of ways to be creative and no one has to be rigid about it.

Exploring different genres of photography can help you to develop your personal style. By experimenting with street photography, you may discover a new way of composing your shots, a new editing style, or a new way of seeing the world.

Our brains experience a sense of reward when we create something new in the process of exploring something uncertain we never experienced before. When our curiosity leads to something novel, the resulting reward brings us a sense of pleasure. Curiosity is a powerful driver of human creativity.

We need the variety. That’s what causes creation – the variety, the beauty. The beauty in life is embracing the variety of things. As one of my favorite musicians said: “Everything you do has a creative element in it. Everything you do is in one level creative because you have choices, and you’re making choices. What it’s really important is the quality of our inspiration. And our inspiration is based on the thoughts that arise in our head. From them comes all the other stuff.”

Creativity is an active process. So, if you’ve ever been held back by the limiting belief that ‘you’re not creative enough to do X’, realize that the way you become more creative is to stop waiting for inspiration to strike and start taking action.

I learned that while there are gorgeous landscapes to photograph, paying close attention to the feeling experienced while viewing, translates directly into noticing those same feelings on the street.

I love the opportunities photography brings – the stories, the people, and the adventures. It will constantly evolve and grow, and that is a good thing as you need change and to constantly challenge yourself.

It can be intimidating to step outside of your comfort zone, but don’t let fear hold you back. Embrace the challenge and let yourself experiment.

You might be surprised by what you discover. Changing your genre can open up new creative opportunities, and you can become your own source of inspiration.

About the author: Andrea Livieri is a Venice-based professional photographer, educator, musician, and spirited adventurer. He started exploring the photography medium by capturing images of fellow musicians, their families, and other friends and acquaintances in the music industry. As he continued honing his craft, he merged his love for photography and exploring the outdoors, enabling him to amass lots of photographic work of delightful scenery, rugged mountainscapes, and exhilarating terrain. He also leads photography courses, workshops, and tours to teach other photographers his methods and help them to bring out their own visions. For more from Livieri, you can follow him on his website and Instagram and subscribe to his YouTube Channel. This article was also published here.