motivation

How to Jump Start Your Motivation

No matter how much energy you have going into a project, it's likely that at some point you'll run out of steam. When you're hours in to editing your photos and are beginning to have an existential crisis about the real meaning of the words "tone curve," you'll suddenly stop and wonder why you're doing this in the first place.

Then the next day, when it's time to return to editing, you'll stare blankly at your computer screen or come up with any number of excuses or tasks that will prevent you from getting started.

Dance-Lapse: Woman Uses Her Camera to Capture a Year of Learning to Dance

How good can you get at something in 365 days? If you're former Microsoft exec Karen Cheng, pretty darn good. Her goal was to learn to dance in one year, and she spent that year documenting the experience and showing her progress right up to her final impressive performance in a San Francisco subway station.

The Science of Meaning and How to Stay Motivated in Our Work

At TEDx Rio de la Plata, author Dan Ariely gave an interesting talk on motivation and how to feel good about our work. Challenging the conventional belief that money equals motivation, he shows how injecting meaning into our work -- be that by making the work itself harder or having others acknowledge it -- has a huge impact on why and how we stay motivated.

The video doesn't specifically mention photography, but the lessons still apply. Without meaning, motivation dies; and the ways we get meaning are either by having others acknowledge/use our photography or by challenging ourselves to push the limits of our skill.

Directed, Edited, Written, Acted, Scored, and Produced by Shane Carruth

Think it's difficult to juggle multiple aspects of your photography business? If you want to see an example of a highly motivated creative individual, check out what American filmmaker Shane Carruth has been up to in the film industry.

In 2004, Carruth released the indie sci-fi movie Primer. It had a ridiculously low budget of $7,000, and went on to gross over half a million dollars and gather a large cult following.

Man Finds New Life as a Photographer After Being Shot and Paralyzed at Age 8

The short 4-minute-long video above is probably the most inspiring thing you'll see today. It's the story of Jaleel King, a man who became wheelchair-bound at the age of 8 after being shot in the back by an angry neighbor. The blast from the sawed-off shotgun almost killed him, but he fought through that challenge -- and every other challenge that has presented itself since.

13 Tips for Staying Motivated in Photography

Here's a common story: one day you become enthusiastic about photography, and find yourself jumping at every opportunity to take photos and to improve your work. You keep this up for a while, but slowly the enthusiasm you once had starts to fade. You start feeling like you've stagnated in your growth, and that you're just doing the same old thing, over and over again.