Planning ahead

Some days it seems as though I can't come up with a single idea. When that happens, I end up just sitting around feeling frustrated because I really want to be taking photos and uploading. I browse the forums and check my stats a zillion times...which adds to the frustration because my number of downloads doesn't change much during a day.

What to do? This evening I was curious to see just how much competition some of my existing photos have. Not surprisingly, there seems to be a correlation between my images that sell well (not only here but also on other sites) and the number of images they are competing with.

I decided to start making a few notes on my findings. As I was doing so, I also searched for variations on the themes, and came up with a few ideas where the competition doesn't seem so stiff. Now I've got a list of half a dozen fairly simple items that I can hopefully shoot over the next few days. My next step is to make a few notes on how to ensure my shot is complete (like not forgetting to include a spoon when photographing soup!) When I get through that list, I'll go through the process again. I figure it is better to keep the list short, because if I write down too many things at once, it will seem like a list of chores, not ideas to take away and have fun with.

Do you plan your future uploads? Or do you just shoot what you feel like, when you feel like it?

Photo credits: Teekaygee.

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So far, my most successful inspirations come from where these images are being used: websites, magazines, billboards, TV ads, etc. I spend a lot of time in the book store checking out hoards of magazines of all topics. I pay attention to the details in TV shows and ads to get ideas for possible images. I keep notes around the house along with notes in my head for themes or specific shots to work on when I have time. Also, how items are display in stores can be great inspiration. If it's attractive in real life, it will most likely be just as attractive as a photograph if you do it right.
When I want to shoot but dont have any specific ideas, I focus on the wildlife in my backyard, my pets, or just drive around and see what's out there. My most successful image came from the latter suggestion simply because I was bored that day.


I do both. Whenever I think of something or see a photo request or idea that I can't find an image for I write it down. If I'm not inspired I go check out that list for ideas... Sometimes I have an idea that will take too long to execute and I add it to that list as well. Today, for example, I noticed for some reason that I don't have much in the way of sledding (snow) pictures. Since I take the kids almost every day right now I figure I should start thinking about changing that!

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