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1 Vital Tip for Creativity by Olivia L’Estrange-Bell

Just a little over two weeks ago, I completed my third 365 Photography Project.

This photograph (below) marked the 365th day

it also marked my 1,095th day if you count my two previous 365 projects

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Here I am cantering my horse, Tigerlily without a bridle – showcasing another part of my life, where I spend a lot of time training horses with Parelli Natural Horsemanship. For non-horsey readers, being able to ride Tigerlily like this, with the same amount of control & directional-control is immensely difficult and takes years of training. 

I know, you’re thinking, “THREE?! That’s just crazy!” and it is – I had no idea I could complete one 365 project, let alone two… but three? Unbelievable.

I did a scary calculation, and realised that, these three projects combined, meant that

I had spent 1,095 days thinking about photography

and 1,095 days asking myself this same old question, day in and day out:-

“What am I going to do today?”

Each project was different, some parts were easier, some harder. However…14436550704_114f4b40c5_z

the constraints of the project meant I pushed my own boundaries, and did things I wouldn’t have thought about…

Which brings me to the point of this post… Boundaries, constraints and restrictions.

Constraints Create Creativity

First let me just say that I’m not suggesting you take on your own 365 project – but if you do want to, then I suggest getting this eBook to help you.

What I am suggesting you do, is try to look at your constraints, and love them… and if you don’t have any real constraints, create them.

How Constraints can Help you

Embrace your constraints – may they be physical, economic, or self-imposed. They will challenge you, and push you, and help you to see and do things that you may not ever do, or may have missed if you had all the freedom, equipment, and locations in the world.

Constraints are challenging, and really provocative. They make your mind stretch and work harder than if everything was handed to you on a silver platter. So, love your constraints. Embrace them. They made me better, and they will make you better. Beyond belief.

My restraint was that I forced myself to capture 1 photography every day for an entire year – and two more years thereafter.

also branched out and constrained myself to a limiting 100 Jump Photographs Project which meant I had to make jump photographs look creative and different, 100 times over.

What a challenge.

But what an achievement – it was my most popular project and almost all of the jump photographs have been used in the press, to endorse brands, products and more.13432824175_102d5a855a_z

Our Self-Imposed Constraints

We have tried NOT constraining ourselves, and have found that it’s a bit of a disaster – lack of inspiration, lack of motivation kicks in, because there’s no focus, and no real goal, other than the basic “improve” goal… which is ok, but not very provocative.

So we have stuck to constricting projects, of which are:-

  • 365 Photography Project (6 in total, divided by 3 of us – Olivia = 3, Sasha = 2, Rosanna = 1 )
  • 260 Photography Project (5 photos per week, 1 year. Sasha = 1 *in progress)
  • 100 Jump Photographs Project (No time limit, but 100 photographs of people jumping. Olivia = 1)
  • 50 Autumn Photographs (Capture autumn in 50 photographs. Sasha = 1)
  • 100 Quote Photographs Project (Inspiring quotes matched with photographs for a visual impact. Sasha = 1 *in progress)
  • 70 Summer Memories Project (title speaks for itself. Olivia *in progress)
  • 104 Photography Project (2 photos per week. Rosanna = 1 *in progress)

Along with these projects, we’ve also limited ourselves to certain photograph locations. Part of this is because of a time-constraint. We don’t have so much time that we can travel all over the country all the time – so we stuck to a few good locations, which actually helped us, because we learnt about the weather, how you can use it to impact your photographs, and get creative in one spot.

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Self-Imposed Constraints – Ideas for you

So, although it’s contradictory – constraints do help you to become more creative, and do more, even though you have less, or have less options. Whether you apply this to a location, equipment, timeframe, models… the options are endless, but the opportunity is boundless.14745913281_e05cf424c2_z

A way to impose some constraints on yourself is by doing set projects. Here are a few ideas you can work from:-

  • Theme based project, such as “Fairytale” restricted.
  • Number based project with specific subject, such as “30 Self-Portraits’
  • Consistent project, daily, weekly, monthly – such as “52 Project, 365 Project”
  • Equipment Constraints (such as a series of photos only taken with a particular lens)

Whether you restrict yourself to a certain timeframe, subject, or equipment, the idea is that by constraining yourself, you will get more creative.

Trust me, it works.

But it isn’t necessarily easy. But the results are ten times more productive, and powerful than when you don’t try this method.

Try it, and let us know how you get on.

Need help with a project you’re doing?

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If you’re about to attempt a 365 project, or something similar, as mentioned above. Or if you’re already doing one, then take a look at our 365 Photography Project eBook – it’s a guide to challenging yourself with a constraining project, whether you do an actual 365, or something else, the eBook is packed full with valuable information we have gathered over the past 5 years of project experience.

Check out “How to: 365 Photography Project” eBook.

This will really help you to avoid those sticky situations when you have no clue what to do, or what the best composition is, or what to photograph, or how to photograph something. It’s a complete guide to photography, and a challenging project.

I’ll let the page do the talking; find out what’s inside the eBook, and how it can help you, even if you don’t want to do a big project like we have – it’s a total guide to your DSLR, how to use it to the best of anyone’s ability, and how to dramatically become a stunning photography, in any field of photography.

“How To: 365 Days of Photography Project” 

http://thebellsisters.com/collections/ebooks/products/how-to-365-photography-project-ebook

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About the author

Olivia L'Estrange-Bell

Olivia L'Estrange-Bell - English, 23yrs. Entrepreneur. Digital Products. Photographs for License. Fund Raising

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