How to Get Out of Your Content Creation Rut 📸

Photography

Nicole Hill

by

When it comes to content creation as a photographer, there are really two ways you can go.

1. You can let content creation stress you out, paralyze the heck out of you, and hold you up from reaching your potential.

Or…

2. You can let go of the stress, trust the passion in your fingertips, and have some freakin’ fun with it.

Girl, you know which way is better, huh? You know how much you love your camera. You crave the feeling you get when you’ve crafted the perfect shot. You feel like you’re creating magic from behind the lens  — so why are you stressing about content creation all the time?

Here’s my goal: to make sure you realize that content creation isn’t supposed to be one more spoke on the never-ending wheel of things to do. In fact, it’s supposed to be joyful and passion-filled. 

Content creation is supposed to remind you how much you love what you do.

We’re all always going to have days where being creative feels hard and the camera feels heavy, but I can promise you that you owe it to yourself to make sure that those are few and far between.

You in?

Here’s the thing…. Photography isn’t rocket science.

But, really… my sister, for instance, works for SpaceX. She trains astronauts to fly Dragon… you know… the spacecraft. She goes to work and actually holds peoples lives in her hands… ahem… while they’re in SPACE, and she’s rarely stressed. #goals

I, on the other hand, take pictures for a living. I love my job more than anything, but most of the time it involves taking photos while rolling around on the beach covered in sand with a camera in my hand. 

Whenever I get caught in that stressed out comparison trap, I start thinking about my cool calm and collected sister… and I’m reminded how silly it is to get so incredibly upset about the little things.

I love what I do, but it’s simply not that serious. So, why the heck do we all spend so much dang time thinking that it is? God forbid we take a bad photo, shoot something out of focus, post an image to our feeds that doesn’t ~flow,~ or find a typo in our captions. 

We all have to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. 

We put so much pressure on ourselves to constantly be creating pure magic. We think that we need to be that girl putting out stunning content 24/7/365, and we’re always pushing ourselves to be more, create more, and do more.

But sometimes creating is hard. It’s just… hard. We get in ruts, we lose our inspiration, and we start to feel like everything has no point. We put so, so, so much freakin’ pressure on ourselves the entire time that we forget why we’re here.

We forget that passion should always win out over the pressure. We forget that we’re not launching rockets into the sky.

On the other side, we also forget that no one is EVER perfect. I’m certainly not. I’ve had clients who didn’t like the images I submitted, I’ve had entire shoots where my favorite shot was out of focus, I’ve had times where I’ve looked like a troll on Stories because I didn’t realize I accidentally posted a photo.

Annnnnnnd, I’ve 100% been stuck in the content creation rut. 

I’ve been there when it comes to feeling like I’m not posting enough, when I can’t decide what to share, and when I’ve felt that all too familiar “am I good enough?” sound in the back of my head.

But, I’ve also spent a lot of time working to create a life and a business rooted in the joy of photography. I might not be a genius rocket scientist like my awesome sister, but I’ve built a photography business that lets me roll around in the sand and create art through a glass lens… and so have you.

How lucky are we?!

4 Tips for Getting Out of Your Content Creation Rut

Over the years, I’ve let the stress of content creation fall out of my head. Instead of trapping myself in the wheel of content creation madness, I’ve learned how to lean into the imperfect, trust my own gut, and create art that I love. 

It all comes back to the question I asked earlier: how do you want to approach content creation? If you’re here for the stress-free, passion-filled, FUN way, here’s how to get there:

1. Stop overcomplicating it.

When it comes to content creation paralysis, it’s all in overcomplicating things. You have to remember that we’re photographers. We’re artists. our work is meant to be shared, so share it with pride! Stop putting so much pressure on yourselves when it comes to the content you create and share, ok? 

You CAN post a photo that doesn’t flow. You CAN share an iPhone photo on your feed. You CAN do that shoot you’ve been dreaming up (you know the one: the one with the insane, weird concept that you keep thinking people will judge you for). You CAN test out new ways of editing. You CAN try out new styles. You are the one in charge. No one is forcing you to be a certain photographer in a certain way, right? Create how you want to create.

2. Spend less time consuming and more time creating.

It’s so easy to spend so much time consuming other people’s content, especially these days. After all, no matter where we look there’s another avenue to watch other people, right? From Instagram to TikTok to Clubhouse… it’s a lot. But, it’s also the easiest way to forget what WE ourselves are inspired by and want to see. Sometimes, the best thing is to completely stop consuming and focus on the creating itself.

So, next time you feel stuck, don’t look at another person’s photos or Instagram feed. Get off of your phone and do something that inspires you to be the creative person you are. If you’re a digital photographer, try shooting film. Get a polaroid camera, or a disposable and see things differently, try something new. Explore. Write. Paint. Sing. Dance. Think. Do other things you’re inspired by, rather than being overwhelmed with other people’s work.

3. Repurpose old shoot content.

Guess what? Just because you posted something once doesn’t mean you can’t post it again. I promise. Plus, most of the time your followers don’t even see something the first time you share it! It doesn’t necessarily have to be old shoots you’ve already edited, either. Next time you’re feeling uninspired when it comes to content creation, dig into some of your old shoots with fresh eyes and look at the images you didn’t select to edit last time. See if there is anything new that pops out at you, and let it!

Whenever I do this, I always find amazing images that I didn’t even care about the last time I had seen them. The first time around they might just not have grabbed my attention, but the second time they inspired me in a completely different way. It’s amazing, really, how much mood and timing can impact these things. So, go through your old content, try editing it a new way or doing a unique crop or something fun, and see what happens!

4. Clear your space.

The easiest way to feel mega uninspired on a content creation day? Working in a messy, energy-zapping space. Full stop. If you’re prepping for a shoot or a full day editing binge, make sure your space is clean, clear, and beautiful. By clearing up your space, you literally make room for your creativity to settle in beside you. Trust me here — once you tidy up your office and add some light in, your productivity will soar.

So often, we don’t realize that that content creation wheel gets stuck when we don’t give it room to move. By taking 10 minutes to freshen up your space, you might just give it what it needs to grow. It’s so important to make sure other factors aren’t contributing to that content creation slowdown, because a lot of the time they are.

If there’s anything I can leave you with, it’s the reminder that you’re built differently. You were built to create, to tell stories, and to follow that heart of yours when it tells you to make art. And that? 

That’s incredibly special.

Once you learn to get out of your own way, it’s so much easier to focus on that light inside that makes the creativity shine — and what’s more important than that?

I’m all about digging really deep into this stuff with any and everyone, and that includes you girl! If this resonated with you, come chat with me over on Instagram. I’d love to hear from you.

ARE YOU READY?

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meet the photographer

HI! I'M NICOLE HILL

I've spent the last decade of my life traveling the world as a fashion photographer and I created Horizon Found to give you everything I wish I had when I was starting my career. Here you'll find community, inspiration, and education - to help guide you down the path towards building the photography business of your dreams. My dream is to use this platform to help build a supportive environment in the photography industry.

I'M HERE FOR YOU!

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