I always believed creativity is something that can be learned. The book "Applied Imagination" by Alex F. Osborne reveals that the creative process can be broken into seven essential steps. Three of those seven I use religiously on upcoming shoots: 1. Preparation. 2. Incubation. 3. Synthesis. Breaking my creative process down into three steps helps when I find myself stuck or unmotivated for coming up with concepts. In this blog I will explain my process with the goals of helping you when you are feeling the same way.
This is where you do research about the project you have. Say you have to shoot a fairy tale wedding. What I would do is google fairy tale and find as many reference photos as possible to put onto a mood board. This mood board will later be used as a guide for the shoot. By creating a mood board full of references you can see what other artist did and draw inspiration from them. You can also save the mood board to your phone so you can guide the subject to exactly what you want. Be careful to not use it as a crutch on a shoot because it might make you look unprofessional.
After gathering all your references and putting it on your mood board carry on with your day. Put some space and time between you and the project. Let all those ideas from your mood board sit in your head for a bit. By doing this you are letting your subconscious work on the idea for the project. Have you ever been out for lunch then as your standing in line the idea pops in to your head! It's you letting your head clear for new ideas since you are not focusing about the project but instead what you are going order for lunch. That is called the "A-HAH!" moment
This is where you start gathering everything you need to fulfill your idea. You start seeing all the pieces come together. That could mean location scouting, finding models, or buying props. By doing this you can start to see the idea come to life and decide if its a good idea or not.
Hopefully by breaking down my creative process the best I could; can help you when you're creativity is lagging. It's a good way to see creativity as something that can be learned instead of something that magically appears out of thing air. This process can be very quick or last a week to have your A-HAH moment. I can spend an entire day collecting references so don't let the briefness fool you.