July 18, 2013

The Inspired Photographer - 20 Ways To Seek Inspiration & Ignite Creativity by Nicole S. Young : A Review

’m sure most of you know Nicole Young through her blog, Nicolesy and especially her book on food photography, Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots. She has written other books on photography and I have her books, one on food photography as well as the guide to the Canon 60D which is the camera I use. I have found them to be excellent reads, easy to understand and follow and quite useful.
If you’re new to Nicole Young’s work you can view examples of her work at 500px. It’s easy to see that she loves what she does and that she knows it well. So when I got an opportunity to review her latest e-book The Inspired Photographer - 20 Ways To Seek Inspiration & Ignite Creativity, I was quite happy to do it.

Now some of you might wonder why I’m reviewing a photography book that’s not about food per se, on a blog that’s dedicated to food and food photography. That’s because I don’t really see food photography as a very separate thing from photography as a whole.
Food photography is just a specialised area of photography to which most stuff relating to photography in general applies.

Most of us, at one time or the other, go through periods when inspiration and creativity desert us, a sort of a writer’s block equivalent in photography. As Nicole says in her book, “Inspiration - It’s the driving force that spurs people to do great things, create beautiful works of art, build miraculous architectural wonders, and strive to victory and success. The thing is, you can’t just pull inspiration out of thin air whenever you want to, but you can search for it.”

Inspiration can come from anywhere but how exactly does one go about this and where? That is exactly what Nicole’s new 145 page e-book deals with.
There is no “one-size-fits-it-all” answer to finding inspiration nor will it happen overnight, but there are ways of getting the process started. As the title of the book suggests, Nicole shares 20 different ways to go about finding the inspiration that gets your creativity back in your photography.

I can vouch for quite a bit of what she has suggested, as they are what I often do to find inspiration afresh when I get stuck in a photography rut, or feel my photography is getting very mechanical and am dissatisfied with what I’m doing. I'm also going to try her other suggestions the next time the dreaded "block" strikes!

Each one of the 20 chapters deals with one idea to seek out inspiration, and the book also features many of her beautiful photographs as examples. Some of her suggestions include “Limit Yourself (to your camera and one lens only, or pick a particular theme or technique to try out)”, “Create A Personal Project” and “Try Something New (photograph something that you normally would not)”. She even says “Forget Photography”, but I’ll not spoil the fun and let you discover that for yourself when you get her book.

The nice thing about this book is that apart from the suggestions on how to find inspiration once again, Nicole also shares details of hows, and wheres of each one, making them very doable. She also provides links to resources that are helpful in this search.

About the Author:
Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer who specializes in food photography, but also enjoys traveling and photographing both landscapes and people.
Many of her images are licensed through iStockphoto and Getty Images.
She is also an accredited Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) in Photoshop and a Help Desk Specialist with the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Nicole Young's latest e-book is available for purchase on her blog and at Flatbooks.

Please note : All images in this post are courtesy Nicole Young from her book - The Inspired Photographer.