As a photographer who shoots nearly every day, coming up with inspiration can be difficult at times. Much like writer’s block affects authors, there are days that I feel completely uninspired about what to shoot.

One way I combat this is to constantly be on the lookout for fresh ideas. Anyone who has spent time around me has probably noticed that I carry a small leather journal everywhere I go. Of the various things I keep notes of in this book is a list of photography ideas. During my day, when I think of an idea for a shot I jot down a note in the journal. These ideas can come from an idea while driving, a television commercial, a magazine, a scene in a movie, people walking down the street, etc. You get the idea.

Today’s image of a woman working at a desk is an example of this form of inspiration. I recently came across a copy of the original 1984 Apple Macintosh Owner’s Manual online. I was a huge fan of the original Mac (though I never owned one) and really enjoyed the figurative trip back in time by reviewing the manual. While going through the manual I came across a photo of a man working at a desk (with a Mac of course) shot from above (see the photo here). I really liked the image and thought that a similar shot would make a nice addition to my stock library. I made a note of the shot and then later when I had time I set it up in my studio.

Some might say that I wasn’t inspired, but rather simply copied someone else’s work. I understand their view and I could easily argue both sides of this discussion. In this case, I feel that using a 20+ year old image for inspiration and adding my own take on it is perfectly acceptable.

What about you? What do you do to inspire your photography? How do you keep from getting in a writer’s block type of rut?

Canon 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4L lens – 1/125 second, f/9, ISO 100