Creativity Kick-Start: Take Photos to Expand the Creative Eye



Your creative eye is a window into yourself, whether you realize it or not. Lifestyle, family, relationships, personal highs and lows all play a part (sometimes subconsciously) in what you see as beautiful and inspiring, negative or depressing. These are the real tools that shape what you see as picture-worthy and inspiring, acting as a connection point to your inner creative sense of self.


That’s why a creative eye does not require lessons, artistic parents or an affection for artsy things. It only requires honoring your desire to follow what you find interesting or intriguing. So why not grab a camera to tune in to how you see things, taking pictures of what pulls you in, tugs on your heart or catches your glance?


wolfdoginpark, creative eye

A teeny part dog, mostly wolf. Check out those eyes!


Bypass the fancy camera with all the bells and whistles; you will just get caught up in technique. Use the camera on your phone or a simple digital point and click (unless you already have professional gear you know well). Forget about photography lessons and don’t worry about what subjects you will find to fill your photo cue.


Invite yourself to be present in the world around you as you walk through your home, take a walk along a trail, visit town or go out into the big city or woods. Leave behind the idea of a picture perfect moment or object and just follow what interests you – then take a picture to inspire your creative eye differently.


Bruiser my cat in the yard

My cat Bruiser, exploring his new yard.


Photos Tell a Story in a Non-Linear Way, Energizing the Creative Eye


For the last few years I’ve been taking photos when I go for a walk. A friend of mine mentioned how while he worked as a contract writer he would take lunch breaks in the field behind the building, camera in tow, and just sit and wait. No matter what, each day he was inspired to take a photo of something. His practice inspired me to do the same during my walks.


Sometimes I find gorgeous things, other times I just love the angle, lighting or feel of a moment, so I take a picture. Often I’m surprised when my eyes run across something I actually want to see again when I review my “photo booty”.


Sunflower from my new garden!

Sunflower from my new garden!


I also participated in a fun exercise called #sliceofmylife on G+, which invited me to take photos for five days and share a part of my life as a daily post. I was in the middle of moving into my new home, so there are bits of chaos as well as nostalgia and inspiration wrapped into those five days of photos. It wasn’t something I planned, but it was a wonderful invitation from my beautiful friend Tracy Baker to take my photo experience out of “walk mode” and into my everyday life awareness.


I’m so grateful for the experience because it gave me an opportunity to take a breath, create some space and practice being creative during a very overwhelming and stressful time of transition. It also reminded me how my pictures are another way for me to see myself.



Photo from a camping trip in Wyoming in the summer of 2013


Why the Act of Self Awareness Through Photography Matters


Ultimately, taking a photo is a different way to experience being in the moment. When you can block out what you think you see and know and just take a photo of what looks interesting, you are able to see a different aspect of yourself. You get to LEARN about a different aspect of yourself, too.


What seems plain and ordinary can be extraordinary, because the photo and the moment blend together as a shared experience. offering a way to see it outside of your own mind. How’s that for a fresh perspective?


So do you regularly take photos? Do they open up your creative eye a bit wider?