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Be Thou My Vision — Finding Ways to Break Out of the Creative Doldrums

ASMP's Strictly Business - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:01am

[by Francis Zera]

Once you’ve been in this business for a while, it sometimes happens that you find yourself in a creative rut. Fulfilling client requests and preferences keeps those clients happy and coming back for more, but can feel like you’re simply checking items off of a to-do list rather than genuinely creating something.

Creativity comes in myriad forms. We’ve all come across photographs that have made us feel like amateurs by comparison; other times the accolades heaped upon someone’s work seem undeserved. It’s all subjective, of course, but we are all content creators of some form or another, with the emphasis on creators.

So what to do when you get in a rut, start feeling creatively stagnant, like you’re a technician rather than an artist? Find a pet project, one that will allow your creative juices to run wild.

Through a series of chance meetings, and living in a metro area with four jet-capable airports in close proximity (they don’t call Seattle the Jet City for nothing), I started taking photos of aircraft for fun. And I found it really fun. And inspirational. I kept doing it, not caring to share the photos, just taking photos because they made me happy. I experimented with unusual angles, scouted some great vantage points, and joined a community of like-minded folks who think aircraft are akin to kinetic sculptures and worthy of documentation. I also discovered that I really like to fly, so much so that I’ve taken several lessons in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

The collected experiences from that personal work (which I still avidly pursue) has led to numerous aerial assignments from both new and existing clients. Those assignments are fun, invigorating, and give me the opportunity to shape my clients’ concepts and creative goals, simply because I genuinely have something to offer.

Personal projects really can invigorate a career, lift you out of the creative doldrums, and rebuild confidence. What do you find yourself making photographs or videos of when there’s not an art director or client in sight? What things do you keep coming back to? In these things lie endless possibilities.

Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural and commercial photographer. He currently serves as education chair at ASMP Seattle/NW, teaches the business curriculum in the photography department at the Art Institute of Seattle, and holds an M.A. Ed. in adult education and training. You can check out his work at zeraphoto.com and follow him on twitter and on instagram.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Ontario Government Explains Why It Gives Major Labels, Other Established Music Companies Big Grants

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 11:08pm
The Ontario government just awarded $14 million (CAD) to 123 music companies in the second round of provincial funding from the Ontario Music Fund...
Categories: Music Industry

'Lip Sync Battle' Recap: Jennifer Lopez's Booty (Nearly) Outshines Anna Kendrick & John Krasinski's Epic Showdown

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:48pm
The battle for lip syncing supremacy was on yet again on Thursday (Apr. 16). Following wife Emily Blunt's appearance on the show last week, John...
Categories: Music Industry

Bob Marley Bio-Musical Sets Baltimore Premiere

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 10:35pm
The godfather of reggae will live again when Marley has its world premiere at Center Stage in Baltimore next month. Written and directed by...
Categories: Music Industry

'American Idol' Burning Questions: Should Rayvon Make the Top 5? Is Nick Still Tight With His Band?

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 9:51pm
It was an emotional evening of American Idol on Wednesday night, and it's becoming clear that the top six are getting a little lonely. “We don’t have...
Categories: Music Industry

NBA Playoffs Playlists: Ballers Love Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Mozart

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 9:41pm
There is no doubt by now that Drake loves basketball. But it should be noted, too, that basketball loves Drake.  With the NBA Playoffs starting...
Categories: Music Industry

Granger Smith Credits 'Backroad Song' Success to Chatty Fans: 'They Are So Vocal About It'

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 9:25pm
Granger Smith has been building a national following by creatively and genuinely engaging his fans one by one, room by room. With his latest single...
Categories: Music Industry

Julio Iglesias, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris to Receive Honorary Degrees From Berklee College

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 8:43pm
Latin pop icon Julio Iglesias, Sony Music Entertainment CEO Doug Morris, jazz drummer Harvey Mason and singer-songwriter Dee Dee Bridgewater...
Categories: Music Industry

Rumormonger: The Dance World According to Guy Gerber

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 8:20pm
“I was thinking that I want to write a book on how to look smart without knowing anything.” Guy Gerber wears a wrinkled black dress shirt and a taut...
Categories: Music Industry

Ozzy Osbourne on Ex-Black Sabbath Drummer's Apology Demand: 'Stop Playing the Victim'

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 8:09pm
Bill Ward got a response out of Ozzy Osbourne after his lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday, but it certainly wasn't an apology. Here's What It Will...
Categories: Music Industry

Exclusive NBA Playoffs Playlists: Atlanta & Golden State Players Meet Half-Court Over Drake Songs

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 8:02pm
With the NBA Playoffs starting Saturday, it's go time for the league's players. But what will they be listening to get amped for the big games coming...
Categories: Music Industry

Giorgio Moroder Unveils 'Déjà Vu' Track List, Feat. Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Sia & More

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 7:40pm
On Thursday (April 16), legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder revealed the title and track list for his twenty-first studio album, Déjà Vu. The...
Categories: Music Industry

New 'Pitch Perfect 2' Trailer Features BIGBANG's K-Pop Hit 'Fantastic Baby'

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 7:15pm
Pitch Perfect may be known for covering chart-topping pop songs, but its new trailer spotlights one of the biggest K-pop hits ever. In a...
Categories: Music Industry

The Replacements Give the People What They Want at Hollywood Reunion Show: Concert Review

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 7:04pm
“Income tax deduction/One hell of a function,” sang Paul Westerberg, giving a probably inadvertent nod to Tax Day as the Replacements returned to the...
Categories: Music Industry

Apple buys camera-technology company LinX

DPReview.com - Latest News - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:52pm

Apple has reportedly acquired camera technology company LinX Computational Imaging Ltd., for approximately $20 million. LinX is a small company based in Israel and specializes in very small camera modules that are suitable for implementation in smartphone cameras. According to LinX, its multi-lens camera modules are capable of a range of special effects such as the ability to refocus an image after it has been captured, measurement of the true dimensions of objects, 3D object modeling and real time background replacement for video calls. Click through for more information

Categories: Equipment

'The X Factor' Names Olly Murs & Caroline Flack as New Hosts

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 6:47pm
Olly Murs and TV personality Caroline Flack will return to The X Factor as the show's new hosts this fall, the hit show announced Thursday. ...
Categories: Music Industry

Cherie Currie on Joan Jett's Rock Hall of Fame Induction: 'She So Deserves It'

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 5:47pm
Joan Jett will have at least one former bandmate cheering her, from afar, when she and her Blackhearts are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of...
Categories: Music Industry

CMT To Produce First-Ever Artist Music Video

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 5:46pm
At an event in Nashville today (April 16), CMT announced it will finance and produce a music video [...]
Categories: Music Industry

Listen: Sofia Reyes Drops New Single 'Conmigo (Rest of Your Life)'

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 5:32pm
Following the success of her dance-oriented debut single “Muévelo,” featuring Wisin, Sofia Reyes has released “Conmigo (Rest of Your Life),” a breezy...
Categories: Music Industry

Study: North American Electronic Music Industry Worth Nearly $2 Billion

Billboard.com - Thu, 04/16/2015 - 5:30pm
A new business report presented at IMS Engage this week found that the North American electronic music industry is worth approximately $1.9...
Categories: Music Industry