INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE IF YOU LOOK FOR IT.
I’ve been asked this question more times than I can remember and the answer, I think, is a lot more straightforward than you think. Most of the time, I don’t just pull ideas out of my brain. Can you image how hard it would be to come up with 5 different photo ideas all by yourself without looking at things for inspiration?! It would be hard! There’s three different places that I get my Inspiration from, and all for different reasons.
This one is kind of a given, really. I spend 80% of my day on Instagram looking at loads of different photos, it’s the perfect place to be inspired! However, it’s important to remember to be respectful when taking inspiration from other Instagrammers. Often, we put hours of work into a photo and to see it directly copied without credit is really heart breaking. When I find inspiration in someone else’s Instagram photo, I’m taking inspiration from the CONCEPT rather than directly copying the photo, or I’m taking inspiration from just one thing in the photo rather than the photo as a whole. Let me give you some examples.
Take this photo . I took inspiration from the concept (half the photo open books, half of the photo a ‘scene’) rather than directly copying the photo. It’s important to MAKE IT YOUR OWN. In my opinion, there’s no point in doing direct copies – that photo already exists in the world, why put one out exactly like it!?
There is also this photo from the Weekend Hashtag Project ‘rainbow’. Here, I took inspiration from one of @sienna.and.i’s photos, but ONLY took the concept of the rainbow on a stick, everything else was my own idea. Sometimes, you can just get inspired by one part of a photo.
It’s always important to STATE WHICH ACCOUNT YOU GOT INSPIRATION FROM. It’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine to see photos on my timeline that have clearly been inspired by other photos, but they do not say. No one is going to think less of you for crediting where you got your inspiration, if anything, they will respect you more.
If I spend 80% of my time on Instagram, the other 20% is on Pinterest. If I’m stuck for ideas, I’ll just put in a key word and take inspiration from photos that I like. More often than not, they do not have books in, so it’s always fun to look a photo and see how I can get a book in the photo. (This always means that your final photo will be unique as it would be different from the photo that inspired you!
Recently I’ve started another hashtag series #recreatethecover where I, well, recreate book covers (obviously!) This is really fun because it makes me try things that I wouldn’t normally do and pushes my creative boundaries. I only tend to do this with covers that I really like, or can be easily recreated (such as ones with faces in)
This one is kind of a bonus one, but while I’m on the subject of recreation you can always recreate your own photos! I tend to do this when I’m stuck for inspiration or just really liked the photo!
Wherever you take your inspiration from, especially if the inspiration is clear, it’s important to say. Obviously, you can’t always do this. Your inspiration could’ve come from combining loads of different photos to create something new! Instagram is a wonderful supportive community, and we should spend our time celebrating other people’s work rather than spending our time being annoyed as the proper inspirational credit hasn’t been give.
4. The Book itself
I will also sometimes get inspiration from the story of the book. I usually do this for books that have particularly touched me, such as Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance. I’ll take elements of the story to create a photo. However, you may run into the problem of not many people knowing what the story is about, so these type of photos work really well for big franchises such as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.