7. What To Do When You Feel Your Photography Stagnating w/ Hugh Whitaker


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Do you ever find yourself drying out, creatively speaking? It can be hard to feel inspired to shoot when you’ve been in the photography business for years and years. As Hugh Whitaker shares, what you need is a method for re-discovering your original reason for photographing in the first place.

Hugh is an extremely talented photographer who’s been in the industry for over 15 years. A Junebug award winner and a Rangefinder Rising Star, Hugh also co-founder of the Refresh Workshop, which helps photographers re-find creativity in their art when they’re feeling uninspired. He also spoke at the ARC Experience last year, and will be a keynote speaker this year.

Today, we talk about how inspiration can be stimulated and manufactured, rather than waiting for it to strike, as well as how his wedding photography, stock photography, and personal work all interplay, and the difference between stock photography and other types of photography. We also talk about some of the places that Hugh has looked to for inspiration, and - hilariously - some big mistakes he made when he first started out.

Have you ever felt yourself stagnate in your photography? What did you do to bust out of that rut?


  • Ways to find your own inspiration
  • How wedding work, stock photography, and personal work interplay
  • How carrying a camera with him at all times has inspired him
  • Finding composition inspiration in movies
  • The difference between stock photography and other work
  • The biggest mistakes he made starting out as a wedding photographer


“You have to find your own inspiration. You can’t be inspired by my inspiration. You can’t be inspired by someone else's inspiration” (14:28)

“[With stock photography] you have to get into the psychology of what someone is interested in as opposed to the need to create a beautiful image.” (43:58)

“With ARC, it’s such a community of people, and all the different members of the community are so supportive. It’s an environment where you can walk straight into it and just feel right at home.” (52:30)


Hugh Whitaker

Follow him on Instagram | Facebook

The Refresh Workshop

Larry Fink on Composition and Improvisation book

A Single Man movie

Nocturnal Animals movie

Check out the full show notes page here

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