Finding consistent inspiration to build your fine art licensing portfolio can be difficult.
A lot of photographers, myself included, find that it is really easy to get caught up in the mental trap of "not enough" - meaning "I don't have the right studio, models, gear, etc."
In fact, I used that excuse for years in other areas of my business as well. And while having great photography gear or a nice studio is fantastic, if you're stuck in that mental space of "not enough" then you'll always be on the hunt for the magical solution.
Let me tell you what: the magical solution doesn't exist. There is no piece of gear, studio space or access to models that are going to be a silver bullet for your inspiration or to launch your business into the stratosphere.
In fact, using the tools and the resources you have on hand to help build your licensing career is one of the smartest ways for you to move forward.
So to that end I wanted to give you some inspiration around things that you can photograph this week with the space and tools you already have at your disposals.
Here are my top five recommendations for fine art stock photoshoot ideas to kick-start your portfolio building this week:
1. Doorways & Portals
Doors are highly symbolic in art and literature. So are windows. They can represent a new perspective on something, separation between characters, or entree into a fantastic wonderland.
Old doors and cupboards especially help evoke a sense of excitement, history or secrets.
So take a look around your home, or in the spaces that you see every day, and try to get photographs of doorways, portals or windows that can help tell a story.
2. Vases, flower arrangements or other knickknacks
You probably have knickknacks all over your house that you have begun to take for granted.
What about that flower arrangement that has started to wilt?
They all could tell a potential story, depending on how you light them.
An old doll could be sinister, a pair of cufflinks could be sexy, and a wilting flower could tell a tale of love gone wrong.
Start to inventory the things you see everyday in your home, and start to think about how you could place them to evoke an emotion or hint at a story.
3. Your food
Before you roll your eyes at the idea of photographing your food, I don't mean taking smartphone photos of your latte!
Instead I am talking about taking about taking deliberate photographs of the food in your home.
A loaf of bread or a bowl of fruit could tell a story.
What about a slice of cake?
An uneaten slice of cake could be the cover of a very different book than one with a piece of cake with a bite taken out.
So take a stroll through your kitchen and ask yourself what story you might be able to tell with your food!
4. Your town
You might drive through your town or city every day and be so used to it, that you take for granted what about it could be book cover worthy.
But to an author or publisher's eyes, your town might capture something quintessential about the story they are trying to tell.
If you are used to driving through your city or town, try walking which will reveal more vignettes than you are used to when you pass through in a car.
Similarly, if you're used to taking walks through a particular part of town in the morning, try changing it up so that you literally see the sights in a different light.
Who knows what your town might reveal to you?
(Just make sure you get the right property releases where needed.
5. The natural world around you
Sometimes there are amazing things going on right outside your door.
No matter the season, if you slow down, there is probably something amazing and photogenic happening right outside of your door.
Perhaps you don't live in a beautiful place, but don't get caught up in needing to portray beauty.
Oftentimes the uglier, gritty side of the world around you can tell just as powerful a story as a bucolic scene.
If you live in a city and don't see much of nature, start to look for it in unexpected places.
A weed growing through the cracks in concrete is as poetic as a flower in a field, just in a different way.
So now that you have five easy photoshoot ideas that you can use to begin building your licensing portfolio, I would love to hear from you.
What new scenes or ideas came to you as you began scouring the world around you?
Were you inspired to look at your space or your town differently?
Let me know!
If you need more ideas to help you keep building your licensing portfolio, I am currently running a free weekly theme challenge dedicated to inspiring your licensing portfolio.
If you're more of a work at your own pace, self study kind of artist, I have put together an ebook called Licensed to Thrill of my 30 favorite classic book cover themes.
This 20 page ebook also goes deep into each theme; I have provided questions or suggestions to help you dive deeper and create something that is true to your voice and your art.
Also included in the ebook are worksheets to help you capture your inspiration, as well as plan for future shoots!
So ii you want to give your licensing portfolio a jump start, I want to invite you to check out Licensed to Thrill for only $37!
Licensed to Thrill
Thirty Inspiring Photography Themes to Help Build Your Photography Licensing Portfolio